Monday, May 20, 2019

National Hospital Week: Time to Thank Those Who Care for Others

Last week was National Hospital Week, and it was a great time to celebrate our hospital and acknowledge those that serve our community. Hospital Week, which dates to the early 1920s, according to the American Hospital Association, “celebrates hope and healing, and the hospitals, health systems, and the women and men who support the health and well-being of their communities through dedication and care from the heart.”

We use continuous improvement and Lean principles in our healthcare system, and we focus on key processes to improve clinical outcomes and the patient care experience, while driving out waste and creating more joy for those providing the care.

Lean Daily Management (LDM) has been a huge success for us, and through our daily rounding, we’ve also narrowed the gap between the “front office” and the “front line.” I have had the opportunity to get to know many of our front-line team members throughout the system who are studying problems and testing changes, allowing us to have open conversations with one another about how we can continue to move toward our vision. I am constantly reminded that we need everyone on the team in order to achieve our vision, from parking lot attendants, grounds crew, patient access reps, and billing staff, to transporters, environmental services workers, food service workers, security personnel, social workers, care managers, physicians, nurses, clinicians, volunteers, and all other non-clinical and administrative employees. Each member of the GBMC family is a very important part of our work.

Last week, we celebrated Hospital Week with an ice cream social day and other observances, and I want to sincerely thank all the members of our staff, our Board of Directors, volunteers, and everyone else who has helped us improve our designs and make our system of care more reliable to move us closer to our vision: to every patient, every time, we will provide the care that we would want for our own loved ones.

Second ”A” In a Row!!!

Last Wednesday, it was announced that GBMC received its second consecutive ”A” grade from The Leapfrog Group.
 
The Leapfrog Group is a national hospital safety organization that grades hospitals twice a year on how well they protect patients from errors, injuries, and infections. The grades range from A through F based on safety measures in place and the hospital’s actual performance in preventing harm. The goal is to give the community a tool to use in selecting a hospital.

The Leapfrog Group rates over 2,600 general acute care hospitals across the country, including 40 in Maryland. Earning an “A” is not an easy achievement –  we are one of only 10 hospitals in the state to receive this high mark.

This recognition validates our strong commitment to the vision of providing our patients with the care that we would want for our own loved ones. While we are proud of this consecutive honor, we will not stop our improvement work until we achieve zero harm. I want to thank our entire team for all that it has done to move us to this point. I also want to thank Laura Hines, RN, SCNR, Director of Clinical Quality Outcomes, and Carolyn Candiello, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety, for their tremendous work in culling the data for the survey. Great work, everyone!

Oh! What A Night!
I had the privilege of attending our recent annual Art of Nursing celebration on May 9. This was a special evening for our nursing staff. It was a great opportunity to thank our nurses for all they do for GBMC and its patients every day, and to have some fun!

Caring for sick patients who have many needs requires physical and mental stamina. Our nurses are smart, well-trained, and resilient. Their work is not predictable. I am so grateful for their ability to adapt to the variability in demand for their services from day to day and sometimes, from minute to minute.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the very successful Art of Nursing celebration, especially our Marketing and Communications team and our Philanthropy team.

Thank you!
The Kahlert Foundation recently agreed to endow The William E. Kahlert Research and Discovery Fund to support oncology clinical research with a $1 million pledge.
 
This fund was created by the late Bill Kahlert, for whom the William E. Kahlert Physicians Pavilion North was named in 2018.

Bill developed a strong relationship with Dr. Ronald Tutrone and Dr. Paul Celano during his battle with cancer.  To demonstrate his gratitude to Dr. Celano and the oncology team, he established a fund to promote multidisciplinary medical research. The fund has helped GBMC increase enrollment in oncology clinical trials by 25% and endowed a Urologic Research Fund to support research efforts under the direction of Dr. Tutrone, which was the first endowment of its kind at GBMC.

Although Bill and Yvonne have passed away, their son Greg, his wife, Roberta, and their children, Heather and Scott, have continued their family’s support of GBMC and giving in honor of the great care they have received at GBMC. 

I want to thank them for their recent endowment and I am extremely grateful for the ongoing support from The Kahlert Foundation. Thank you, Greg, Roberta, Scott, and Heather, for continuing your family’s support of our work in the community.

