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A Message Regarding EPIC from Ken Kozel

Yes, EPIC is our new favorite four letter word! You should know that a focused team of organizational leaders is pressing to the finish line to finalize outstanding issues, identify any remaining concerns and establish ongoing tracking and follow up while EPIC becomes the “new normal.”

A large and diverse team of departmental leaders and Information Technology/EPIC experts, led by me, meets every week to focus on the remaining issues identified in the EPIC tracking grid as critical, high, medium and low priority issues. This EPIC Follow-up Task Force has established the following goals and is already achieving success through focused clinical and operational services SWOT teams, including those in lab, radiology, cardiology, Diagnostic and Imaging Center, Pre-Admission Testing/OR, cardiac rehabilitation, community providers, infusion, patient transfers, and charge entering. In Cardiology, for example, 17 outstanding issues were identified, some fixed right away, and the remainder set for completion within the next 10 days.

In just one week of intensive follow up, more than 54 of the 191 open issues are now resolved, more than half of those in the high priority category.

The Task Force goals are:

  1. Set a focused process in place to identify and address all critical and high priority items by the end of February
  2. Follow this process to focus upon and address medium and low priority items on a continuing basis until no further such items exist
  3. Communicate the process for submitting tickets that notify IT of new or episodic issues, using the HELP DESK to alert and to identify priorities. Tickets in the Help Desk que will be addressed by priority, as determined by the reporting department and IT, as well as the EPIC Follow-up Task Force.

If you have an EPIC issue, please use the HELP DESK to log your problem. The HELP DESK can be reached via a link on the UM SRH intranet, WAVELENGTH (look under Staff Quick Links, then IT Helpdesk), or by an email to or phone message at extension 4357. To help you determine when it is appropriate to simply enter a concern at Help Desk, consider whether it is a rather routine situation (such as needing to reset a password) versus a work flow issue involving EPIC or another IT service. For the former, use Help Desk. For the latter, please discuss with your manager or director before submitting a ticket, to avoid duplicate orders and to better coordinate issue resolution.

Thanks to all for your patience and commitment to help us fully implement EPIC, and for appreciating the impact it has on improving quality and providing safer patient care. I am confident that in a very short while, EPIC will be the tool we prefer and are effectively using to connect us as a health care system with all the places our patients access care.

Thank you.


UM CMG – Urology Welcomes Donna Stubbs, CRNP

Donna Stubbs, CRNP

University of Maryland Community Medical Group – Urology recently announced the addition of Easton-based nurse practitioner Donna Stubbs, CRNP, to its Urology practice.

Stubbs specializes in prostate health checkups, difficulties with urination, sexual dysfunction, testosterone male hormone health, and women’s pelvic floor relaxation and voiding problems. She holds BSN and MSN degrees from Salisbury University and completed the Nurse Practitioner Program at Wilmington College.

“We are very happy Donna has chosen to join our Urology team,” comments Dr. William Huffner, chief medical officer and senior vice president, Medical Affairs. “Donna’s previous experience and commitment to helping the residents of the Eastern Shore will be a valuable asset to our practice and patients.”

Stubbs is seeing patients at UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton, 490 Cadmus Lane, Suite 104. Patients may make an appointment with her by calling 410-820-0560.


Shore Regional Health Grant to Caroline County EMS Funds Ambulance Wi-Fi Technology

Gary Jones, Jeffrey Etherton, MD and Ken Kozel look on as Sean Humphreys demonstrates the new EMS ambulance wi-fi technology to Caroline County Commissioners.

Through a partnership between UM Shore Regional Health and Caroline County Emergency Medical Services, new wi-fi technology in EMS ambulances promises to save lives and improve the recovery of individuals suffering STEMI heart attacks in Caroline County. The technology was demonstrated at the January 22, 2019 meeting of the Caroline County Commissioners.

STEMI heart attacks are those caused by a blocked artery or arteries. As explained to the Commissioners by Bryan Ebling, director, Caroline County Department of Emergency Services and Ryan Foster, manager of the Emergency Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, the new, 12-lead technology enables EMS personnel to transmit vital information regarding a patient’s health status and heart function from the ambulance to the care teams in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton’s Emergency Department and Cardiac Intervention Center (CIC). Receiving the data while the ambulance is in transit to the hospital enables the Emergency and CIC staff to be ready to treat the patient’s particular needs upon arrival. Grant funding from UM SRH made the purchase of six wi-fi modems possible at a total cost of $10,430.

