Peninsula Regional Hosts New Sickle Cell Disease Support Group

Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury is starting a new support group for people with sickle cell disease. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 17 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Radiation Oncology Conference Room in Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute.

Sickle cell disease us a disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped blood cells. People with SCD can be affected in many different ways. The support group gives people with SCD the chance to interact with others facing similar issues, and to learn and share information. Topics will include healthy habits, how to prevent infections, medication management, pain control and stress management.

For information on joining the group, please call Jennifer Rayne at 410-912-6840.

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PRMC Chairman’s, President’s Leadership Awards Bestowed

Peninsula Regional Medical Center President/CEO Dr. Peggy Naleppa and Board of Trustees Chairman Bill McCain recently presented members of the Peninsula Regional healthcare team with President’s Leadership and Chairman’s Awards for their contributions to the Medical Center and the patients they serve. In addition, former board member Ed Urban returned to bestow the award named in his honor.

From left, Bill McCain, Chuck Rayne, Eddie Conklin, Mary Lou Melhorn and Peggy Naleppa.

The Chairman’s Award Non-Clinical Winning Entry was Vascular Lab Flow Improvement, won by Eddie Conklin, Laura Brown, Florence Rayne, Mary Lou Melhorn and Jeannie Ruff. Inefficient vascular lab processes led to added cost and decreased access for patients. The team analyzed the process to find areas of opportunity. They improved the patient scheduling process and moved the function within Radiology, which opened space and created cross-training opportunities, and implemented standard work. The result: No backlog on appointments since February 2013, and expense was reduced to 32% below budget.

Finalists for the award included:

  • Ambulatory pharmacy project (PRMC HomeScripts)
  • Clinical Admission Team (CAT) Project
  • O.R. Close to Cut Project

Honorable Mentions:

  • Pharmacy KitCheck Implementation
  • Vancomycin Delivery Mechanism project

From left, Bill McCain, Cynthia Mitchell, Cindy D’Aquila, Erin Mareck and Peggy Naleppa.

The Chairman’s Award Clinical Winning Entry was ICU CAUTI Improvement, won by Erin Mareck, Cindy D’Aquila, Mary Cannon, Celine Eisele, Stacey Smith, Padmaja Ambre and Cindy Mitchell. Starting in August, 2013 CAUTI rates in ICU started to trend upward. The goal was to reduce the rates to below benchmark and eventually to zero. This team developed and implemented a Nurse Driven Protocol for the removal of urinary catheters as quickly as possible, which has been shown to reduce infection rates. They also reeducated the nursing staff about CAUTI prevention measures, which are now part of their standard work. They do daily monitoring of these prevention measures and review all patients with catheters to make sure they are still necessary for good care. As of May and June, 2014 the ICU Standardized Infection Ratio fell below the state average.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Epidural Delivery Process
  • Splish, Splash, Baby’s First Bath

From left, Bill McCain, Gina Grier, Ed Urban and Erin Mareck.

The Ed Urban Quality Award was earned by the Post-Operative Cardiac Patient Glucose Control project, with team members Steve Wilson, PA-C, Erin Mareck, Gina Grier, Caroline Mansy, Dr. Robert Chasse, John Jordan, Karen Jones, and Ann Turner. Their goal was to maintain the post-op cardiac patient’s glucose to 180 mg/dl or lower in the timeframe of 18 – 24 hours after anesthesia end time. The team used process mapping and chart review to analyze the data and found that 26 percent of patients had a glucose greater than 180. These were primary CABG patients with known diabetes or pre-diabetic tendencies. The interventions included recording exact time of anesthesia end time so insulin IV drip could be started sooner, leaving the drip in place through the first 2 hours of conversion to sub-q insulin dose, drawing a blood glucose prior to transfer to 3 Layfield (with correction doses give prior to transfer also). Result: Over the last 4 quarters, more than 97 percent of post-cardiac patients sustained blood sugars within the desire range during the 18-24 hour period post-anesthesia. In addition, related outcomes include a decrease in the infection rates, post-op renal failure, surgical reoperation, prolonged ventilation, overall and CTICU length of stay, and mortality rates.

President’s Leadership Awards honor individuals who embrace the philosophy that leadership is a privilege and a position of shared trust. With that philosophy also comes accountability and ownership. Winners were:

Gwyn Kravec, Executive Director of Health Information Services & Privacy Officer. Kravec has led multiple hospital initiatives for health information management, and has been an invaluable source of knowledge for the upcoming ICD-10 transition.

