2014 Ethics Conference Covers ‘Healthcare Reform: Nanny State Or Responsible Stewardship?’

“Step away from the doughnut!  Put down the super-sized soda!” Governmental efforts to ban unhealthy foods can sound like law enforcement at work.  Critics invoke fears of a “nanny state” where government officials intrude excessively into our private lives, while the current obesity epidemic and a history of previous successful public health interventions are persuasive reasons for some people to support more governmental action.  Add into this mix the impact of the Affordable Care Act and you have the ingredients for this year’s Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s 8th annual Ethics Conference.

The conference, “Health Care Reform: Nanny State or Responsible Stewardship?” will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Hallowell Conference Center at Peninsula Regional Medical Center from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The cost to attend the conference is $50.00 for physicians, healthcare professions and the general public, $40.00 for PRMC and Salisbury University employees and $20.00 for full-time students and chaplains/clergy. A dinner will be provided. For information or to register, please call PRMC’s Debora Musser in the Pastoral Care office, 410-543-7157, or email her at debora.musser@peninsula.org. Or click here to register online.

The conference will be of interest to professionals, patients, and anyone interested in how the new health care law affects the balance between individual liberty and the public good. It poses the urgent questions: How can health care professionals be good stewards while respecting individual autonomy? How can health care professionals and policy makers of differing political positions work together?

The main speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, a nationally known author and bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Kahn is the Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy and the Deputy Director for Policy and Administration at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. His works explore the intersection of ethics and health/science policy, including public health. He has published three books and over 100 articles in the bioethics and medical literature. He speaks frequently across the U.S. and around the world on a range of bioethics topics. He previously wrote the bi-weekly column Ethics Matters on CNN.com.

The second speaker is Terence Kane, a policy analyst who works at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He led the development of the $242 million Early Innovator grant to States to support Exchange IT development. He previously worked as a senior policy analyst for Generations United, a national non-profit that advocates for seniors and children. He was also a weekly contributor for The Hill’s Pundits blog. He is a native of Salisbury.

Lori Brewster, , MS, APRN/BC, LCADC, Wicomico County Health Officer, will also be part of the conversation.


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Free Skin Cancer Screenings at Peninsula Regional Medical Center on May 5

Free skin cancer screenings will be held at the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute at Peninsula Regional Medical Center on Monday, May 5, 2014 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Participants should not already be under the care of a dermatologist. To schedule an appointment, call 410-543-7006.

The screenings are part of a national campaign to encourage early detection and teach prevention of skin cancer. More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. “The key to successful treatment of most types of skin cancer is early detection and treatment,” said Thomas M. DeMarco, MD, Medical Director of the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and those rates are higher on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Don't forget your sunscreen this summer! And to make sure you're safe from skin cancer, sign up for a free skin cancer screening at PRMC.

Don’t forget your sunscreen this summer! And to make sure you’re safe from skin cancer, sign up for a free skin cancer screening at PRMC.

Skin self-examinations consist of periodically looking over your body for any changes in color, shape or texture of a mole, the development of a new mole or any other unusual changes in the skin. Any of these signs should be reported to a dermatologist right away. A survey commissioned by the American Academy of Dermatology showed that fewer than one-third of Americans currently examine their skin for signs of melanoma and more than half don’t know the signs of melanoma. Dermatologists want to change this because when treated in its earliest stages, melanoma can be cured. If not treated early, the disease can quickly spread to other parts of the body and be fatal.

“We want everyone to consider Melanoma Monday this first day of a lifelong habit of examining their skin,” said dermatologist Luette Semmes, MD, of Peninsula Dermatology Associates, PA. “Melanoma Monday is like New Year’s Day for dermatologists. It’s a day we encourage everyone to start a new life-saving habit.”

The free screenings will be held on the second floor of the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute at PRMC. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-543-7006.

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Newborn Screening Saves Lives

The pulse oximetry test is simple and painless.

The pulse oximetry test is simple and painless.

The Washington Post has an in-depth and heartbreaking story about how a simple newborn screening test could save babies’ lives. It tells of lives lost that might have been saved, as well as babies who benefited from the screening, and how our pediatric health partners, Children’s National Medical Center, saw the results firsthand and worked on a project to make sure every baby gets the pulse oximetry test. It is a non-invasive and painless screening that can help detect critical congenital heart defects in newborns.

The good news is that Peninsula Regional Medical Center (along with all other hospitals in Maryland where babies are delivered) has been performing the test for every baby born in the medical center since September 1, 2012. If your family has a baby on the way, expect this painless screening test to be performed as a routine part of your newborn’s first 24-48 hours. Maryland was one of the very first states to mandate this test, and we hope others adopt it nationwide. We want to make sure every baby has the healthiest start possible in life. For some frequently asked questions about the test, click here.

