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Press Release

Jessica Stringer Joins Chester River Hospital Center as Director of Emergency Department

Chestertown, MDFebruary 10, 2009Chester River Hospital Center is pleased to announce that Jessica Stringer, RN, BSN, has joined the staff as director of emergency services. In this role she is responsible for managing the emergency department, which includes a staff of 47 nurses. Stringer will also be collaborating with emergency physicians, emergency medical services (EMS), and administration to ensure the best care for patients.

Stringer has more than 13 years of experience in nursing, with seven years devoted in the emergency department setting. Her most recent position was care coordinator at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis where she managed a daily case load of 25 patients. In this position she coordinated discharge planning, nursing placement and collaborated with physicians and other staff to provide patients with appropriate care. Previously she was a case manager for Pathways Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, and before that she was an emergency staff nurse for four years at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Emergency services is Stringer's passion and she is currently working on her Master of Nursing at Walden University. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Salisbury State University. She and her family reside in Queenstown, Maryland.


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Chester River Hospital Center to offer Safe Sitter� Program


Chestertown, MDFebruary 9, 2009Chester River Hospital Center is offering a two-day Safe Sitter� program for young people, ages 11 to 13.    The program focuses on first aid, rescue skills and behavior management techniques necessary for handling medical or household emergencies which may occur while caring for a young child. The session includes two classes held on consecutive Saturdays, March 7 and March 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Additional sessions will be held in June and November.  The instructors are nurses from the hospital's pediatric department.

Participants in the Safe Sitter� program learn the basics of child care, safety precautions, rescue breathing techniques, how to care for a choking infant or child, and how to recognize emergencies and call for help.  The ethical and business principles of babysitting will also be discussed.            

The Safe Sitter � program was founded in 1980 by Dr. Patricia Keener, an Indianapolis pediatrician, who was concerned about the lack of educational programs for sitters and young adults. Keener developed Safe Sitter� as a medically accurate instructional program for young people 11 to 13 years of age. This program is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

            To complete the Safe Sitter� program, participants must pass a practical and a written test to prove that they have mastered the key concepts and skills necessary to handle an emergency.  Students who attend both classes and pass the test earn a certificate. 

     The course fee is $40, which includes an instructional manual and book bag. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required. Classes are held in the Education Center at Chester River Hospital Center. To register and for more information, please call (410) 778-3300, extension 2338 or email [email protected].


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Myers Joins Chester River Health System as Senior Accountant


Chestertown, MDFebruary 9, 2009Chester River Health System is pleased to announce Chad Myers has joined the University of Maryland Medical System/Chester River Shared Services Finance team as a senior accountant.  Myers is responsible for the onsite coordination of financial reporting and disbursements at Chester River Health System.   Myers brings sixteen years of healthcare financing experience to the organization.  Recently, he worked for Meritain Health in Baltimore as a senior financial analyst and was responsible for financial reporting and disbursement activities. 

            Myers received his Bachelor of Arts in Management from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), which is the nation''''s leading membership organization for healthcare management financial executives and leaders. He and his family currently reside in Harford County, but are planning to relocate to the Eastern Shore.


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Sombarkin Concert To Benefit Chester River Home Care & Hospice

Chestertown, MD - February 2, 2009 - Celebrate the first day of spring with an evening of song by Sombarkin', on March 21, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kent County High School auditorium. The Chester River Health Foundation will host the concert, with proceeds to benefit hospice services provided through Chester River Home Care & Hospice, which serves both Kent and Queen Anne's counties.  Sombarkin' is a local trio whose repertoire includes jazz, folk and gospel music; its vocalists are Karen Somerville, Lester Barrett, Jr., and Jerome McKinney. 
      "Chester River Home Care & Hospice is excited to bring together the community with a relaxing evening of uplifting music," says Charyl "Sam" Ricketts, RNC, community educator for Chester River Home Care & Hospice. "The concert represents that hospice is about living, not dying; it's about comfort, dignity and choices.  Sombarkin' is an amazing group of talented vocalists who really know how to entertain their listeners. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating spring and celebrating life."
Hospice services are provided by a team of personnel, including nursing care, medical social workers, home health aides, therapists, spiritual and bereavement counselors, volunteers, medical director, primary care physician and a pharmacy consultant. Last year Chester River Home Care & Hospice provided services to 102 hospice patients and their families. It is a licensed and Medicare certified home care, hospice and personal care agency serving Kent and Queen Anne's counties.
     Advance tickets are available for $25; tickets at the door will be $30. Proceeds benefit Chester River Home Care & Hospice. For more information and to order advance tickets, please call 410-778-7668, extension 4013 or email [email protected].
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Chester River Manor Welcomes Darlene Kemp As New Wound Care Consultant