Jeanne Ruff, Executive Director of the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute. Ruff is a dynamic leader of the heart center, consistently keeping its many components running smoothly, and known and respected for her great integrity and ethics.

Congratulations to all the recipients, and thank you to everyone who was nominated as well, for all of your efforts in continuously working to improve Peninsula Regional and to deliver exceptional service.

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Peninsula Regional Medical Center Becomes Certified Philips Lifeline GoSafe Provider

Peninsula Regional Medical Center announced on Monday, November 17, that it has become a certified Philips Lifeline GoSafe provider. GoSafe is a leading mobile medical alert service that is designed to help provide peace of mind to seniors at home or on the go.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center achieved certification through completing a comprehensive training curriculum and program offered by Philips Lifeline, the nation’s first medical alert service. Throughout the certification process, Peninsula Regional Medical Center demonstrated its knowledge of GoSafe and expertise in how the technology can help active, independent seniors live life to the fullest.

Featuring the power of up to six location technologies, GoSafe gives seniors the assurance to get up and go while being protected by Philips Lifeline’s 24/7, U.S.-based emergency call response center. GoSafe is the only mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS) to use this “hybrid” locating approach, which allows response center associates to locate seniors in need of assistance in areas where GPS may not be available. Additionally, GoSafe’s built-in AutoAlert fall detection technology can automatically call for help if it detects a fall, providing protection even if the senior is unable to call on their own.

GoSafe enables help to arrive when and where it is needed. The system uses an in-home communicator to optimize in-home performance, and the pendant can be charged while worn, providing continuous protection for the wearer.

“We’re proud to offer a service that empowers seniors to age safely and independently while providing their families with peace of mind,” said Bevereley Stoakley, Lifeline Manager for Peninsula Regional Medical Center. “By offering GoSafe, we can give seniors the confidence to stay active and on-the-go while keeping them connected to help if they need it. Peninsula Regional Medical Center considers senior health and wellbeing to be our first priority and we’re delighted that Philips Lifeline shares that mission.”

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DAISY Award Honors Two PRMC Nurses

Susan Drummond, RN, left, and Joy Knauer, RN, are the recipients of the November/December Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Susan Drummond, RN, left, and Joy Knauer, RN, are the recipients of the November/December Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Teamwork can be an important part of good nursing care – especially when the patient can feel like part of the team. A patient at Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Medical Infusion department nominated her two infusion nurses, Susan Drummond, RN, and Joy Knauer, RN, for the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses for getting to know her and for making her frequent visits special.

“Susan and Joy are the two faces I see each month as I go for my infusions,” the nominator wrote. “Although I dread my procedures and wish I could be anywhere else, I always know I will be treated with extra kindness and made to feel very special. Last summer, my infusion day just happened to fall on my birthday,” their nominator wrote. “When I arrived and pulled back the curtain to my cubicle, it was decorated with Happy Birthday banners and there was even a cupcake with a candle in it!” She said the nurses always bring her favorite cookies – Lorna Doone shortbreads – to snack on while she undergoes her infusion; they have gotten to know her as a person and treat her as more than just another patient – although, she noted, they show the same exceptional kindness to all of their patients. “These two ladies epitomize what it means to be a nurse, but they have learned more than what books teach. They have learned the art of caring and compassion for their patients.”

Drummond and Knauer were honored with the Daisy Award in a ceremony before their colleagues, as well as their nominating patient and family. They received a certificate commending them for being extraordinary nurses. The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” They were also given fresh daisies, and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. To nominate an exceptional nurse, visit and share a story.

“We are proud to be among the hospitals participating in the Daisy Award program. Nurses are heroes every day,” said PRMC Chief Nursing Officer Mary Beth D’Amico. “It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued.”

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little-known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation Bonnie Barnes said, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced firsthand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do. The kind of work the nurses at PRMC are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

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‘To Give Hope to Others’: Delmarva Man With ALS Plans 10-Mile Walk on November 22

Tim Hill’s walk from Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach on November 22 is a 10-mile journey, and it will show how far he has already come. Hill has ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and affects the body’s ability to control muscles. For many with ALS, a short walk is impossible.

“That’s why I am doing this walk – to offer hope,” Hill said. “When you’re told that there is no hope, you don’t try. I want to show people that trying matters.”

Hill first noticed the onset of symptoms – unsteadiness, shaking, severe leg pain – about three years ago. He received his diagnosis in the spring of 2014 at a major Baltimore-area hospital, and was taken aback by what the doctor told him. “He said, ‘Get your affairs in order,’ and that was it. I asked about physical therapy, things I could do to help, and he told me that even if it did help a little, my insurance probably wouldn’t cover it.”

