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Meeting Women Where They Are:






Taking Notice of Women’s Center: Meeting Women Where They Are


hen Sister Pat Dowling, CBS, had a vision 15 years ago to open a drop-in resource center for women in the community, she knew God had sent her a calling. She opened the Women’s Resource Center of Bon Secours in 1997 primarily to provide women a place of hospitality in a supportive and environment. This simple vision translated into helping women struggling with substance abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, depression and other issues. To provide a safe place for them to go to wash their clothes, have a shower, get a hot meal and find peace. To do God’s work.


But Sr. Pat never expected to attract media attention for the work that goes on at the Women’s Resource Center every day of the week. “It’s not something you’d expect anybody is going to take note of, or that you even hope for,” Sr. Pat says. But when you do good work, people do take notice. And so it’s no surprise that a journalist tasked with uncovering the stories of Sisters doing extraordinary things to help the poor would find her way to Sr. Pat.

The article, by Aryanna Garber, appeared in the December issue of the Women in the World Foundation online newsletter, which has as a tagline, “Where Solutions Meet the Spotlight.” The Women in the World Foundation is an initiative that strives to find solutions that advance women and girls. The Foundation was born out of Newsweek magazine’s annual Women in the World Summit, in partnership with The Daily Beast. The goals of the Foundation and the online newsletter merge well with Sr. Pat’s vision for what the Women’s Resource Center of Bon Secours will do for women in West Baltimore. And much of that does have to do with “accompaniment,” as the article’s author states.

“The basic tenet of the Center has always been ‘Work with the woman wherever she is,’” Sr. Pat says. “Change can only occur when somebody’s ready. Many of the women who come to us give the impression of being very strong women and they are in many ways. Yet underneath the exterior, there are all sorts of emotions, and a different sense of self. So you just have to be there for them. That’s what accompaniment is about. It’s walking with them.” Along with hospitality, social and educational services, The Women’s Resource Center of Bon Secours puts women in touch with essential health care services either through Bon Secours Hospital or other agencies. Some days, up to 40 women have come to the center just to be, or for breakfast, a shower or other basic amenities. The Center gains its clients by word-of-mouth. Women come through the doors, are blessed by

the services, and tell other women in need. “This was always God’s vision—to meet a need of women in the community for a safe place where they can come and be listened to,” Sr. Pat says. “On the day we opened the door of the Center, we had not advertised, and we didn’t even have our name on the door, but a woman showed up. She knocked on the door and said, ‘I don’t have any place to stay. Can you help me?’ She was homeless. It was a few minutes before 5 p.m. on December 17th and it was cold and rainy. How on Earth she knew we were there, I’ll never know. But after a few calls I thankfully found an overnight shelter for her. ” Now, because of the Women in the World article, even more women in need might know. “My hope is that perhaps somebody will see the article and take note,” Sr. Pat says. “Like most small non-profits, it’s a struggle to find funding, but community needs are so great today. It would be a real gift if somebody did see it and said ‘Wow, I’d love to help support this center to continue to be good help to the women in Baltimore, to be able to accompany women in need.’” ■

READ THE ARTICLE HERE: http://womenintheworld.org/stories/entry/what-i-learned-from-working-with-the-poor-words-of-wisdom-from-nuns-on-the



“How do you help another person transform her life? Patience, trust and something Sister Pat Dowling calls ‘accompaniment,’” the article begins.

Now she can show an entire team— on a screen attached to the microscope or on the remote monitor several feet away. In addition, the microscope has a higher-powered lens and offers higher resolution so observations are more accurate. When it comes to tissue diagnoses, biopsies and clear understanding of cells, blood and bone marrow, accuracy is key, Dr. Jain says.


n the flat panel monitor, the tissue sample looks like artwork, beautiful in purples and pale pinks. Dr. Usha Jain, Director of the Department of Pathology, thinks it is beautiful too. Because now her students, lab technicians and other doctors can actually see just what she sees on the slide a few feet away. “This has been so helpful,” Dr. Jain says. “Just the other day, I called four or five people in my office to see something on the microscope. They looked on the screen and all of them could see exactly what I was seeing.” The remote monitor is an essential part of a new, state-of-the-art microscope Dr. Jain is using in her

office, which replaced an older model microscope and makes Dr. Jain’s work infinitely easier. “Keeping up with technology is very important in this department,” Dr. Jain says. “Our lab was already pretty up-to-date. We have instrumentation that they have in other places. And this microscope is the top of the line.” The old microscope worked well, but it had a dual viewer feature, which meant only two people could peer into the lens and see samples of tissue, blood or cells on a slide. So when Dr. Jain needed to use a sample to explain a diagnosis to a team of doctors, or educate laboratory staff about the latest in tissue pathology, she could only do lessons one-on-one.


