Peninsula Regional ALS Patient’s Wife Bestows a Big Gift to Another Patient

Mary Cannon and Gene Donofrio in front of the donated van.

Mary Cannon and Gene Donofrio in front of the donated van.

A great act of kindness was recently performed for patients in Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s ALS clinic. Mary Cannon, the wife of deceased ALS patient Willy Cannon, donated their handicapped-accessible van to Gene Donofrio, a current ALS patient at the clinic. Mary remembers what a blessing the van was for them so that Willy could continue to attend activities that the rest of the family attended and go places that everyone else went. Prior to Willy’s death, Mary and Willy agreed to donate their van to an ALS patient who was unable to purchase one. Mary followed through on her husband’s wishes.

And there’s more. When Gene no longer needs the van, it will stay in the ALS Community and go to another patient at the PRMC ALS clinic who would not be able to purchase one. Each recipient has the responsibility of maintaining, insuring and tagging the van – a small price to pay for the ability to get where you need and want to go. It was an amazing gift to a deserving recipient. We can’t thank Mary enough for her very generous donation.

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Free Coastal Cardiovascular Checks in Sussex County on Aug. 11

The Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute at Peninsula Regional Medical Center will be sponsoring its free Coastal Cardiovascular Checks on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  The heart and vascular health screenings will be performed by Peninsula Regional medical professionals inside the Wagner Wellness Van, which will be parked at the Hocker’s store in Clarksville, Delaware. Screening sessions are open to men and women over the age of 18 and are available on a first come basis.

The screening will include blood pressure, pulse ox, grip strength, body mass index and body fat measurements. No pre-registration is required.  For more information on the free Coastal Cardiovascular Check, please call the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute’s Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology Department at 410-543-7026.

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Prepared Childbirth & Parenting Classes at PRMC

Peninsula Regional Medical Center is offering a four-session Prepared Childbirth course from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The class will meet on August 4, 18, 24 and 25.

Meet other expectant parents at this interactive course that includes information about prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care and infant safety. You will tour the medical center and learn what to expect during labor and birth, different breathing techniques, relaxation skills and other helpful comfort measures to use whether you are planning a medicated or non-medicated birth. Classes will take place in the Hallowell Conference Center at PRMC. Classes should be taken during the sixth to eighth month of pregnancy. The fee is $75 for the mom to be and her coach. Pre-registration is required. Participants are asked to bring a blanket and two pillows to each class.

In addition, Peninsula Regional Medical Center will offer a breastfeeding class from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11 in the Hallowell Conference Center at PRMC. Join Peninsula Regional educators to learn the basics of breastfeeding, proper positioning of baby, how to avoid common problems and how to pump and store milk. This class will prepare parents for a great breastfeeding experience. Mothers are encouraged to bring support members with them, as studies show that breastfeeding is more successful when mom has loving, knowledgeable support. Videos will also be shown to help demonstrate the proper techniques for successful nursing. The fee is $30 for mom to be and her coach. Pre-registration is required.

For more information about any of these classes, call 410-543-7512, email or visit for online registration.

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Spaces Left for Friday’s Safe Sitter Class!

There are a few spots left in the Safe Sitter class planned for Friday, July 24. This is the second-to-last class of the summer, so sign up now! If you have a child, grandchild or babysitter who could benefit from an engaging day of training, sign them up. Safe Sitter is a medically accurate course that teaches young men and women ages 11-14 how to handle emergencies when caring for young children.

Safe Sitters learn:

  • Basic life-saving techniques
  • Safety precautions to prevent accidents
  • How and when to summon help
  • Tips on basic child care

Safe Sitter Summer Classes are still available:

  • July 24, 2015 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • August 7, 2015 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A fee of $50 covers the day’s program and supplies. For more information about registering your son, daughter, or babysitter, call 410-543-7781. Register now as class size is limited.

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‘Ten Mile Miracle Foundation’ Donates $5,000

Cindy Hill presents a $5,000 donation from the Ten Mile Miracle to  to Warner Crumb, Executive Director of Orthopedics and Neurosciences, for ALS patients at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Cindy Hill presents a $5,000 donation from the Ten Mile Miracle to to Warner Crumb, Executive Director of Orthopedics and Neurosciences, for ALS patients at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

You may remember last November, Tim Hill (diagnosed in May 2014 with ALS) decided that a 10-mile walk from Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach would be a great way to educate the public about ALS and raise money to benefit the patients and families at PRMC ALS Clinic. He walked the entire 10 miles – by himself – and in the process, donations of equipment and money poured in.

Since then, his “10 Mile Miracle Foundation” has helped multiple patients pay for services that they otherwise could not afford, get equipment that they would have to pay out of pocket for and has, along with his wife, Cindy, became Ambassadors for ALS. Sharon Jernigan of the ALS clinic says, “We can never thank them enough for what they do. They are an inspiration to us all.”

100 percent of all donations will go directly to patients served by the Peninsula Regional Medical Center ALS Clinic.

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Peninsula Regional Nurse Hannah Armstrong Earns Daisy Award

Hannah Armstrong, RN, of Peninsula Regional's 2 West unit, has earned the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Hannah Armstrong, RN, of Peninsula Regional’s 2 West unit, has earned the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

A positive attitude is a good way to promote healing, but it can be hard for people in the hospital to be positive when they’re in pain, fearful and away from the comforts of home. That’s why a nurse who can bring cheer and positivity to a patient is the best kind. Hannah Armstrong, RN, a nurse at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, has earned the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses because of the optimism and brightness she brings to her patients.

Armstrong was nominated by a nursing supervisor who had been contacted by one of Armstrong’s patients. The patient said that Hannah “was an angel sent from above in the lowest point of his life.” The patient said he had worked in hospitals for most of his career, and had never seen a nurse more compassionate, patient, and kind who could turn around the emotional wellbeing of a patient the way Hannah had.

Armstrong was honored with the Daisy Award in a ceremony before her colleagues, and received a certificate commending her for being an extraordinary nurse. 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.” She was 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.

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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Maryland Hospitals Save $100 Million for Medicare

If you’re a Maryland resident, you might not even realize that you’re part of a national experiment on healthcare cost cutting. Maryland is unique among the 50 states because since the 1970s, it has had a waiver from the federally set Medicare rates. Instead, Maryland sets its own Medicare rates as well as rates charged to private insurers. Elsewhere, Medicare typically reimburses hospitals at a low rate, and hospitals make up for it by charging other patients more.

A recent Baltimore Sun article says that while Medicare may pay more in Maryland, state officials have been able to keep the rate of hospital cost increases lower than in other states while still providing great quality. In fact, over the past year, under a new experimental payment method, Maryland hospitals generated $100 million in savings to the Medicare system.

The new system implemented last year is part of a five-year agreement with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that focuses on reducing expensive hospital stays and handling more patient care at the doctor’s office. In just the first year, Maryland has shown great results. That’s part of the reason that you’ll see Peninsula Regional reaching out into the community, forming partnerships with more providers and looking to serve our patients in more convenient locations outside of the Medical Center. To read more, check out the article in the Sun.

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