Hill wasn’t content with that answer. He found Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s ALS clinic, which brings together a team of healthcare experts from all disciplines related to ALS: neurologists, pulmonologists, gasteroenterologists, physiatrists, dietitians, physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers, chaplains and more. “They saved my life,” Hill said.

Working determinedly on his physical therapy, Hill went from being able to walk only a few blocks to reaching five miles. “I walk two miles every night, I do hours of physical therapy daily, I take my medications – I do everything the professionals tell me to do, because I have to say ahead of it,” he said.

Hill has normal strength and hasn’t missed a day of work at Wilgus Associates in Bethany Beach, where he is senior property manager and vice president. “There’s never a moment that I don’t know I have ALS,” he said. “I can feel it within my body, moving my muscles constantly. But I work at it, and it is paying off.”

Hill also credits a strong faith and a network of thousands of people who are praying for him. “My condition is as close to a miracle as you can get,” he said. It’s also part of what motivates him to always give back. “My family is always asking what we can do for others,” he said.

Hill was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding recently, and now he has set his sights on a longer walk – from Dewey Beach to his office in Bethany, a 10-mile walk he plans to do solo. “I want to give hope to people with ALS,” he said. “You may not necessarily live a longer life, but you can lead a happier, more fruitful life if you try.”

Hill’s walk will also raise funds to help patients at the ALS Clinic. “There’s no administrative cost whatsoever – anything I raise will go directly to help patients here on Delmarva.” For example, people with ALS often need items such as weighted forks and spoons, elastic shoelaces and canes to help them overcome the tremors that the disease causes. Hill will donate the items to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation for distribution to ALS patients.

Hill will walk on Saturday, November 22; a celebration is planned at the Wilgus Associates office at the corner of Highway 1 and Jefferson Bridge Road from 11 .m. to 3 p.m. for friends and supporters to cheer him on past the finish line, which he is hoping to cross around 2 p.m. The event, the “Ten-Mile Miracle for ALS,” will feature food, music and chances to donate to others with ALS. For more information about the event, call 302-339-1298 or email Visit for news and updates about the event.

To donate to Hill’s effort, checks may be made payable to Ten Mile Miracle and dropped off at the Wilgus office, or mailed to PO Box 1262, Bethany Beach, DE 19930.

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Peninsula Regional Medical Center Celebrates Community Clergy With Prayer Breakfast

jhoppaPeninsula Regional Medical Center’s Pastoral Care Department is hosting a Prayer Breakfast on Monday, December 1, at 7:30 a.m. in the Hallowell Conference Center at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. All community clergy members are invited to attend. Call 410-543-7157 to register – limited seating is available.

The breakfast will feature speaker Jimmy Hoppa. In addition to being the host of the WBOC morning newscast and the DelmarvaLife show, Hoppa is a lay minister with the Park Lane Church of God in Federalsburg, and leader of its Celebrate Recovery ministry. He and his wife, Carol, helped begin Children’s Church at Berlin Ocean City Lighthouse Church of God and the Atlanta Road Alliance Church in Seaford, and began Kids Church Konnection at the Park Church of God. Hoppa is also a chaplain for the Laurel Fire Department, a volunteer hospital chaplain and a chaplain for FEMA and the state of Maryland in case of natural disaster or emergency.

Pastoral Care is available at PRMC 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with chaplains who are on site regularly from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and who are always on call after hours as well. Department staff chaplains have had extensive training (at least 1,600 hours) in ministering to the spiritual concerns of patients, families and staff.  They have completed at clinical pastoral education and most have Master of Divinity degrees. The seven departmental chaplains and nine volunteer chaplains of Pastoral Care visit newly admitted patients, palliative care patients and anyone who requests their presence. They also assist patients in completion of Advance Directives.

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Healthy & Hearty Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

Live-Well-BBQPeninsula Regional Medical Center staff members don’t just provide healthcare to the community – we look after our own health, too. As part of our Live Well movement, we have a support group for employees who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. One member submitted this recipe to share with the group, and we’re passing it on to you as a delicious and healthy option for a chilly November night. It’s packed with seasonal nutrition and might make a great vegetarian option to offer at your Thanksgiving table.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes


1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon Kosher
salt and black pepper
1 28-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 15.5-oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 15.5-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

Optional toppings: sliced scallions, sliced radishes, low fat sour cream, tortilla strips


In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato and 1 cup of water.
Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.
Serve the chili with a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream, scallions, radishes and tortilla strips.


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