Appreciation was the theme of the evening on November 29, 2018 at Talbot Country Club, as University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation hosted its annual event for donors. Gathered for the occasion were donors and friends who supported various fundraising drives and events during the past year to benefit programs and services of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, the Cancer Center and UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.
The official proceedings were led by Moorhead Vermilye, vice chairman of the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation Board. Vermilye introduced other Foundation board members who were in attendance, including Joe Schultz, Jacque Smith Hook, Mark Freestate, Steve Ochse and Keith McMahan, and read a letter he had received from recent hospital patient extolling the excellent care she had received at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. Vermilye also thanked everyone for their efforts and support for the Foundation’s fundraising events and appeals, noting that as of October 31, 2018, the Foundation had provided $1,340,436 in support for hospital programs and technology needs, patient care services and nursing scholarships.
Shore Regional Health CEO and President Ken Kozel took the podium after Vermilye to offer his profound gratitude, on behalf of the UM SRH Board and Senior leadership, for the “time, talents and financial support” the Foundation, its donors and volunteers commit to enhancing patient care in the hospital and its outpatient locations. In particular, he expressed thanks to the Easton hospital auxiliary, led by Liz Hannegan, for the Auxiliary’s recent gift of $100,000 to support the Foundation’s year-end appeal benefiting the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center. Kozel closed by reading a letter from UM Memorial Hospital Foundation supporter Tim Kagan regarding the excellent care received by his wife at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.
Speaking about the Foundation’s support for nursing scholarships was Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, noting that scholarship support enables hospital nurses to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, advancing their knowledge and competencies and enhancing the care they provide. Jones thanked members of the scholarship committee, led by Keith McMahan, for their efforts throughout the year. Two UM SRH nurses, Lisa Lisle and Jeannine LeMieux, shared their stories illustrating the difference nursing scholarship support has made in their nursing careers and their contributions to patient care.
Michael Weise, owner of Pensel & Walker Opticians and committee member of the Foundation’s 2018 Sporting Clays Classic held in June at the Point at Pintail in Queenstown, thanked the event’s committee members, sponsors and participants for their success in helping to raise $79,248 to benefit the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center’s Wellness for Women (WFW) outreach program. WFW provides uninsured and underinsured women with age- and risk-specific mammography screenings and breast exams at no charge.
UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown Manager Mary Alice Vanhoy reported on the success of this year’s Claws for a Cause Crab Feast, held in July at Fisherman’s Crab Deck on Kent Island. Thanking event chairs Heather Comegys and Holly Rhodes and their fellow committee members, Vanhoy noted that the event raised $36,462 that supported the purchase of ceiling-mounted patient lifts in the Center. In previous years, proceeds from the Claws for a Cause enabled the Center to purchase a Panda infant warmer, patient safety lifts, telemedicine technology, emergency preparedness equipment (a generator/trailer), and a 12-lead EKG machine.
The success of the 2018 UM Memorial Hospital Foundation golf tournament was discussed by Martha Clark, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Telemetry manager at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. This year’s golf tournament, held in September at Talbot Country Club, netted $91,749 from 32 foursomes and 43 sponsors for the hospital’s ICU. The proceeds will be placed in UM Memorial Hospital Foundation’s ICU Fund to purchase new equipment.
A special highlight of this year’s donor appreciation event was a testimonial offered by Easton-based gastroenterologist Michael J. Fisher, MD, a cancer survivor who undertook his treatment at the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health. Dr. Fisher expressed his gratitude for the Cancer Center’s state-of-the-art treatment technologies and the outstanding professionalism and expertise of its treatment providers and support staff. He shared his appreciation for being able to receive quality care locally, rather than having to travel to Baltimore, and thanked all donors whose support for the Foundation helped make this possible.
Brian Leutner, executive director, Oncology Services and Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, summarized the difference Foundation support has made in cancer care at UM SRH. He noted that the 2017 end of year appeal funded the purchase of a digital portable x-ray machine for radiology and the current year-end appeal will fund the purchase of a second 3-dimensional tomosynthesis mammography machine for the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center. Having the second machine, he noted, will reduce patient wait times and anxiety.
Leutner also described how the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center’s services have grown in the past five years, during which the number of patients seen has increased by 100 percent, the number of biopsies by 64 percent, and the number of breast cancers diagnosed by more than 200 percent.
Before closing the program, Graham Lee, vice president, Philanthropy for UM Shore Regional Health provided updates on the current year-end appeal, expressing his gratitude for donors who have made major gifts:
- the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation,
- the Meoli Companies/McDonald’s Restaurant,
- the employees of Tri-Gas & Oil, the Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton,
- the Ferree Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Health Foundation, and
- Bob and Ruth Carmean.
Lee also thanked the sponsors of third party events that have supported the Cancer Program in the past year:
- Gary and Janet Wright and the Prostate Cancer Golf Tournament, which supports the David Whitby Cancer Fund;
- Victor and Teresa Michael and the Lowes Wharf Fundraiser for the Peggy Rosato Cancer Fund; and
- Ken and Emma Jean Morgan of Robin’s Nest Floral & Garden Center, who created the Winter Design Showcase in support of the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center.