Friday, May 10, 2019

GBMC Nurses Recognized for Their Excellence

This week is National Nurses Week, a time to reflect on the many talented nurses throughout the GBMC HealthCare System. Through their expertise and dedication, they drive us closer to our vision every day.

Nursing requires selflessness and commitment. The more than 1,400 nurses in our hospital, in Gilchrist, and in GBMC HealthPartners give of themselves to make the experience better for those they serve.

We have been able to retain our experienced nurses and recruit new nurses due to the vision of JoAnn Ioannou DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, our Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. JoAnn, who recently appeared on our Facebook Live program, To Your Health, does an excellent job in assuring that our nurses are recognized for their value to our system. JoAnn has overseen the creation of a professional development model for nurses that helps them choose their career direction and grow and develop their skills. Please take some time to watch the interview below.



Nursing has always been a marvelous profession and it is exciting to see so many young people choosing nursing as a career. I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all of our dedicated nurses for bringing health, healing, and hope each day to our patients and to our community. Thank you!

Congratulations are in order
In case you haven’t heard, SEVEN GBMC nurses were recently recognized in Baltimore magazine's 2019 “Excellence in Nursing” issue!
Nominations were submitted from across the region and 50 winners in 21 specialties were selected by a panel of nurse advisors. This is truly great recognition for GBMC HealthCare and our exceptional nursing staff. Please join me in congratulating the following nurses:

Mark Fisher, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN – Emergency Department
Kristine Baker, RN – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Kenneth Griffith, CRNA – Anesthesia
JoAnn Parr, MS-HCM, BSN, RN – Care Management and Continuing Care Services
Elaine Dougherty, RN, WCC – Wound Center
Kristin Trawinski, MSN, RN – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Jennifer Spahn, MSN, RN, NEA-BC – Nursing Education

The fifth annual “Top Nurses” issue is already on newsstands. Get it to learn more.

Also, it's that time again when Baltimore magazine is collecting votes from area physicians for its “Top Doctors” issue. Docs, please vote for the colleagues you most respect! The survey may be found here.

Thank You, Readers, of The Sun
Our healthcare system was recently recognized by readers of The Sun as Best in Audiology Services and Best Hospital. I want to THANK all who voted for recognizing the hard work and dedication of our clinicians, other staff, and volunteers, as well as for your confidence in our ability to treat every patient, every time, the way that we would want our own loved ones treated.

GBMC Health Partners LDM Celebration
Earlier this week, I attended the GBMC Health Partners Lean Daily Management (LDM) celebration, which showcased more than a dozen poster presentations from 14 multispecialty practices. Each practice highlighted an improvement that they achieved using LDM problem solving to generate improvements in one or more of our four aims. The clinical teams used the Model for Improvement with Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles. Additionally, the Neurosurgery and Perinatal Associate practices gave a presentation that focused on the teamwork in their departments with both metric selection and the creation of sustainable standard work. I want to congratulate Dr. Harold Tucker, our Chief Medical Officer and President of GBMC Health Partners, Evelyn Bowmaster, BSN, RN, CPHQ, CBN, Director, Quality and Patient Safety for Physician Practices at GBMC, Carolyn L. Candiello, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety, and all the event volunteers for putting together such a wonderful celebration!

Golfing for A Cause
The annual GBMC Golf Classic was held this past
Monday at Turf Valley Country Club. The sun made an appearance and the weather was just right as more than 180 golfers “hit the links” to help raise funds for continuing education in the GBMC HealthCare system.

Countless hours were spent by the entire golf tournament committee preparing for this great event that grossed more than $192,000. I’m very grateful to everyone who helped us raise the money and to those who came out to play. Kudos to the entire golf committee, co-chaired by Laurie R. Beyer, MBA, CPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and David Brierly, Client Executive for Sodexo, as well as Jenny Coldiron, the GBMC Foundation staff, and all who volunteered at the event.

Friday, May 3, 2019

A Word of Caution in Overriding at the Electronic Drug Dispensing Cabinet

In December 2017, a nurse in a prestigious academic medical center used the “override” function in an electronic medication dispensing cabinet to get a medication to sedate a patient who was anxious about going into an MRI scanner. The nurse had been sent to the radiology suite to quickly administer a medication to calm the patient and get the study done. The nurse used “override” because the nurse did not find the medication on the patient’s profile. The nurse typed “Ve” into the search function and removed vecuronium, a paralyzing agent, from the cabinet and gave it to the patient. It was only later when the patient’s condition deteriorated in the scanner and the patient subsequently died that it was learned that vecuronium had been administered when the nurse had intended to give Versed, the trade name for midazolam, a sedative.

