Mark Your Calendar: June 8-30, 2018



  • US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group, 6:30 p.m.Cancer Center, Easton. Presenter: Andrew Riggin, MD, UM Community Medical Group – Urology. Open to men with prostate cancer and their partners. RSVP to Sharon Richter, 443-994-5792. PLEASE NOTE: This support group will not meet during July and August.


  • Presentation: Sleep Disturbance How to Deal with this Common Cancer Side Effect, 4 pm, Cancer Center, Easton. When is it fatigue and when is it lack of quality or amount of sleep? And, what can be done about it? Sleep disturbances are important to treat as they can worsen cancer fatigue and “chemo brain.” Presenters: Michele Williams, nurse practitioner, UM CMG-Pulmonology and Patty Plaskon, PhD, OSW-C. RSVP:  410-820-6800.
  • Lancaster Linens – Special Vendor Sale – 7 am – 4 pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, Main Lobby. Sponsored by the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary.


  • Everything $6 (K & J Marketing) Sale, 7am to 4pm, Conference Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Sale offers include hundreds of items — jewelry, scarves, socks, hats, kids’ items, purses and more — all priced at just $6. Sponsored by the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary.
  • Skin Cancer Screening, 5:30 to 8 pm, Shore Dermatology, 100 Bramble Street, Suite 1. Free. Preregistration is required; to make an appointment, call 410-822-6800.


  • Look Good, Feel Better – 10am – 12 noon, Cancer Center, Easton. Hair, skin and nail rehab before, during after chemotherapy. Presented by Kim Hardesty, ACS Volunteer Beauty Consultant. RSVP to Teri Dulin, 410-820-6800.
  • Workshop on Wills and Understanding the Probate Process, 6-8pm, Queen Anne’s County Library, 121 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, Md. Guest presenters: Patrick Fitzgerald, Esq. and JoRhea Nagel-Wright, Esq. Free admission, limited seating, RSVP required. Contact Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792,


  • Workshop on Wills and Understanding the Probate Process, 6-8pm, Nick Rajacich Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton Md. Guest presenters: Patrick Fitzgerald, Esq. and JRhea Nagel-Wright, Esq. Free admission, limited seating, RSVP required. Contact Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792,


  • Presentation: Anyone Else Need to go to the Ladies Room?  6 pm, Cancer Center, Easton. Q & A discussion presented by AquaCare pelvic floor specialist, Jane Franczak, PT, MSPT, WCS Addressing urinary issues that occur as women age as well as those related to hormonal treatment and chemotherapy (frequency, urgency, leakage, or pelvic discomfort). Call 410-820-6800 to RSVP.
  • Cancer Support Group/ChestertownMonday, June 28, 7pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, Education Center. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.


  • Safe Sitter Class, 9am to 3:30pm,  UM SMC at Chestertown, Education Center. Taught by pediatric nurses, the Safe Sitter program teaches youth ages 11-13 the basics of babysitting, including first aid, CPR and more. The cost is $45 (scholarships available). Due to limited seating, advance registration is required. Registration: Chrissy Nelson, 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.




  • Bridge Clinic Support Group – Every Tuesday, 6-7:30pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Free, confidential support group meeting for individuals who have been hospitalized for behavioral health reasons and could benefit from assistance with issues after discharge. Varied topics based on participants’ needs. Each participant may bring one family member. Info: 410-228-5511, ext. 2140.


  • Breastfeeding Support Group – Tuesdays, 6/5 and 6/19, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Birthing Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.


