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NEWS: Choptank Health partners with Talbot County Health Dept.

More Talbot County residents are being tested and vaccinated against COVID-19, with thanks to a partnership between Choptank Community Health System and the Talbot County Health Department.

Free, drive-up COVID-19 testing clinics are now taking place each Wednesday from 4 to 6:00 p.m. in St. Michaels Middle/High School’s parking lot at 200 Seymour Ave. in St. Michaels, Md. Talbot residents wishing to receive a test do not need a doctor’s order, with walk-ins accepted and appointments encouraged by calling the Talbot County Health Dept. during business hours at 410-819-5632.

“Responding to our community’s needs is at the heart of everything we do,” said Choptank Community Health System CEO Sara Rich. “We saw the need for more vaccinations and testing sites in additional locations in Talbot County, and our team enthusiastically leaned in to help. It’s just one example of how we’re deeply committed to working with our community partners to help end this pandemic.”

Choptank Health’s School-Based Health Center medical providers and staff are administering the testing at the Wednesday clinics, with the Health Department handling registration.

“Our partnership with Choptank Health is critical in expanding the Health Department’s capacity and community outreach,” said Talbot County Health Department Acting Health Officer Dr. Maria Maguire. “This new site means we can now provide Talbot residents with testing in the Bay Hundred area, with later hours and on an additional day each week. We couldn’t do this without Choptank Health’s help.”

The new testing clinics are made possible by the continued collaboration of Choptank Health, Talbot County Health Department, and Talbot County Public Schools.

Choptank Health worked with the Health Department to administer the COVID-19 vaccination to Talbot County Public School teachers and staff, with many receiving their first vaccination dose at a Jan. 15 vaccination clinic hosted by Choptank Health at Easton Elementary School.

A limited number of vaccinations were provided to Talbot County Public School staff, including teachers, meal service workers, custodians, and administrative staff.

“One of Talbot County’s greatest assets is the way our community partners work together, especially in times of need,” said TCPS Superintendent Dr. Kelly Griffith. “Our teachers and staff have begun receiving their vaccinations, and we are grateful to Choptank Community Health System and the Talbot County Health Department for making this possible.”

Choptank Community Health System provides medical, dental, pediatric, and behavioral health services in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties, with a mission to provide access to exceptional, comprehensive, and integrated health care for all. Choptank Health’s vision is to improve the health and well-being of people in the communities served by providing outstanding care experiences while being an exceptional place to work and make a difference, with more at choptankhealth.org.

Adkins Arboretum Receives Funding to Pursue Indigenous Peoples Perspective Program

