Monday, September 10, 2018

Kosher Pantry Grand Opening

Last Thursday, we held the dedication ceremony for our new Kosher pantry, located near the main entrance of the hospital. The pantry was built to meet the dietary needs of members of the observant Jewish Community.

The pantry was made possible through the hard work and commitment of our Chaplain, Rev. J. Joseph Hart, M.Div., BCC, and Rabbi Pinches Rabinowitz, with the help of Bikur Cholim of Baltimore, a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the observant Jewish Community in healthcare settings. Bikur Cholim will stock the room with kosher meals and snacks. There is no charge for the food and observant family members will have special access to the locked pantry.

Kosher Pantry Ribbon Cutting
The pantry has a refrigerator and freezer, separate dairy and meat microwaves, and disposable utensils. It is stocked with non-perishable foods including fresh food options that will be double-wrapped in the refrigerator for Shabbot each Friday. Other amenities include two sinks, kitchen cabinets, a dining table with four chairs, sofas, and lighting fixtures, and prayer/faith and life books.

GBMC has always been welcoming to all members of our community, but we realized over the past few years that we had no options for nutrition of the family members of our observant Jewish patients. It is fitting that we had the grand opening last week as Rosh Hashanah started last night and Yom Kippur is next week.  I want to wish a Happy Rosh Hashanah to our family and friends who are celebrating!

WOW!! What a surprise…
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about our SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination) program receiving tremendous support from the band Breaking Benjamin. Each member of the group was seen during a recent concert wearing t-shirts that highlighted our program, giving it the visibility it deserves on a big “stage.”

Much to my surprise this week, I was given two electric guitars, signed by each member of the band, from Laura Clary, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, CFN, CPEN, Clinical Manager of our SAFE program, and Ashley McAree, RN, FNE-A/P, CFN, forensic nurse examiner with our SAFE program. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Why does he need two?” No worries, I plan on giving one to my son, Mike, who is a huge Breaking Benjamin fan. It’s the least I can do after he invited me to the band’s concert last month.

I want to thank Laura, Ashley, and the members of the band for these special gifts, but most importantly, I want to express my appreciation to all members of our SAFE and Domestic Violence (DV) programs who do so much for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and in educating the community to reduce these attacks.

Speaking of our SAFE program…
I want to congratulate Valerie Weir, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, CMSRN, who has been named the new Domestic Violence Coordinator for our DV Program. Valerie has been part of the GBMC family for 17 years and has held many positions across the organization. According to Laura Clary, Valerie brings a unique perspective to her new role as she is certified to care for patients of all ages, who have been victims of sexual assault, rape, child abuse/neglect, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking.  She has been a great asset in aiding the SAFE and DV Programs in expanding their pediatric resources. She is an active member of the Baltimore County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), as well as the Maryland Child Abuse Medical Providers (CHAMP).

Please join me in welcoming Valerie into her new role!

I would also like to thank Colleen Moore for her many years of service at GBMC. Colleen did an outstanding job in victim advocacy and other support services. Thank you, Colleen, for all your hard work at GBMC and in the community.

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