  • Breast Cancer Support -Survivors Offering Support (SOS) – Free program pairing women who have breast cancer with mentors who are breast cancer survivors. If you need support or would like to become a mentor, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.
  • Cancer Support Group/Easton – Thursdays, 6/7 and 6/21, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 443-254-5940.
  • US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group – Tuesday, 6/13, 6:30pm, Cancer Center, Easton. Presenter: Andrew Riggin, MD.  Info: call Sharon Richter, RN, 443-994-5792.
  •  Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee – Saturday, 6/2, 9-10:20 a.m., Cancer Center, EastonDiscussion of varied issues and challenges facing individuals and families assisting patients with cancer. Contact: Patty Plaskon, 410-820-6800, ext. 5361.
  • Cancer Support Group/Chestertown – Monday, 6/25, 7pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, Education Center. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.


  • Free Blood Pressure Screenings/Easton & Cambridge – Easton: every Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-12pm, Diagnostic & Imaging Center. Cambridge: every Tuesday & Friday, 11am-1pm, UM SMC at Dorchester, Main Lobby. (Excluding holidays.)


  • Diabetes Support Group/Denton – Wednesday, 6/6,, 5pm., St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 S. 5th Avenue, Denton.  Led by Karen Canter RN, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext.5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Easton — Monday, 6/11, 5:30pm, Talbot County Senior Center, 400 Brookletts Ave., Easton. Led by Karen Hollis RD, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/ Cambridge – Wednesday, 6/27, 5:30pm., Board Room, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge. Led by BK Eshete RN, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5286.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown – Tuesday, 6/26, 6:30pm., Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, 100 Brown St. Led by Chrissy Nelson, BSN, RN, CDE. Contact: 410-778-3300, ext. 2175.


  • Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group – Thursday, 6/7, 12-2pm, UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton, 500 Cadmus Lane, Easton. All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or
  • Queenstown Stroke Support Group – Tuesday, 6/26, 12-2pm, UM Shore Pavilion at Queenstown, suite 320. Diane Lorsong, Speech Language Pathologist “Speech and Language Issues after Stroke.” All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000 ext. 5068 or

Above & Beyond


I want to thank nurse Brooke Smith of Chester River Home Care for being professional, courteous, caring & efficient and for teaching us all about the use and care for Pop’s catheter. Brooke goes above and beyond in her care for our Pop Pop. Thank you so much!


Kudos to Dr. Lakshmi Vaidyanathan and the Palliative Care team for their work on behalf of my very good friend who was in the Easton hospital. My friend’s very large and sometimes contentious entourage included several stepchildren in their 30s, children in their 20s, a husband with his own health issues and limitations, and a host of siblings, in-laws, cousins and friends, many with little or no experience in losing a loved one, and a few with good intentions but unrealistic expectations about end of life decision making and care. The Palliative Care team did an amazing job of getting everyone on the same page and working together to make my friend’s last days as peaceful and meaningful as possible.


Overall, I feel I received good treatment in the Emergency Department at at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, especially considering I visited the emergency room on a holiday weekend. My medical emergency turned out to be nothing serious, but I am grateful for the medical staff who took my complaints seriously and gave me such a complete work-up.


Andrea Alduino of Shore Home Care was most helpful while working with me during my at-home PT. The outpatient PT group was very impressed at where i started and all I was able to do, getting me off to a great start. Also she is an amazing problem solver, getting me a transport wheelchair and a gel pad, which she picked up and delivered to my house. I owe so much of my progress to Andrea’s high quality care. Many thanks to Andrea and Shore Home Care for having talented people like her on their staff. Blessings to all!


My overall experience at Shore Behavioral Health was good. Faunda was AWESOME – she educated me while making me feel safe and comfy. Nancy did a phenomenal job during the night shift. Leslie was super informative and listened to what I had to say. Great experience. Everything was made easy for me. Very helpful and stress free.

Joint Commission Preparation: Tip of the Week

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Infection Control Plan

The risk of development of a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) is minimized through a hospital-wide infection control program. The purpose of the infection control program at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH) is to influence, support and improve the quality of healthcare through the practice and management of infection prevention/control and the application of epidemiology in health settings. The mission of the UM SRH infection control program is to improve health and patient safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse outcomes.