Adkins Arboretum has been awarded a Maryland Humanities grant to develop an Indigenous Peoples Perspective program in partnership with Washington College’s Eastern Shore Food Lab (ESFL). The program will employ digital resources in the forms of web profiles, videos and self-guided activities to explore the importance of 21 native plants to the food, craftwork and medicinal traditions of indigenous peoples of the Chesapeake region.
A native garden and plant preserve located in Caroline County, Adkins Arboretum is the only public garden that focuses solely on plants native to the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. Its 400 acres of diverse habitat support more than 600 species of native shrubs, trees, wildflowers, grasses, ferns and vines.
The ESFL at Washington College optimizes personal and community health by drawing upon the dietary past that built us as a species. The Food Lab works to strengthen the ties between environment, society, family and ourselves while addressing issues of sustainability, food access, and dietary and social health. The Arboretum and ESFL have partnered previously to offer foraging walks.
The project seeks to encourage a paradigm shift from land as capital to land as sacred teacher, healer and sustainer. The Arboretum is located in the traditional homeland of the Choptank People, Algonquin-speaking Woodland Indians who lived along the lower Choptank River basin. Before European settlers arrived in the early 1600s, there were approximately 20,000 Choptank living on the Eastern Shore. Less than 150 years later, these native people were driven to near-extinction by illness, fighting and forced migration.
According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, “Tens of thousands of people who identify as American Indian live in the Chesapeake region today. Some belong to state- or federally recognized tribes, others belong to groups with a shared heritage and many others celebrate their ancestry through their immediate family.”
Native American expert Daniel “Firehawk” Abbott will serve as a consultant on the project. A member of the Eastern Shore’s Nanticoke People, Abbott is the principal Native American prehistoric/historic interpreter at Historic Jamestowne Island. While serving on the Board of Directors of the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance, he designed and guided the construction of the Chicone Village at Handsell in Dorchester County. He has partnered with the Arboretum at festivals and on foraging walks.
Through the Indigenous Peoples Perspective project, Adkins Arboretum and ESFL will strive to honor the wisdom of native peoples and their unique relationship with nature by sharing their ecological perspectives, history and traditions. Ultimately, the project seeks to inspire a collective responsibility to shape our future by caring for the land that supports us.
This project was made possible by a grant from Maryland Humanities, with funding received from the Maryland Historical Trust in the Maryland Department of Planning. Maryland Humanities’ Grant Programs is also supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and private funders. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Maryland Humanities, Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland Department of Planning or National Endowment for the Humanities.
CUTLINE: Adkins Arboretum recently received a Maryland Heritage grant to develop an Indigenous Peoples Perspective program in partnership with Washington College’s Eastern Shore Food Lab. The program will explore the importance of 21 native plants, including milkweed (pictured), to the food, craftwork and medicinal traditions of indigenous peoples of the Chesapeake region. Photo credit: Kellen McCluskey/Adkins Arboretum.

NAACP MSC Calls for Ousting of Insurrection SSupporter COLUMBIA: The NAACP Maryland State Conference (MSC) calls for Rep. Andrew P. Harris’ expulsion.

Since the January 6, 2021 insurrection by domestic terrorist groups, our country has seen trusted (or elected) government officials and current or former law enforcement and military members identified, involved or having shown support of this insurrection and planned civil war on its own American government.
A prominent, local supporter of extremism and acts of sedition continue for Maryland Representative Andrew P. Harris (R). His support has been widely shared during congressional testimonies and other public commentary occurring before and after this insurrection that risks the health of our nation and its elected leaders. As a civil rights organization the NAACP Maryland State Conference sees the flaw in such an embrace of dastardly actions that are an affront to our democratic process and peaceful transfer of power.
For his support, he has earned the Maryland State Conference of NAACP’s call for his expulsion from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Long before January 6, 2021 Rep. Harris was known as a lightning rod of the ring-wing. He clearly exercises his right of Freedom of Speech – however, he does not have the right to break the law and or stand with terrorists. In fact, it has been reported that Rep. Harris triggered a metal detector while illegally carrying a handgun to the Capitol. It has not been explained why Rep. Harris attempted to bring a firearm into the Capitol building but we do know that it is illegal to do so.
The constituents of Maryland’s 1st congressional district deserve officials that represent all of the district and whom, at the very least, respects the law – federal, state and local alike.
The NAACP Maryland State Conference calls for his removal by expulsion – as he should not be allowed to ever serve in Congress again. This response has been a continued plea from our membership particularly those of the 1st congressional district of Maryland with an ambition for how they and their neighbors desire to be represented. We also encourage these voters, and those yet to mobilized, to vote for change when they vote in the next elections. We must have a long memory of action of Rep. Harris and others who support division and extremism.

Tatyana Valentin joins UM SMG-Neurology and Sleep Medicine

University of Maryland Shore Medical Group – Neurology and Sleep Medicine recently welcomed nurse practitioner Tatyana Valentin to the practice. Valentin joins Walid Kamsheh, MD, medical director, Neurology and Sleep Medicine, and nurse practitioners Trish Lemay, Rahel Alemu and Fallon Bauer in the evaluation, diagnosis, medical management and treatment of brain, spinal cord and nerve disorders, and sleep disorders.