This is obviously a very sad case, but it was made even worse in January of this year when the nurse was indicted for murder. Following the notion of the Just Culture, punishing the nurse for this error would only be justified if his/her action was intentional or if there had been a reckless disregard for the standard procedures that other nurses in the same situation would have followed. Assuming there was no malicious intent, imagine how the nurse feels. He or she is clearly a second victim.

I don’t know all of the facts of the case, but none of the news reports suggest the nurse was trying to harm the patient. They all suggest that the nurse did not realize she had taken the wrong drug. I don’t know if another nurse in that particular hospital would have used the override in that situation, but I am concerned that in many hospitals, it would have been. Why do I believe this? Because all too often, we are concerned about speed and efficiency and we give our people the message that they need to move quickly to get the job done. We do not spend enough time coaching staff about our safety systems and making it clear with both our words and actions that safety is more important than speed. 

In the typical hospital case, there are 4 steps in the process to administer a medication to a patient (by the way, neither in my medical school education, nor during my pediatrics residency did anyone fully explain this sequence to me and the importance of all the steps). First, the licensed physician or advanced practitioner orders the medication. Next, the pharmacist checks the patient’s record for allergies and incompatibilities, as well as the dose and route of administration. He or she then verifies the order. Next, the pharmacy dispenses the medication. The drug dispensing cabinetry saves time because the drug does not need to be transported from a central location. The act of verifying the order in the computer tells the machine what to dispense. The nurse then does a final check that the patient, drug, dose, route, and time are correct and administers the drug to the patient. The drug dispensing cabinet has an override function because the manufacturer wants to allow the medication to be removed and administered quickly, if necessary, before ordering and verifying have been done.

In a true clinical emergency, time is of the essence. Think of a patient coming into the ED in full cardiac arrest. In this case, the provider running the code is giving verbal orders and other team members are getting the drugs (generally from a code cart) and administering them without the verification step. But what do you think about the case of the anxious patient? Is this truly an emergency? It is easy to see retrospectively that if the nurse had not used the override or if it was not even an option, and instead the nurse had waited for an order for Versed and its verification, this tragedy would not have happened.

At GBMC, we have some emergency medications in some drug dispensing cabinets, and therefore, we do not want to eliminate the ability to override. However, we do want to eliminate non-emergency overrides.

Our pharmacy leaders study the use of the override function at GBMC. Vaishali Khushalani, PharmD, GBMC’s Medication Safety Officer, has shared with me the insight gained by our daily medication override reviews. Most overrides that are occurring before a provider has entered the order are not for emergency medications; rather they are for acetaminophen (Tylenol), amoxicillin, and ibuprofen (Advil). In addition, there are many overrides within a minute or two of the order being entered. This does not give the pharmacist enough time to review and verify the order. The provider can order a medication “STAT” and the administering nurse can ask for a drug as “high priority.” In the month of April, there were 3,609 STAT/high priority orders and the average time to verify high priority/STAT medications was 6 minutes. There were 78,415 total medication orders in April and the average time to verify all medications was 12 minutes. While I am sure the mean performance includes some outliers, I believe that these are reasonable times to wait for the extra protection of the pharmacist verification step.

Vaishali and her colleagues are working closely with our nursing leaders to learn more about the reasons for the use of the override. They want to assure there are no significant delays in the verification of ordered medications so that we can eliminate non-emergency overrides. This ensures that patient needs are met without compromising patient and staff safety.

Our physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, and pharmacists work extremely hard to get our patients what they need. We must all work together to make our system even safer than it is today. What do you think?

Way to go, Gilchrist!

Gilchrist was recently awarded the 2019 Health Care Hero Award for “Advancements and Innovation in Health Care” by The Daily Record. This award honors organizations and individuals who have played a major role in improving the quality of healthcare in Maryland. Recognized for “its professional achievements, community involvement, and inspiring change,” Gilchrist was applauded for its innovative patient care programs, which focus on meeting the needs of the seriously ill in our community. This includes home-based elder medical care for those who have difficulty physically making it to the doctor’s office.

Congratulations to all our Gilchrist colleagues for their hard work and for getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve!