The primary goal of the organization-wide infection control program is to identify, prevent, and reduce risks of endemic and epidemic healthcare-associated infection in patients, employees, physicians and other licensed independent practitioners, contract service workers, volunteers, students and visitors and to ensure optimal operation of the health care facility by:

  • Preventing Infections
  • Identifying organisms of epidemiological importance coming into the hospital
  • Intervening directly to interrupt the transmission of infectious diseases; and
  • Educating and training healthcare workers and providers.

A Risk Assessment is conducted annually by the Infection Prevention & Control Committee and priorities identified. New risks or priorities are identified through surveillance monitoring and review of performance improvement indicators. Current prevention priorities include reduction of C. diff and urinary catheter associated UTI (CAUTI) rates

Key prevention strategies for C. diff include:

  • Increase hand hygiene performance
  • Optimize environmental cleaning using a Oxycide in all isolation rooms
  • Test only patients with unexplained new onset diarrhea ( 3 or more stools in 24 hours)
  • Do not test patients unless they have one of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, fever or leukocytosis
  • Prompt initiation and adherence to Contact Precautions
  • Appropriate use of antimicrobials (UM SRH has an active antimicrobial stewardship program led by Tawes Harper, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP

Key prevention strategies for CAUTI:

  • Avoid unnecessary catheter use: insert for appropriate reasons
  • Consider alternatives to an indwelling catheter: intermittent or external catheters
  • Assess the need for a catheter daily and remove as soon as possible
  • Insertion performed by trained RNs or Techs
  • Never collect a urine culture specimen from the catheter bag
  • Perform optimum routine catheter management:
    • Maintain a closed system without kinks or loops; replace if there are breaks in the closed system
    • Use securement device
    • Perform daily perineal care

Questions? Reach out to your Infection Prevention Team: Julie Bryan, 410-463-085; Amy Stafford, 410-310-5513; Donna Saunders, 410-810-5672

Easton Auxiliary Helps Fund Purchase of New Radiology Equipment

Shown with the new portable digital x-ray machine at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton are: front row, Auxiliary volunteer Mary McArtor; Anne Davis, manager, The Bazaar at 121 Federal Street and volunteer Beverly Atunes; back row, F. Graham Lee, vice president, Philanthropy, Art Cecil, president, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton, volunteers Liz Hannegan and Edison Bowens; Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH; and Gary Bigelow, regional director, Imaging.

UM Shore Medical Center at Easton’s Radiology Department now enjoys a state-of –the-art portable, digital ex-ray system, thanks to a donation of $100,000 from the Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton and support from other generous donors. Raised through proceeds generated by the Auxiliary’s hospital and thrift/consignment shops  as well as its special vendor sales, this donation was designated to support the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 2017 year-end appeal.

The new x-ray system improves patient care through its portability, which accommodates the need for radiology exams by patients whose condition limits transport between hospital departments. In addition, the system’s upgraded technology decreases radiation exposure, improves image quality and dramatically speeds imaging processing time from 30 minutes to two minutes. This fast availability of the images facilitates more rapid diagnosis and treatment.

According to Graham Lee, vice president, Philanthropy, for UM Shore Regional Health, the hospital auxiliary has played a very strong role in the Foundation’s fundraising initiatives. “In addition to this major support for our year-end appeal, the Auxiliary’s contributions this year have included a $10,000 sponsorship of our 4th Annual Sporting Clays Classic, a $6,000 donation to the Cancer Center’s Survivors Offering Support program and a $25,000 sponsorship of our annual UM Memorial Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament,” says Lee.

“UM Shore Regional Health is truly blessed to have the Easton Auxiliary supporting the advancement of our health care programs and services,” says Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH. “I know I speak for our Board, senior leadership and all of our team members when I say that our Auxiliary members’ hard work and generosity is key to our success. They have our unending appreciation for their role in advancing health care for patients throughout our five-county region.”