“We did not have the funds for this purchase in the budget, and we are so grateful that Shore Regional Health stepped forward to help us implement this program more quickly,” said Ebling. “Going forward, this incredible equipment will enable us to save the lives of many more Caroline County citizens.”

Also present at the Commissioners meeting were several members of the Caroline County EMS team, Ken Kozel, UM SRH president and CEO, cardiologist Jeffrey Etherton, MD, and Gary Jones, director, Cardiovascular Services UM SRH. Jones and Dr. Etherton, who joined the Shore Regional Health cardiology team in 2016, were key leaders in Shore Medical Center at Easton Cardiac Cath Lab’s successful designation as a Cardiac Intervention Center by Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) in February, 2018.

“The CIC designation was the vision of Gary Jones, Mr. Kozel and many physicians, and it took years to realize, but I think that technology-wise and team-wise, this is the best cardiac cath lab in the state of Maryland,” stated Dr. Etherton. “I am grateful to be part of this team that together, has more than 100 years of experience in cardiac care.”

Dr. Etherton also credited the work of EMS teams in the region. “I’m the guy at the end of the line – the paramedics do an incredible job of keeping people alive while en route to the hospital,” he said. Patients suffering a STEMI heart attack will begin to sustain permanent and perhaps fatal heart damage if they do not receive treatment in less than 90 minutes, and less than 60 minutes is optimal. The national average for transport time to a CIC is 68 minutes, but the Caroline County EMS team’s average is just 51 minutes.

Ebling credited EMS staff members Dr. Jon Krohmer, medical director, Sean Humphreys and Andy Garey for their work in getting the new wi-fi system up and running, and recognized  Jeremy Fox and Amber Rippetoe, crew members who were assigned to the Denton Paramedic unit on the evening of the presentation and were on hand at the Commission meeting.

Jones explained to the Commissioners that since March 31, 2017, 350 angioplasty procedures had been performed in the Cardiac Cath Lab. Since the CIC designation, the Cardiac Cath Lab’s emergency call team had been activated 170 times and in 70 of those cases, emergency angioplasty was needed — 20 more than the anticipated volume of 50.


UM Chester River Home Care Staff Achieve OASIS Certification

Shown are UM CRHC OASIS certified team members: seated, Melissa Maule, RN and Jennifer Dupre, MSN, RN-BC; and standing, Melissa Myers, RN, Brooke Smith, RN, Brooke Maier, PT, WCC, Emily Welsh, RN and Katie Davis, BSN, RN. Not pictured: Jennifer Walter, MSPT.

Brooke Maier, PT for Chester River Home Care, is shown giving a presentation to HomePorts members and guests on Wintertime Fall Prevention and Safety on February, 7, 2019 at Chestertown Town Hall HomePorts suite.

Eight University of Maryland Chester River Home Care team members have obtained their Certified OASIS Quality Specialist (COQS) designation, Trish Focht, manager, of the Chestertown-based home care agency has announced. The OASIS certified team members are: Katie Davis, Jennifer Dupre, Brooke Maier, Melissa Maule, Melissa Myers, Brooke Smith, Jennifer Walters and Emily Welsh.

OASIS is data that is collected by home health clinicians during a home visit.  It is required for all patients who receive skilled home health services under Medicare or Medicaid. “OASIS data is used in the determination of quality measures outcomes, STAR Ratings, and reimbursement,” Focht explains. “It’s important for clinicians to have OASIS education and certification to improve patient outcomes and quality of care, as well as improve the reimbursement. I am very proud of our team members’ dedication and accomplishment in gaining this certification.”

UM Chester River Home Care was established in 1997. Each year, UM CRHC staff members drive more than 150,000 miles in Kent and Queen Anne’s County to provide more than 19,000 home care visits serving approximately 1100 patients. In five out of five patient satisfaction ratings, UM CRHC has scored significantly higher than the state and national averages.

UM CRHC staff are proud to show off their new “branded” agency jackets! Seated are Katie Davis, BSN, RN, Stephanie Bugg, COTA, Danielle Barrett, PTA, Trish Focht, BSN, RN and Kiara Henry, CNA; standing are Karen Conley, access representative, Sarah Reynolds, PTA, Melissa Myers, RN, Donna Barbiche, OTR/L, Brooke Maier, PT, WCC, Jen Dupre, MSN, RN-BC and Jennifer Paul, PT, DPT.