Above and Beyond…

I want to extend my appreciation and gratitude to James Wilkins, a GBMC security officer, who was instrumental in helping a patient of ours reunite with his family.

Officer Wilkins was at home when he recognized a photograph from an Endangered Missing Person alert as a GBMC patient. The patient, who suffers from dementia and other medical conditions, was unfortunately separated from his family.

When James saw the alert on Facebook, he immediately notified the Aberdeen Police Department. The police positively identified the missing man, who was eventually reunited with his grateful family.

I want to THANK Officer Wilkins for his quick thinking to ensure this patient's safety and for doing his part, outside of his place of employment, to reunite this man with his family.

GBMC Employees Helping Our Community…

It’s no secret that we have some amazing GBMC employees who freely volunteer their time and do wonderful work in the community.

I was recently made aware by David Vitberg, MD, Division Chief of Medical and Surgical Critical Care Medicine, that GBMC NICU Nurse Manager, Kristin Trawinski, and Labor & Delivery Nurse Manager, Rachel Farbman, graciously volunteered their time for a very important training session with Baltimore County Fire Department's (BCFD) EMS providers. The event was attended by both career and volunteer EMS personnel.

Two BCFD paramedics presented during the training session a case of a complicated neonatal delivery. Although neonatal resuscitation is a rare call in the EMS world, EMS providers must be prepared for these low frequency, profoundly high-acuity emergency calls as the first link in the emergency medical system.

After the presentation of the case, a roundtable conversation took place between the two EMS presenters, Kristin, Rachel, and the audience. The lecture was also live-streamed to providers around the county.

The training, according to Dr. Vitberg, who is also Deputy Medical Director for Baltimore County Fire Department, was incredibly well-received by all in attendance, and as Kristin’s and Rachel’s colleague, he was extremely grateful they joined him at this event.

Thank you, Kristin and Rachel, for being stellar representatives of our Maternal Child Health Services and of GBMC!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Orthopaedic Care that You Would Want for Your Loved Ones

GBMC recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.

We are only the third hospital in Maryland to earn this distinction. The advanced certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality of their care.

We underwent a rigorous onsite review in late January 2019, when Joint Commission experts evaluated compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements, including orthopaedic consultation, and pre-operative, intraoperative, and post-surgical orthopaedic surgeon follow-up care.

Valid for 24 months, this advanced certification is evidence of the high standards of GBMC and our commitment to continually improve. Led by Leroy Schmidt, MD, our fabulous team of orthopaedists, advanced practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, primary care providers, and other clinicians has generated outstanding outcomes with an excellent care experience.

In the past, joint replacement surgery meant a possible hospital stay of 1 to 2 weeks with significant post-operative pain, a significant risk of infection, and a lengthy recovery. Advances in joint replacement surgery have substantially reduced post-operative pain and complication rates, enabling us to discharge most patients after an overnight stay. I am happy to report that the risk of infection has been significantly reduced. In the past six months (September 2018-February 2019), we had 117 hip surgeries with 0 infections and 222 knee surgeries with 0 infections.

Our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program (ERAS) allows for outpatient joint replacement surgery in selected cases. And, now we’ve started the Episode of Care Improvement Program (ECIP) to further improve the care experience and reduce waste. This innovative approach allows us to better prepare the patient for surgery and to eliminate the need for inpatient rehabilitation. Members of the care team educate joint replacement candidates about medical conditions that can negatively affect the outcome of their surgery and how to better manage these pre-existing conditions. In addition, the patient's functional mobility and support system is assessed to assure that they can receive their physical therapy in their dwelling rather than in a skilled nursing facility.

In addition to Dr. Schmidt, I want to thank all the members of our Joint & Spine Program for helping us attain this major achievement, especially April Asuncion Higgins, RN, BSN, CMSRN, Joint & Spine Program Coordinator, and Joy Reynolds, RN, Nurse Manager U58, and Joint & Spine Program.

It’s Medical Laboratory Professionals Week!
This week is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. Medical laboratory professionals play a vital role in the diagnosis of disease and are key members of our healthcare team. These colleagues work out of the limelight and don’t often get the credit they deserve. I am so proud of our lab team, which has always demonstrated excellence. We are truly blessed to have an outstanding team of pathologists, technicians, phlebotomists, and staff.

Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard!
Please complete the employee engagement survey! This is a tool to make GBMC an even better system in which to work. The April 29 deadline is quickly approaching.