Chestertown, MDJanuary 19, 2009Chester River Manor welcomes Darlene Kemp, BSN, RN, CWCN, as their new wound care consultant. In this role she will provide the residents of Chester River Manor a new level of specialized wound care treatment, as well as prevention of complex wounds.

Kemp, a certified wound care nurse, received her Associate of Science degree in registered nursing from Cecil College and her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Delaware.  In her most recent employment, she developed and directed the wound care program at Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center in Maryland. Previously, she worked for the Johns Hopkins Wound Healing Center, where she specialized in treating complex wounds and conducted clinical research studies in wound healing using gene therapy. Kemp has over 13 years of experience as a nurse, with 10 years devoted to wound care treatment.

�Darlene Kemp''''s extensive wound care experience will enhance the services we provide to our residents,� says Maggie Najera, administrator of Chester River Manor.  �Many of our rehabilitation patients also have a need for specialized wound care treatment.�

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Chester River Health Center to Host Pastoral Education Seminar

Chestertown, MD January 12, 2009Chester River Hospital Center will host a pastoral education seminar on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which will present an array of pastoral education topics and how they apply to the health care environment. The pastoral education seminar is intended for spiritual caregivers of all faiths, who offer comfort, prayers and support to patients in hospital and hospice settings.

The seminar is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and includes five informational sessions.  Mary Jo Keefe, MSN, BSN, RN, vice president of patient care services at Chester River Hospital Center, will present a session that addresses confidentiality in the hospital setting, including case studies. Sam Ricketts, BS, RNC, community educator at Chester River Home Care & Hospice, will discuss hospice care in a hospital setting, and the services that hospice provides.  Darnell T. Parker, MSW, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Washington College, will address cultural diversity and how caregivers can help meet the needs of a diverse population.  Ralph Ciampa, STM, director of the Department of Pastoral Care at University of Pennsylvania Health System, will discuss how to help patients connect with their spirituality, while embracing the principals of reverence, respect, honesty, equality, humility and confidentiality. And, in the final session, Linda O''''Brien, RN, MA, hospice chaplain of HolisticCare of New Jersey, will address sensitive issues involved with end of life care.

This is a free seminar, but pre-registration is required. Lunch will be provided. Interested participants may make reservations by calling 410-778-3300, extension 4044.

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Vallecillo Joins Chester River Health System as Director of Marketing & Public Relations


Chestertown, MDJanuary 12, 2009Chester River Health System announces the appointment of Julianna L. Vallecillo as director of marketing and public relations. In this position, she will be responsible for the marketing, advertising and public relations programs for Chester River Health System. She will also develop all internal and external publications, as well as web content, for Chester River Health System.

Robin Klinefelter, vice president of development & communications, commented, �We are very excited to welcome Julianna Vallecillo to Chester River Health System. Her experience with non-profit and healthcare clients, as well as her knowledge of strategic branding plans, media relations, and ad design, is the right mix we are looking for to lead the marketing and public relations efforts at Chester River Health System.� 

Prior to joining Chester River Health System, Vallecillo was the assistant director of development and the communications manager at St. Anne's Day School of Annapolis, Md. There, she was responsible for development and fundraising initiatives, as well as public relations and publications.  Previously, she was the director of client services at Blue Water Agency, in Annapolis, where she was responsible for marketing and advertising programs for corporate, government, and non-profit clients.  Earlier in her career, Vallecillo worked at Mullin/Ashley Associates of Chestertown, where, as media & account manager, she was responsible for a variety of functions, including media planning, public relations, account coordination, event planning, and market research.

Vallecillo is a graduate of the University of Baltimore, with a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications. She completed a media internship at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, through the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS).

The Chester River Health System, part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), was formed in 1997 to offer state-of-the-art health care to the residents of Kent and Queen Anne's counties, as well as portions of Caroline and Cecil counties. Chester River Health System includes Chester River Hospital Center, Chester River Home Care & Hospice, Chester River Manor and Chester River Health Foundation.