Assistive Technology for Cardiac Arrest Response Now Available at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown

Shown at the first LUCAS training are: seated, Cassandra Price, BSN, RN, clinical nurse coordinator, Acute Care and Marjorie Shaffer, BSN, RN, clinical nurse, Acute Care; standing, Justin Harper, NRP, lieutenant, Kent County Emergency Services;  Rebecca Baxter, BSN, RN, administrative supervisor and Beverly Greaves, BSN, RN, CEN,  clinical nurse, Emergency Department.

When a patient goes into cardiac arrest and CPR is required, the licensed staff at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown have a new life-saving tool: a LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System by Physio Control. The self-contained, 19-pound device will be put into service in March after all staff are trained.

Funded by community donations to the Chester River Health Foundation, the LUCAS 3 System cost nearly $16,000. “It will add a significant resource to the hospital, especially during the evening and night shifts when there isn’t a large pool of additional staff to respond to a cardiac arrest,” says Beverly Greaves, clinical nurse, Chestertown Emergency Department. Greaves has begun training all nursing supervisors, clinical coordinators and Emergency Department staff, to use the device.

“The physical demands for performing CRP under the new standards are exhausting even for the most physically fit person,” Greaves explains. “Staff members are permitted to do manual chest compressions for just two minutes, then another staff member must step in. With the LUCAS 3 device, ‘rescuer fatigue’ is no longer a problem as the device performs consistent, repetitive chest compressions for as long as necessary.”

With training, all licensed, CPR-certified staff members – a physicians, a nurse and  techs – are permitted to use this life-saving device, with training. Says Greaves, “During a cardiac arrest, it’s a fast-paced environment and resuscitation can run for hours. The LUCAS 3 is a state-of-the-art tool that will help us achieve the best possible outcome for our patients.”


Neurosurgery Team Gets Up and Running – for the St Michaels Running Festival

Getting ready to race: front row, Kelsey Wilson, Candice Gardini, Erika Jordan and Wendy Towers; back row, Tom Bush, Cindy Yost, Robert Brault, Khalid Kurtom and Tyler Gogoll.

The Neurosurgery team led by Khalid Kurtom, MD has taken on a new challenge – one that’s sending them to the gym once they leave the OR or the practice office in Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton at the end of their day.

“As a team, we have taken on a fitness challenge,” says Dr. Kurtom, adding that all nine members of the Neurosurgery practice are training now to participate in the St. Michaels Running Festival, Saturday, May 18, 2019. “In line with the Mission ‘Creating Healthier Communities Together,’  we believe that the health of our UM Shore Regional Health employees is a great place to start.”

The Neurosurgery team is very diverse, including more than 30 years’ difference between the youngest and eldest members, and varying levels of athletic experience and fitness. Says Kurtom, “I am very proud that all of my staff agreed to make this a team project. We hope to set an example that inspires fellow employees throughout the system — and just as important, our patients and their family members — to take their health and fitness seriously.”

  • Team members training for the St. Michaels Running Festival are:
  • Robert Brault, Surgical Technologist
  • Thomas Bush, RN, Staff Nurse, Perioperative Services
  • Candice Gardini, Front Desk Lead
  • Tyler Gogoll, CNOR, Surgical Team Lead, Neurosurgery
  • Erika Jordan, RN, Neurosurgery
  • Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, FACS, Medical Director, System Operations 
  • Wendy Towers, CRNP, Neurosurgery
  • Kelsey Wilson, Surgical Coordinator, Neurosurgery
  • Cindy Yost, Director, Credentialing, Medical Affairs

DISCOUNTS OFFERED!! The St. Michaels Running Festival has offered discounts to UM Shore Regional Health and UM CMG team members as follows: $10 discount off the half-marathon registration fee and $5 discount off the 5K registration fee.  Click Here to access the registration portal where you may complete the registration and enter the registration/discount code at time of checkout:

  • If registering for the half marathon, the discount code is UMHM
  • If registering for the 5K, the discount code is UM5K.
  • Both codes are case-sensitive and may only be used once for one discounted entry into the St. Michaels Running Festival.
  • Please note: Discount codes expire March 15, 2019. Any issues using this code or accessing the registration portal, contact for further assistance.

For more information about the St Michaels Running Festival, visit the website, or the Facebook page,