The survey is administered by Press Ganey, which compiles the data for us. So far, 63% of our colleagues have responded. The survey is anonymous and confidential. If you choose to include additional comments, these will be shared with your manager, but your name will not be given.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Angela Wilson, at anwilson@gbmc.org

Remember, we need your opinion! And thank you to those of you who have already taken the survey!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Beautiful Voices at GBMC!

This past Tuesday was World Voice Day, a day which serves as a reminder of the value and significance of vocal health in everyday life and encourages the public to act to improve or maintain good voice habits.

Last Friday, I enjoyed the second annual World Voice Day vocal showcase with special guest
performances by members of Technicolor Motor Home, a Steely Dan tribute band, in the Civiletti Conference Center!

This employee-only event, allows members of the GBMC family to display their singing talents. The concert showcased 15 incredibly talented performers, who sang songs from multiple genres. I was really impressed with the great vocal talents from across the GBMC system.

I want to congratulate Dan Sherwood, MS/CCC-SP, HSE, our clinical vocologist at the Johns Hopkins Voice Center here at GBMC and his colleagues for their hard work in putting this great event together. I’m looking forward to next year!


GBMC Is Again Represented in the Daily Record’s Top 100 Women
I am proud to announce that three members of the GBMC family were honored by The Daily Record as Top 100 Women.

Heidi Kenny-Berman, Esq., HealthCare Board of Directors member and Philanthropy Committee Chair, Elizabeth Dovec, MD, FACS, FASMBS, bariatric surgeon and Medical Director for the GBMC Comprehensive Obesity Management Program, and JoAnn Z. Ioannou, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for GBMC Healthcare, were all honored for “outstanding achievement in professional life, community leadership, and mentoring.”

Congrats to all three of these GREAT  leaders!




Happy Holidays
On a final note, the GBMC HealthCare family sends its best wishes to everyone celebrating the start of Passover and Easter.

Friday, April 12, 2019

We are Grateful for Our Volunteers – National Volunteer Appreciation Week 2019

This week we are celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we are so grateful for all that our volunteers do to help us meet our mission of health, healing, and hope.

With more than 1,100 volunteers serving the hospital and Gilchrist, we have one of the largest volunteer auxiliaries in Maryland. Every day, our volunteers share their talents and spread kindness throughout our hospital. They are all accomplished members of our community and we couldn’t achieve our vision of providing to every patient, every time the care that we would want for our own loved ones without them. 

Over the last 50-plus years, our volunteers have donated approximately four MILLION hours of service and raised more than 25 million dollars to support patient care at GBMC!

So please, when you meet a GBMC or Gilchrist volunteer this week please take the time to say, “thank you” for all they do.

Donate Life Month

April is Donate Life Month, which brings awareness to the need for organ and tissue donors and honors those who have already donated. Earlier this month, I was privileged to be part of a very special ceremony at GBMC. We and The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland held a flag raising ceremony to honor the memory of donors as we celebrated their gifts of life to others.

Today is the National Donate Life Month Blue and Green Day. The goal is to bring awareness to the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through their donations. I hope that you all wore blue and green!

Every ten minutes, a person in the United States is added to the national organ donation waiting list, which has approximately 114,000 people on it. One person’s donation can make a huge difference for the people on this list. A single tissue donor has the potential to improve the lives of 50 people and one organ donor can save up to eight lives!

Please remember that you have the power to save lives. April is the perfect time to register as a donor if you haven’t already. Those wishing to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor can do so at the MVA or at www.donatelifemaryland.org.

Helping our SAFE & DV program…
I want to thank everyone who participated in our fourth annual “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” event. We had close to 500 participants and we raised more than $90,000 for our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence (DV) program! Last Saturday, under beautiful sunny skies, participants walked a mile around GBMC’s campus to shed light on and show support for an extremely important issue for women and men of all ages. Click on the image (left) to watch a video summary of our event.

Registered nurses in GBMC’s SAFE program are specifically trained and certified by the Maryland Board of Nursing to provide care for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence of all ages in a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere. At no cost to the patient, these nurses focus on empowering survivors to begin the healing process, in addition to working toward ending sexual assault and intimate partner violence in the community.