UM SMG-Neurology and Sleep Medicine has offices in UM Shore Medical Pavilions at Cambridge and Easton. Valentin will be seeing patients at the Easton location.

Valentin comes to UM Shore Medical Group from the Emergency Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. She also has worked in the hospital’s regional Stroke Center and Cardiac Cath Lab.

Valentin earned her associate’s degree in nursing at Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills; her bachelor’s in nursing from Chamberlain University College of Nursing in Chicago, Ill.; and her master’s in nursing with a specialty in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner from Walden University in Minneapolis, Mn.

She is proficient in both Russian and Spanish.  

Learn about volunteering with CBMM on Feb. 23

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., will host a virtual Volunteer Fair on Feb. 23 to introduce potential new volunteers to various in-person and at-home opportunities now available. Volunteer roles are based on current CBMM needs and designed to align with individual interests and experiences.

“Our volunteers are such valued team members at CBMM,” said CBMM’s Volunteer & Education Coordinator Concetta Gibson. “Whether helping with public history, science communication, exhibitions, gardening, boatbuilding, behind-the-scenes tasks, or in any of our countless other roles, there are opportunities for adults with all kinds of expertise and interests to get involved with us. It’s great to see how much joy our volunteers get and bring to others while sharing their time and skills with the community.”

The Volunteer Fair will be held via Zoom starting at 10am and will give prospective volunteers a chance to mix and mingle with current volunteers and staff. “Anyone interested in supporting CBMM’s mission of exploring and sharing Chesapeake Bay history, culture, and environment is encouraged to visit bit.ly/CBMMvolunteerfair or email cgibson@cbmm.org to register.

After the Volunteer Fair, both new and existing CBMM volunteers are encouraged to learn more about the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as techniques for welcoming and guiding guests to campus, through a series of spring trainings, held from March–May. To learn more, email cgibson@cbmm.org.

Re-imagined Christmas in St. Michaels provides 25 grants

The organization known for hosting a series of annual holiday events in St. Michaels, Md. turned virtual in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions, but did not forget its beneficiaries by providing $48k to 25 local nonprofits through the community’s generous support.

Christmas in St. Michaels is known for hosting fundraising events that usually include a gala dinner, homes tour, street parade, gingerbread house competition, and more. As the Covid-19 pandemic began in early spring 2020, the organization’s board members quickly came together to re-imagine new ways of fundraising through online sales and marketing. The plan worked.

“We promised all of last year’s beneficiaries a portion of this year’s proceeds,” said Christmas in St. Michaels Board President Joan Schneider. “Thanks to our community’s very generous support, we were able to provide $48k in grants to 25 organizations this year.”

Christmas in St. Michaels kicked off its fundraising in Oct. 2020 with an online raffle, with other fundraisers including ornament sales, an online auction and marketplace.

“By far the best addition this year was the Lighted Boat Parade, which was a huge success in lifting the spirits of everyone who watched it,” said Schneider. “Decorated and lighted trees and homes all around the harbor added to the festive mood. We look forward to making this an annual event.”

Christmas in St. Michaels began in 1987 when a group of energetic volunteers recognized the need for daycare services in the community. Funds were raised through community support, and a daycare center was established, now known as Critchlow Adkins Children Centers. Sponsors and patrons of Christmas in St. Michaels since that time have helped raise more than $1.4M in support of numerous local non-profit organizations.

Proceeds from Christmas in St. Michaels help the people served by local non-profit organizations, with the list of this year’s beneficiaries and sales of the 2020 Christmas in St. Michaels Collector’s Ornament featuring an osprey online at christmasinstmichaels.org.