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Daisy Award Honors Peninsula Regional Nurse Sara Szczurko, RN

Sara Szczurko, RN, has won the Daisy Award at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Sara Szczurko, RN, has won the Daisy Award at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Nurses at Peninsula Regional Medical Center are being honored with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national program to recognize the outstanding efforts of nurses in their daily work.

The award recipient for April is Sara Szczurko, RN, a Medical-Surgical nurse. The nomination, written by a patient, described how Szczurko’s expert care and personal compassion made all the difference.

“When I came up from the Emergency Department, I was so sick, and just defeated inside and out,” the nominator wrote. “I couldn’t help myself, so I depended on the nurses to help me. When Sara came into my room, her smile lit it up. She showed me so much compassion. Every time I pressed the call button, she’d show up with a smile on her face.” The nominator said Sara’s cheerful disposition and compassionate care made her feel at home.

Extraordinary compassion and clinical skill, like that demonstrated by Sara Szczurko, are what the DAISY Award is intended to honor. Every month, a nurse will be selected by Peninsula Regional’s nursing administration to receive the DAISY Award. At a presentation given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients and visitors, the honoree will receive a certificate commending her or him 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.” The honoree will also be given a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. To nominate a nurse, visit http://www.peninsula.org/DaisyAward.

“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 first-hand 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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Get Ready for HealthFest on April 5!

Peninsula Regional Medical Center has beenworking hard to bring you the best free screenings, health information and activities for HealthFest this Saturday, April 5, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at James M. Bennett High School on College Ave. in Salisbury.

We’re excited to see that the weather looks promising for the brave folks who want to try the free rock climbing wall, and for the kids who want to put their energy to good use during the kids’ fun walk and in the bouncy castle!

Our lineup of screenings is set – plan for an 8-hour fast if you want your blood glucose, cholesterol and kidney function blood tests performed. The James M. Bennett High Key Club will be selling food and drinks to raise money for the school, and our Food & Nutrition Department will be cooking up egg white omelettes as part of a healthy cooking demonstration, so if you have to fast for bloodwork, you can have your blood drawn, get a bite to eat and stick around for our many other screenings as well as exciting exhibits, demonstrations and informational tables. You can even test-drive the Da Vinci Surgical System robot to see how surgeons use it to perform small-incision surgeries.

For the full lineup of demonstrations and events, as well as a map, please click here!

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Peninsula Regional Medical Center Celebrates Certified Nurses Day

PRMC's certified nurses enjoyed refreshments and accolades at a social on National Certified Nurses Day, March 19.

PRMC’s certified nurses enjoyed refreshments and accolades at a social on National Certified Nurses Day, March 19.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center celebrated the unique contributions of nationally certified nurses and other professional staff on Certified Nurses Day, Tuesday, March 19, with an afternoon social in their honor.

“We are very proud to have more than 200 certified nurses and other professionals who we celebrate today,” said Marybeth D’Amico, Vice-President for Patient Care Services. “This shows their dedication to their profession, their patients and patients’ families, and the community. Certification is a validation that these individuals have demonstrated experience and skill in their individual complex specialty of practice. It also displays their persistence in the course of study that is required to achieve these certifications and the ongoing drive required to maintain.”

According to data collected by the American Board of Nursing Specialties in 2013, nurses in the U.S. and Canada held more than 683,684 certifications granted by 27 different certifying organizations and 122 different credentials designate these certifications.

Certified Nurses Day is an annual worldwide event dedicated to celebrating certification as a means to ensure high standards of patient care and to promote continuing excellence in the nursing profession. Initially proposed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the day honors the birthday of the late Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles, an international pioneer of nursing certification who designed the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing.

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PRMC Offers Women’s Heart Screenings in Cambridge on April 8

Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute will be offering free Women’s Heart Program screening assessments on the Wagner Wellness Van at the Wawa store at 601 Sunburst Hwy, Cambridge, Maryland, on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Appointments are required.

The Women’s Heart Program offers cholesterol and HDL test, ankle/brachial index, resting 12 lead EKG, coronary risk profile, body fat measurement, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure and pulse oximetry testing, a review of current medications, ankle brachial index, a risk factor analysis, exercise and nutrition suggestions and a follow-up care plan.

Women choosing to participate must not currently be under the care of a cardiologist or have a known history of heart disease. To learn more about the Women’s Heart Program, qualification requirements or to set up an appointment, please call 410-543-7026.

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