“This offers better communication for the physicians, so they understand exactly what I’m saying,” Dr. Jain says. “Better resolution helps to better pinpoint what’s wrong, so we can all give better patient service.” In addition, Dr. Jain can now take photos of what appears on the screens and share them with others by email or in a printout. She also can turn the slides into a PowerPoint presentation, which is extremely helpful when teaching laboratory staff. “It is very exciting and gratifying,” Dr. Jain says, looking around at her new high-tech equipment. “I love to teach lab staff about pathology. I love to look at cells. It’s like detective work.” ■


New Microscope Brings New Perspective on Pathology, Patient Care

For example, in one patient’s blood sample, Dr. Jain pointed out the necessity of high-resolution, and viewing on a larger screen. Looking at the monitor, Dr. Jain inspected carefully for a high white blood cell count, which generally is indicative of infection or leukemia. The new microscope’s higher optic quality crisply showed the size, number and maturity of the white blood cells. Armed with this information, Dr. Jain says she was able to arrive at a faster and more accurate diagnosis so attending physicians can start treatment more quickly and reduce the length of stay for the patient.

A WORD FROM SAMUEL ROSS, MD, MS CEO, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System


have exciting news to share about two partnership efforts that are yielding results for Bon Secours and our community. The first is the West Baltimore Primary Care Access Collaborative (WBPCAC), which formed after nearly three years of foundationlaying work, starting with a 2010 Health Summit convened by Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell. The Summit was a first of its kind effort to explore the health-related challenges –as well as opportunities —in West Baltimore’s health delivery system. Bon Secours Baltimore Health System is operating as the coordinating organization for the group, which includes 16 health, wellness, educational and community-based organizations. As a result of the hard work and unprecedented cooperation of these groups, the State of Maryland recently recognized West Baltimore as one of five Health Enterprise Zones (HEZ).

specifically to improve aspects of health care delivery and access in four zip codes: 21216, 21217, 21223 and 21229 – which exhibit some of the highest disease burden and the worst indicators of social determinants of health throughout Maryland. Never before has such a partnership existed in West Baltimore. I am extremely proud of the individuals and groups who have committed to this important work. Working together, we envision the Health Enterprise Zone—and all of West Baltimore—becoming a vital, healthy community where residents are empowered to take ownership of their health and can expect to live full, healthy lives. Even beyond the course of this grant period, the WBPCAC will look to design, develop and implement short- and long-term strategies to create optimal, innovative care coordination, chronic disease management and community engagement. The HEZ grant gets us started in a major way.

The zones are designed to reduce health disparities among Maryland’s racial and ethnic groups and between geographic areas, improve health care access and health outcomes, and reduce health care costs.

In addition, Bon Secours Hospital has joined forces with four other organizations to take part in a bold new approach to caring for the patients we discharge from the hospital.

This designation as an HEZ comes with significant funding to help us better serve the needs of our patients and community. As a result of our proposal, the state has awarded the WBPCAC a four-yeargrant of $1.25 million annually. Pending yearly approval by the General Assembly, the $5 million in total grant funding will be used

As a member of the West Baltimore Readmissions Reduction Collaborative (WBRRC)—a joint effort between Bon Secours, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Maryland General Hospital, the Baltimore City Aging and Disability Resource Center, and The Coordinating Center, a community-based non-profit that serves individuals with complex


medical needs and disabilities—we will be taking part in a federallydesignated Community Based Care Transition (CCTP) Program. The program, GET WELL, is designed to help hospitals with high readmission rates partner with a community-based organization to provide services that improve a patient’s transition from the hospital to other care settings, and ultimately reduce hospital readmissions. Under GET WELL, Bon Secours and other participating hospitals will refer high-risk Medicare patients to Health Coaches, who will review current medicines, provide personal health records and help them recognize “red flags” related to their condition. The coaches will begin working with patients at the hospital and will maintain contact, including home visits, for 30 days post-discharge. The process of collaborating with others to bring about a healthier West Baltimore has been incredibly exciting. I look forward to keeping you updated as we move ahead. Sincerely,

Samuel L. Ross, MD, MS Chief Executive Officer

Tele-Heart Program Spreads the Gospel of Living a Heart-Healthy Life Among the personalized perks of participation are the daily phone calls from Bon Secours’ staff to help encourage a close relationship and partnership that leads to the best possible healthy heart care management. The program also provides van transportation to 3 monthly health education classes at different community locations.


hen the Bon Secours Tele-Heart Program began more than a decade ago, it was envisioned as way to help congestive heart failure patients manage their conditions at home with resources and health information to help them lead healthier, longer, more active lives. It has since blossomed into a disease management and health education program that empowers West and Southwest Baltimore residents with congestive heart failure and many other chronic diseases. About 600 participants are enrolled in the Tele-Heart Program, which is free and includes home visitations, patient and family teaching, and education tools such as heart healthy reading materials and a daily weight reminder magnet to help patients manage their heart health. The program also includes individualized post-discharge education and home assessments. During a home assessment, a nurse will check to see what kinds of

“We’re working hard towards maintaining a healthy, educated, community, with knowledge of disease management, nutrition and outcomes being reducing readmissions,” says Joe Ann Murphy, RN and clinical manager, who oversees the Bon Secours Tele-Heart Program and Community Joe Ann Murphy, RN Faith Nurse Ministry Alliance. In addition to those enrolled in the Tele-Heart Program, nearly 12,000 people annually visit with Murphy and her staff at events throughout the community in various settings such as blood pressure screenings and presentations at senior buildings, churches and health fairs.

foods, for example, are kept in the home and offer advice about cooking heart-healthy foods. On average, the Tele-Heart Program hosts about 230 disease management classes annually, conducts more than 14,000 follow-up contacts each year, and nearly 150 home assessments annually.