GUEST COMMENTARY by Ken Kozel, President and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health

2020 was an incredibly challenging year for health care organizations nationwide, and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health was no exception. In mid-March, the arrival of COVID-19 marked the beginning of dramatic new demands in every aspect of inpatient and outpatient care — demands that, of course, continue in this New Year. I am profoundly grateful to our Shore Regional Health team members at all levels and in all locations for their caring, compassionate and ongoing response to the pandemic. Led by our Chief Medical Officer and Incident Command Structure Chief Dr. William Huffner, with guidance from our UMMS’ Incident Command Structure and collaboration our many community partners, the Shore team wasted no time in creating new protocols for the health and safety of our patients, our team members and the community at large. Their amazing work in this regard continues to this day, saving lives and protecting the health of our community.

For all its challenges, 2020 also saw many exciting and promising developments at UM Shore Regional Health. To name just a few:

We expanded access to telemedicine throughout our provider network, UM Shore Medical Group, as a model of safe and convenient care and also a means of providing education and support for patients managing chronic or serious conditions such as diabetes, cancer and stroke recovery. This month, we passed a major milestone – 25,000 telemedicine appointments since mid-March when the pandemic began.

We welcomed more than 500 new team members to our health care family, many in our hospitals but also in UM Shore Medical Group, in our diverse outpatient diagnostic and rehabilitation services, and our emergency and urgent care facilities. As part of UMMS, we also assumed full ownership and management of the former “Choice One” Urgent Care Centers in Denton and Easton, and welcomed their providers and staff to the Shore team.

We began construction on our UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge and celebrate its steady progress. As this new, freestanding medical facility rises in Cambridge Marketplace on Route 50 and remains on schedule for opening in the fall of this year, we look forward to the transformation of health care in Dorchester County.

An integral part of our Cambridge health care transformation is the relocation of inpatients beds from UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to Easton. The renovation of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton has begun and when complete later this summer, a total of 17 medical/surgical inpatient beds and 13 behavioral health inpatient beds will be added. These beds also are included in our plans for a new regional medical center in Easton.

In Kent County, we continue to strive toward the establishment of a new model of health care that would designate UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown as a rural, critical access hospital, including a complementary Aging and Wellness Center of Excellence. This designation will help ensure that Kent and northern Queen Anne’s county have the healthcare resources needed to thrive.

We celebrated the 10th anniversary of our outstanding UM Shore Emergency Center in Queenstown –one of the first freestanding medical facilities in Maryland. The Emergency Center serves an average of 16,000 patients each year and now serves as the model of care planned for implementation in at least two additional locations on the western shore as well as in Cambridge.

We continue to strengthen our partnership with University of Maryland Medical System and the UM School of Medicine to advance access to the highest quality care, close to home, for Eastern Shore residents. One important service for the Shore, our Cancer Program, now benefits from a stronger affiliation with the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, making participation in cancer treatment trials more accessible to patients on the Shore, and also bringing an extra level of support and expertise to our Requard Radiation Oncology Center in Easton.

2020 brought excellent recognition for Shore in the arena of cardiac and stroke care. Our Cardiac Intervention Center (CIC) at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, opened just two years ago to provide life-saving care for cardiac patients, was awarded the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients suffering severe heart attacks. For the third year in a row, our Primary Stroke Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton was recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association with top awards for achievement in providing the most effective stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Also in the arena of recognition is the recent “A” rating earned by UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton from The Leapfrog Hospital Group. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Founded in 2000, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization that advances the quality and safety of American health care. The three Shore Regional Health hospitals are among only 34 percent of hospitals nationwide to earn their highest “A” designation.

Throughout 2020, our hospital foundations continued to support the advancement of health care in their respective communities. The Chester River Health Foundation raised funds to support the purchase of a new telemetry system for our Chestertown hospital, and support received through the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation’s appeal will help purchase state-of-the-art mammogram technology for installation in UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge. UM Memorial Hospital Foundation events and appeals benefited the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown and Surgical Services in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. We are infinitely grateful to all donors and volunteers who support our Foundations and their role in making quality health care possible, now and in the future, for our five-county region.