Volunteers are currently being sought for the Auxiliary’s thrift and consignment shop, The Bazaar at 121 Federal Street, Maggie’s Gift Shop in the hospital, and for UM Shore Medical Center at Easton and the Cancer Center. For more information about how to join the Auxiliary and details on volunteer opportunities, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5839.


Wendy Towers Joins UM CMG – Neurosurgery

Wendy Towers

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG), has announced the addition of nurse practitioner Wendy Towers. Towers specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of neurosurgical conditions, including: brain tumors, spinal tumors, pituitary tumors, degenerative spine disease, including decompression and fusion, hydrocephalus, and carotid artery disease.

An employee of Shore Regional Health for more than 30 years in the surgical department, with more than five of those years working as Dr. Kurtom’s RN first assistant, Towers graduated from Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wilmington University. She earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a focus in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Walden University.

“We are thrilled to have Wendy join the skilled team at UM CMG’s Neurosurgery practice on the Shore,” comments Michele Wilson, chief operating officer for UM CMG. “Wendy brings a unique set of skills, along with a track-record providing compassionate care that will serve our neurosurgery patients on the Shore.”


Welcome, New Team Members

Front row: Richard Cooper, Colleen Dawkins, Aaron Helmly, Cheyeanne Parks and Mikayla Quinton. Back row: Kayla Archer, Dina Berry, Jane Brighton, Caroline Camper and Kristen Carlson.

Please join Human Resources in welcoming the following new team members to UM Shore Regional Health:

  • Kayla Archer, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services. UM SMC at Easton
  • Dina Berry, Access Rep, UM Shore Regional Health
  • Jane Brighton, Patient Sitter, UM SMC at Easton
  • Caroline Camper, Collegiate Nurse, UM SMC at Easton
  • Kristen Carlson, Ultrasound Technologist, UM SMC at Easton
  • Richard Cooper, Food Service Associate, Food/Nutrition Services, UM SMC at Easton
  • Colleen Dawkins, Medical Technologist, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Aaron Helmly, Cardiovascular Tech, Non Invasive Cardiology, UM SMC at Easton
  • Cheyeanne Parks, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Mikayla Quinton, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Easton

UM CMG Neurosurgery Clinicians Make Changes to Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Leading to Major Improvements in Patient Outcomes

Minimally invasive spine surgery is paving a safer way for patients to get back on their feet faster than ever before. Likely due to the already low rate of complication, few changes have been made to spinal fusion techniques since their adoption in the early 2000s — until now.

Traditional “open” spine surgery can have many complications — the surgeon must cut the spinal muscle and tissue and move it out of the way to access the bone, which can cause damage. With a minimally invasive approach, surgeons access the spine via a small tube and make a much smaller incision. This approach is also less likely to damage the surrounding tissue or cause major complications.

A common complication of any spine surgery (both open and minimally invasive) is the accidental tearing of the dura mater, a thin layer of tissue that covers the spinal cord. Tears can be easily fixed during surgery, but if not treated the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) can leak out and cause symptoms such as severe headaches.

Wendy Towers and Khalid Kurtom, MD

One particular technique in spine surgery, Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (MITLIF), is used to treat patients with back pain and leg pain as well as other issues by joining the vertebra together to stabilize it and reduce pain.

Neurosurgeon Khalid Kurtom, MD, and nurse practitioner Wendy S. Towers of University of Maryland Community Medical Group – Neurosurgery, have introduced a novel modification to the standard MITLIF approach which significantly reduces the risk of tearing the dura mater during surgery. The modification leaves the bony structure covering the spinal canal intact during part of the fusion surgery, which reduces the risk of tearing the dura mater. Dr. Kurtom and Towers have performed this technique on more than 400 patients at the UMShore Medical Center in Easton.

“This modification takes an already advanced form of minimally invasive spine surgery to another level of expertise,” said Dr. Kurtom. “We are pioneering the highest quality techniques to get our patients back on their feet and feeling better with little to no risk.”