This year, our team decided to change the name of the event to “Walk A Mile in Their Shoes” to reflect that our healthcare system, and our SAFE and DV program, treats patients of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. When MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s pediatric program closed last year, GBMC immediately decided to create a child abuse team to fill the gap in services for children. It was the right thing to do. We couldn’t walk away from the need to care for and protect the most vulnerable segment of our population…children.

Prevention is key to putting an end to sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Our SAFE team has worked hard to expand across our healthcare system and into the community, and our primary care and emergency department teams have been trained on the signs of abuse and the steps to take when they see red flags.

The success of this year’s event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, donors, and walkers. I was really impressed to see many of the football players from Stevenson University came out to support our program.

We understand the necessity of our Walk a Mile event and I am proud that GBMC continues to be a leader in helping the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and in educating the community to reduce these attacks. I want to thank Dr. Fred Chan and Bonnie Stein and our committee members, along with the GBMC Philanthropy Department, Marketing Department, our Volunteer Auxiliary, and all parties, who worked together to make this year’s event another success!

We want to hear from our employees…
Every year, we ask our people to complete our Employee Engagement Survey. This year, the theme is Let's Get Better Together, and our goal is to have 80% (or more!) participation.

We need to know what you think to make the GBMC HealthCare system an even better place to work. We know we have the best employees at GBMC, Gilchrist, and GBMC Health Partners and we can't wait to hear your feedback!

Earlier this week, you should have received the survey link in your employee email. The survey is open through Monday, April 29, and it will only take a few minutes to complete. I ask that all our employees complete the survey. Please respond honestly, as the survey is completely CONFIDENTIAL. If you include additional comments, these will be shared with your manager, but your name will not be given.

Thank you for helping us make GBMC an even better employer. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Angela Wilson, anwilson@gbmc.org

Thank you so much for taking the survey.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Walking with a Purpose

The numbers tell the story. One in three women and one in six men in the United States have experienced sexual violence in her or his lifetime. These are not just numbers, though. They are real people – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, spouses, friends – whose lives are forever impacted. For this reason, our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence (DV) Program is expanding to care for more survivors, including a growing number of children.

I am writing about this in the blog this week to ask that you consider participating tomorrow and register NOW for the Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event! Online registration closes at 2 p.m. TODAY, but in-person registration WILL BE AVAILABLE tomorrow prior to the start of our event.

Learn more about the program by clicking the image below and watching Valerie Weir, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, CMSRN, SAFE & DV Program Coordinator, discuss how to stop teen dating violence and sexual assault on BMORE Lifestyle.
Valier Weir Discusses Sexual Assault
Please click here to register before 2 p.m. today! I hope to see many of you walking with a purpose tomorrow!

Remembering Those Who Served
Last Saturday, Gilchrist held its second annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration honoring the brave men and women who served during the Vietnam War. Hundreds of Vietnam War Veterans attended the event, which provided a day of healing for them and their families. It also gave others in attendance the opportunity to thank those who served and give them the welcome home that they deserve.

Gilchrist is proud to honor and support those who have served in the United States Armed Forces and has honored thousands through their salute to service and pinning ceremonies. Over 10 percent of Gilchrist’s hospice patients are veterans. Gilchrist’s Welcome Home celebration honors the veterans in their care and in the community, recognizes the unique needs of these veterans, and thanks them for their sacrifice and service to our country.

In addition to Vietnam War Veterans, the Welcome Home Celebration had several extraordinary Iraq War veteran speakers who shared their messages of hope and healing. Captain George G. Forrest, a community hero who saved many of his soldiers’ lives when he served in Vietnam, was the emcee. Other speakers included: Cathy Y. Hamel, MA, President of Gilchrist, Lt. Diane Carlson Evans, USA-Army Nurse in Vietnam, Founder of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Project, and the first woman in U.S. history to spearhead a campaign to place a national monument in Washington, D.C.; Senator John Astle, USMC-Marine, Vietnam veteran and sponsor of state legislation, and Governor Larry Hogan who signed a bill in 2015 that established March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Maryland.

Congrats to Gilchrist for hosting this great event and thank you to all those in attendance for your service!

Let’s Go O’s!
Yesterday was opening day at Orioles Park at Camden Yards and I was graciously invited to the Oncology Services Opening Day Luncheon Celebration, which has become a wonderful annual event that brings joy to our oncology team and their patients. The food (hot dogs, mac and cheese, pretzels, salads, etc.) was delicious and I really enjoyed the singing of our National Anthem by Rocelle Feria, RN!