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Obstetrician/Gynecologist Appointed to Medical Staff at Chester River Hospital Center

Chestertown, MD � December 29, 2008 Katherine E. �Lisa� Pagano, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, has been appointed to the medical staff at Chester River Hospital Center.  Pagano recently relocated to Chestertown from Anchorage, Alaska, where she served for four years at Elmendorf Hospital at the Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Pagano earned her bachelor of science degree from Yale University and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  She completed her internship and residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

�I decided to move to Chestertown because I found the practice opportunity here to be very exciting; I am impressed with the delivery facilities and with the quality of maternity care that is offered at Chester River.  It is also close to my parents who live in Maryland and will be a great place to raise my daughter,� says Pagano.  �I am looking forward to providing treatment alternatives to patients in this community,� she adds.

Pagano is particularly interested in integrative medicine which combines conventional and alternative methods of healing such as hydrotherapy, which provides a whirlpool tub for laboring mothers.

Pagano has joined the practice of Anthony J. Moorman, M.D. at 521 Washington Avenue in Chestertown.  Patients can schedule an appointment with Pagano by calling (410) 810-0767.

Chester River Manor to Host Dementia Education Program for Caregivers

Chestertown, MD � November 10, 2008Chester River Manor is hosting �Dementia Education for the Caregiver� on Wednesday, November 19, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Guest speaker Louise Montgomery, a certified activity director, will shed light on effective ways to deal with dementia patients and dispel some myths about dementia.

                        Approximately two million people in the United States suffer from sever dementia and nearly five            five million people experience mild to moderate dementia.  Seven percent of people over the age of 65

have some form of dementia and the number doubles every five years over age 65.

Dementia may result in decreased abilities in the processes of thinking, perceiving and learning, as well as behavioral and personality changes.  Cognitive areas often affected by dementia include decision-making, judgment, memory, spatial orientation, thinking, reasoning and verbal communication.

Montgomery has an associate's degree in human services with a mental health option and continued her education at University of Maryland Baltimore County in the area of education.  Currently, she is pursuing her degree in behavioral science at Wilmington CollegeMontgomery is certified through the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals.  In addition, she is a support group facilitator with the Alzheimer's Association.                                                                    

For more information contact Stephanie Rameika, assistant director of nursing, at 410 778-4550.


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Hospice Tree of Lights to be Illuminated December 4

Chestertown, MD�October 15, 2008 �Chester River Health Foundation's annual Tree of Lights, now in its 21st year, provides an opportunity for family and friends to honor loved ones while supporting hospice services in Kent County and Queen Anne's County. Lights may be purchased in honor of or in memory of a loved one for $10 each.  The names of those honored or memorialized will appear on scrolls in a wooden display case adjacent to the Christmas tree which will be on display in the courtyard in front of Chester River Hospital Center.  The scrolls of names will be updated through December 31.

A tradition begun by Kent Hospice Foundation in 1988, this year's ceremony will be held Thursday, December 4, at 5:30 p.m., at Chester River Hospital Center.  After the tree lighting and caroling, refreshments will be served in the main lobby.

Proceeds from this holiday event will be used to support the compassionate, comforting care provided to patients with terminal illnesses by the staff of Chester River Home Care & Hospice. Services include pain and symptom management, emotional and psychological support, medical supplies and equipment, companionship, respite for caregivers, grief support and 24-hour on call nursing support.

To remember a loved one with a light on the tree or for more information about the Tree of Lights ceremony, call the Chester River Health Foundation at 410-778-7668, extension 4013.


Chester River Home Care & Hospice will celebrate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on October 11th at the Farmer's Market at Fountain Park.

Chestertown, MDSeptember 29, 2008Chester River Home Care & Hospice will join with international partners to celebrate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on Saturday, October 11. There will be events across the world to commemorate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, it is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. The theme for World Day 2008 is "Hospice and Palliative Care: A Human Right." There will be dance and drama in Uganda, theatre in Switzerland, a concert in Malta, conferences in Mexico, workshops in India, and music by a child orchestra in Chile.  

Chester River Home Care & Hospice will commemorate this day with balloons and music at the Farmer's Market in Fountain Park. Additionally Chester River will have roving ambassadors to explain that quality end-of-life care is a human right.