Dr. Kurtom and Towers recently published an investigational review, “Modified Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Technique Can Potentially Improve Safety of Interbody Graft Placement,” in the journal Operative Neurosurgery, which highlights the most advanced neurosurgical techniques from around the world.

In the review, Dr. Kurtom and Towers analyzed the surgical cases of 83 of their patients on whom they performed the modified procedure between November 2011 and December 2013, looking at patient demographics, estimated blood loss, operative time, complications during surgery and length of stay.  Like the standard MITLIF procedure, most modified MITLIF patients left the hospital the same day or next day. Only four patients experienced complications (4.8%) and zero patients experienced tears of the dura mater or CSF leaks.

“Our retrospective study showed that performing the modified MITLIF technique enhances overall patient safety and outcomes,” Dr. Kurtom added, noting he and Towers hope to further clinical research on this topic.

Camp for Children with Diabetes, Asthma Offered in July


Shore Kids Camp offers children with diabetes and/or asthma learning and fun in a safe environment.

Enrollment is now open for Shore Kids Camp, a four-day camp experience for children (ages 7-12) with diabetes and or asthma offered July 16-19, 2018 at MEBA Engineering School on Route 33 (Oxford Road) in Easton.

Provided by UM Shore Regional Health, Shore Kids Camp helps children with diabetes and/or asthma learn more about their disease and how to manage it in a safe and healthy environment while enjoying many activities, including bowling, boat rides, and visits to organic farms and area museums. The camp is managed by pediatric nurses who are assisted by high school and college students as volunteers. It receives support from varied community groups, including local Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and the Talbot County Public Schools field hockey teams.

“There is no other activity like this on the Eastern Shore,” says Wynne Aroom, patient education specialist. “We serve a local need because similar camps for children  across the Bay Bridge are overnight camps and many parents are reluctant to send their children that far away, while others find ‘sleep-away’ camp to be too expensive.”

The educational aspect of the Shore Kids Camp experience includes guest speakers from the hospital and community such as dietitians, other diabetes educators, nurses with diabetes care and/or asthma care experience, podiatrists, dental hygienists and ophthalmologists. The children also play various learning games. Says Aroom, “These activities help boost the children’s confidence that they can survive without their parents. In many cases, they are the only child in their school class with a chronic condition, which is very challenging for them. At Shore Kids Camp, there is a lot of sharing and learning from each other, so they feel less alone in the challenges they face daily,” she adds.

Aroom also notes that Shore Kids Camp helps parents by providing needed respite from round-the-clock vigilance, as she explains: “Parents can relax knowing that their child is having fun in a safe environment, and they also appreciate the opportunity to meet and talk with other families facing the same challenges they are.

The camp fee is $75 per child and the registration deadline is July 7, 2018. For further details, contact Wynne Aroom, 410-822-1000, ext. 5286, or

New Social Media Posts…..Please Like and Share

The items below were posted on our UM Shore Regional Health Facebook page this week. If you are on Facebook, please help us increase awareness of the page as a resource for updates and information about UM SRH by visiting to LIKE and SHARE the posts of your choice.

Your participation really helps spread the word about the good work done by great team members at UM Shore Regional Health!

  • Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary – Naomi Blackshire, President, donated $1000 to purchase manual blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes
  • UM Shore Regional Health is reminding everyone of DON’T FRY Day! – Be aware of skin cancer risks and the measures that everyone should take to prevent skin cancer.
  • Safe Sitter Classes Offered During June in Easton and Chestertown
  • Go Green Day, a PBIS service opportunity at KCMS, students painted flower pots, filled them, and delivered them to UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Robin Hood Shop Hosts “Tea and Fashion” Event
  • Everything $6 (K & J Marketing) Sale!!
    June 14, 7am to 4 pm, Conference Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.
  • Summer is just around the corner, so start things off on the right “claw” by purchasing your tickets to CLAWS for a CAUSE