Lastly, 2020 was a truly remarkable year in terms of the outpouring of generosity and good will our health care network received from scores of individuals, groups and community organizations as the pandemic took hold. Our entire team was touched by the thoughtfulness of those who provided food, supplies, masks and messages of support for health care workers, first responders and essential personnel. These gifts and gestures have meant so much to all of us and helped strengthen our commitment to advancing UM Shore Regional Health and achieving our mission, Creating Healthier Communities Together.

As we move forward into this New Year, our Shore Healthcare Heroes, along with our community partnerships, will remain an integral part of our success. We look forward to continued progress in 2021 and to enhancing our role as an anchor institution serving the people of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.

Writing Contest Offers $1,000 in Prizes and Book Publication for “The Year’s Best Dog Stories”

SALISBURY, MARYLAND – A leading bookstore and book publisher on the Eastern Shore of Maryland are joining forces to select and publish the year’s best short stories devoted to the theme of communication between dogs and humans. 

The subject is especially timely coming after a year of worldwide pandemic in which so many people have been confined to their homes and pets have been more psychologically important than ever to millions. 

More than one-third of all American households are believed to own dogs, with research showing how important they are as dependable sources of companionship, psychological support, and physical exercise for their owners – even in the best and healthiest of times.

One gold medal winner will be awarded a cash prize of $500; two silver medal finalists will receive $250 each.

The contest is being sponsored by The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore, in Berlin, whose owners, Susan and Maury Wimbrow, are not only independent booksellers but also adopters of rescue greyhounds. A book-length anthology of up to 30 entries drawn from contest submissions will be published by Secant Publishing of Salisbury in time for the 2021 holiday season. A book launch party will be held at The Greyhound.


Original pieces of fiction, never before published, 500-3,000 words long. Winners will be readable, entertaining, and emotionally affecting. They can be in any genre, from literary and mystery to romance and paranormal. Humor is always welcome. 

Stories may or may not have conventionally happy endings, but they all must demonstrate understanding of the human-canine connection and illuminate some aspect of communication across our species. Stories featuring gratuitous cruelty or violence to animals will be rejected.


Anyone 18 and above is eligible to enter. There will be a reading fee of $10 which is payable at the time of submission. All contributors chosen for the anthology will receive two complimentary copies of the book upon publication.


The contest is open now. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2021. The finished volume will be published in Fall 2021.

How to Submit

All stories must be submitted through the Duosuma website. More than 7,400 publishers and agents maintain listings on Duosuma and its parent platform for writers, Duotrope. For more information and to be directed to the submissions link see www.secantpublishing.com/contest


Winners will be chosen by a panel of independent judges:

Joan Drescher Cooper is the author of Birds Like Me, a poetry collection published by Finishing Line Press, and three novels in the Lilac Hill series through Salt Water Media of Berlin, Maryland. Joan reviews books for The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore. She is an avid walker of her rescue dog Hopper. See www.joandcooper.com.

Bonnie Feldstein, writing as Anna Gill, has spent her literary career studying and writing about important vanishing cultures in America. Chesapeake Bay country is where she centers most of her six novels.  She is a public speaker and newsletter editor. Bonnie lives in Rochester, New York.

David Healey has written several novels, including the popular Caje Cole World War II series and a mystery, The House that Went Down with the Ship. His nonfiction books include Great Storms of the Chesapeake and 1812: Rediscovering Chesapeake Bay’s Forgotten War. He lives in Chesapeake City, Maryland.

Kenton Kilgore is the author of the post-apocalypse novel Lost Dogs, as well as other science-fiction and fantasy books. He has lived on Kent Island, Maryland since 1998 and has just wrapped up a two-year term as president of the Eastern Shore Writers Association. See www.kentonkilgore.com.

Judy Reveal is a published author in several genres including mystery, memoir, paranormal, and nonfiction. She is a professional book reviewer and scholarly journal editor based in Greensboro, Maryland. Visit her website at www.justcreativewriting.com.