�Everyone facing a life limiting illness has the right to comfort and dignity,� says Sam Ricketts, RNC, Community Educator for Chester River Home Care & Hospice. �People all over the world either do not have access to or knowledge of hospice and palliative care. They are, therefore, suffering unnecessarily. Even in our own community there are still many people who are unaware of the services that hospice can provide as end of life is approached. That is why we will be in the park for the Farmer's Market on World Hospice Day. We want to join our local and global neighbors to spread the word that hospice is about living, not dying. Hospice is about comfort and dignity and choices.  So we invite everyone to come out and see us, get a balloon, listen to the music, talk with our ambassadors and celebrate this worldwide effort to bring end-of-life quality care to our community.�


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Chester River Hospital Center to Offer Free Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Screenings at Stride for Prevention Run/Walk on October 4, 2008

Chestertown, MD September 22, 2008 - Chester River Hospital Center will offer a free cholesterol and blood pressure screenings at the Stride for Prevention Run/Walk sponsored by Queen Anne''s County Department of Health Wellness Coalition and the Church Hill Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, October 4. The rain date is Saturday, October 11. 

The run/walk is being held at the Church Hill Park. Registration for the 5K run begins at 8:00 a.m., with the run beginning at 8:20 a.m. Participants can walk anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  The screenings will be offered from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Fasting for at least two hours is required for the cholesterol screening and participants are encouraged to drink plenty of water.  Results will be mailed.

For more information about the Stride for Prevention Run/Walk, contact 410-758-0720, ext. 4508. 

Walk to Remember Scheduled in Recognition of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Chestertown, MD September 22, 2008Chester River Hospital Center''s Maternity Department is hosting its 2nd annual Walk to Remember on Saturday, October 18, at 10:00 a.m.  The purpose of this event is to honor and remember babies who have died through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death.  Parents who have experienced this type of loss, along with their families and friends, are invited to participate, along with the healthcare professionals who care for these families. 

            The walk through Chestertown will begin in front of the hospital and will continue to Campus Avenue, Philosopher''s Terrace, Cross Street and High Street.  It will end at the foot of High Street where a remembrance ceremony will be held, followed by the release of balloons in memory of each baby.  The ceremony will be followed by light refreshments.

            October was proclaimed National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.  �This national observance offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies,� says Debbie Burke, BSN, RNC, maternity nurse manager at Chester River Hospital Center.  �It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent these deaths and help them work through their grief process."

            The Walk to Remember, which is being coordinated by Burke and bereavement coordinators Kristi Lehman, RN, and Yvonne Fenwick, Patient Care Technician, will be held rain or shine.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  To register or for more information about the Walk to Remember please call 410 778-7668, ext. 2200.


Free Prostate Cancer Screening Provided by Chester River Hospital Center

Chestertown, MDSeptember 11, 2008 � September is National Prostate Health Month, and in recognition, Chester River Hospital Center is offering free prostate cancer screenings on Monday, September 29, from 4:00 � 7:00 p.m. in the outpatient clinic on the third floor of the hospital.  The screening will include both a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam performed by a physician.  Educational materials will also be provided and staff will be available to answer questions and provide information.

            Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States.  The Cancer Facts & Figures 2008 of the American Cancer Society reports that 186,320 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 28,660 men will die from this cancer in 2008 in the United States.  In 2008, Maryland is expected to have 3,420 men who will develop prostate cancer and 550 men who will die from it.

The major risk factors for prostate cancer are age, family history, and race.   Men over the age of 50, African American men, men of African descent, and men with a father, brother, or son with prostate cancer are at greater risk for prostate cancer.   African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from it than white men, according to the American Cancer Society.

According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms for prostate cancer may include: blood in the urine; the need to urinate frequently, especially at night; weak or interrupted urine flow; pain or burning feeling while urinating; the inability to urinate; and constant pain in the lower back, pelvis, or upper thighs.  Men should consult with their health care provider if any of these symptoms occur.

Additionally, the public is invited to attend the prostate cancer support group meeting on Monday, September 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Center at the Hospital.  This active group of prostate cancer survivors, caregivers and hospital staff meets every two months for an hour of shared information.

For more information about the free screening call 410 778-7668, ext. 2381.  


Celebrate spring with Chester River Home Care & Hospice! Sombarkin Concert, Saturday, March 21, 7:00 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, 410-778-7668 x4013 or [email protected]
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