Lizanne Waterman spent 32 years as a middle school English teacher in New York State. She and her husband, a falconer, retired near Berlin, where she helps walk their three pointers, works part-time for a local winery, and participates in a book club at The Greyhound – An Indie Bookstore.

CONTACT:        Ron Sauder, editor@secantpublishing.com (410) 845-3193.

Arcadia: Keeping Our Seniors Safe

Throughout the pandemic, assisted living facilities and senior care centers have by and far been hit the hardest. Seniors are among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. As all the residents live together in a single building, one case can spread quickly.  The safety of these high risk patients rests in the hands of the staff of assisted living facilities across the nation. Because of their tireless essential work, we have decided to name the staff of Arcadia Assisted Living as our local heroes of the year.
     Prior to the pandemic, I actually had the chance to stop by the Arcadia Chester location and meet some of the team members and residents. Their facility, instead of feeling sterile and large, is intimate and home-like. I got the chance to talk to multiple of their team members, and while they all had a wide variety of different life experiences and histories, they all had one thing in common: A passion for people in assisted living facilities. Many of them came from larger centers, only to grow tired of the lack of personalized care and intimacy they found at larger companies. At Arcadia, they were able to form intimate bonds with the residents that they care for, something that each and every one of them seemed to genuinely enjoy.
     When the pandemic began, it posed a difficult set of challenges for Arcadia, who wanted to keep their residents safe while making them as comfortable as possible. Conventional in-person visits had the potential to spread the coronavirus, so they had to be creative. They bought iPads with video capabilities so residents could video chat with their loved ones. During the summer, they were able to implement distanced outdoor visits so residents could see their loved ones face to face. To further keep their vulnerable residents safe, they put an increased emphasis on sanitation, even using ultraviolet lights to sanitize many of the staffs’ belongings as their shifts began.
     As hard as the pandemic has been on the residents, it has also been difficult on Arcadia’s staff. “Nobody wants to be ‘that person,’ who brings COVID into the house… we all worry about a potential outbreak,” the founder of Arcadia, Donna Poole told me. Throughout the pandemic, many members of their team have had to work double shifts to help cover a coworker with a potential exposure. Their team members were also asked to limit non-essential travel and resign from any jobs that could potentially expose them to the Coronavirus. These personal sacrifices Arcadia’s staff made, though difficult, were essential to keeping their residents safe.
     The last year has been difficult for the staff and residents of Arcadia and for assisted living facilities across the country. Donna, however, is optimistic about 2021. “We see the light on the horizon,” Donna told me. “We recently received the first dose of our COVID vaccine, and are excited for the future. Once we get out of this, we think things will be better than ever!”
     If you would like to learn more about Arcadia visit www.arcadiaasistedlivingllc.com. Last year, we published a longer piece featuring the family of one of Arcadia’s residents along with interviews with their team members. You can view that article here:  www.issuu.com/theshoreupdate/docs/online_template_health_apirl_may_2020.

Deadline Extended for Submissions to KIFA’s “Heroes of 2020” Exhibit

The deadline for submissions to KIFA’s “Heroes of 2020” has been extended to Monday February First.


Open to nonmembers and members. There is no fee for this show.
 Share the impact of a hero in 2020. Enter up to 3 pieces. Written pieces, original song
lyrics, artwork (all media 2D &3D), and photos are acceptable. Written pieces should be
mounted, framed or in clear page protectors. Artwork & photos must be framed with wire
on the back for hanging.
 Drop off entries and completed application on Monday February First from 2-5pm at KIFA
405 Main Street, Stevensville, MD 21666. For other arrangements, call the KIFA office,
410-643-7424, or email info@kifa.us, or call Maureen at 410-643-0850.
 Pick up entries on Monday, March 29th from 2-5 pm.
 If the Gallery remains closed, entries will be posted on the website.
 A 30% donation to KIFA on any sales during this exhibit is appreciated.
 KIFA will not assume liability for loss or damage to entries. Please insure your entries as
you determine necessary.

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