“This program is a caring presence in the community. It may be a secret in West Baltimore, but it’s not a secret to the community,” Murphy says. In the years since it launched, Murphy has taken the program well beyond the walls of the hospital, offering three monthly patient education classes at two dozen

churches, senior clubs, community centers and Bon Secours’ senior living buildings. Murphy calls it “hands-on outreach.” “It’s all about helping them figure out ways to manage their personal health issues,” she says. For those interested in financially supporting the Tele-Heart Program, it’s worth noting that the program now qualifies donors for the Community Investment Tax Credit Program. According to Development and Fundraising Manager Almarie I. Wood, Bon Secours received $20,000 worth of tax credits from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Produce Market offers healthy options at deep discounts


Almarie I. Wood Development and Fundraising Manager Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Foundation, Inc. 2000 W. Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21223 (410) 362-3204 office almarie_wood@bshsi.org

The goal is to provide greater access to fresh produce at a fraction of the cost they would pay at a typical grocery store. For instance, peppers that might normally sell for $2 to $3 in a grocery store are sold for 50cents to $1 at the Bon Secours Produce Market.

For information about the Tele-Heart Program and the Community Faith Nurse Ministry Alliance, please contact Joe Ann Murphy, RN Clinical Manager 410-362-3454


For information about the Community Investment Tax Credit, please contact:

hen the Bon Secours Produce Market held its first two-day opening in November, it sold more than 3,500 pounds of produce—everything from kale to collard greens to pineapples to bok choy to leafy greens and plantains.

“These are high-quality foods,” says Vice President of Mission Curtis Clark. “People are able to walk out with big, full bags of healthy produce. In a community that is a food desert, this is an important resource that lines up with Bon Secours’ commitment to healthy living.” 7

Lennox Bennett, nutrition and food service director from Morrison Healthcare Foodservice—the hospital’s food vendor—launched the produce market initiative at the hospital last fall. Once or twice a month, Bennett orders extra produce to sell at cost to the hospital’s patients, staff as well as the neighboring community. Hospital management volunteers to help Bennett prepare the produce market space and stock the fruits and vegetables for sale. Hospital dietitians have also begun offering recipes to give people ideas of healthy and interesting meals to make with the available produce. The Produce Market is held once or twice a month—depending on the availability of produce—in one of the hospital’s dining rooms. It runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to reach all three work shifts. Plans are to hold the produce market every month throughout the year. ■


To qualify for the credit, donors must give at least $500 and designate their gift to the Tele-Heart Program. Eligible contributions made prior to December 31, 2013 will allow the donor to reduce his or her state tax liability by fifty percent of the value of their donation. ■



Chris laid a solid foundation on which to build, and that work continues without pause. In this issue of In Touch, you have read about many of the successes we have experienced in recent months. These and other promising endeavors are designed to leverage resources to enable all of West Baltimore to become a vital, healthy community where residents are empowered to take ownership of their health and can expect to live full, healthy lives.

n this first issue of In Touch for 2013, it’s worth noting that the year ahead promises to be an extraordinary one for Bon Secours. I started here two decades ago, and I am as encouraged as ever! Our mission continues to drive us to bring compassion to health care and to be of Good Help to Those in Need.® We strive daily to build a community that thrives with healthy people, a healthy economy and a healthy environment. Our goal is to empower our neighbors with the health and wellness education necessary to take the best care possible of themselves and their families, as well as offer the medical services they need. With the recent departure of Chris Walker as Director of the Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Foundation, I am extending my heartfelt appreciation for the invaluable contributions she made

during her five years here. As a leader, Chris’ commitment to the Bon Secours mission was evident in her tireless and inspiring efforts to promote the significant successes we’ve had in community outreach and community development programs and secure key funding to make it all happen.

While all of this work continues, we have launched a national search for our next Foundation leader. That search is designed to bring a talented, ambitious Director who embraces Bon Secours’ mission, vision and values. This person will help us chart the course for a future that will enable us to scale even higher heights. I want to thank you, also, for your commitment to a strong Bon Secours that is truly a neighborhood resource where we can provide health care and health education that is as good—and sometimes better—than care anywhere else in the city. With your support, we can achieve a tremendous transformation of health care for West Baltimore. Thank you, as always, for your confidence in our mission and vision, and for your continued support.

Bro. Art Caliman, CFX President, Board of Directors


Bon Secours’ Employees Give From the Heart


his year’s Employee Giving Campaign raised over $83,000! THANK YOU to all of our employees who participated, you are Good Help to Those in Need® The support of our employees for the mission of Bon Secours allows us to make a tremendous impact on the lives of our patients, neighbors, and employees in need. It is essential to ensuring our long tradition of providing compassionate health care to all residents of West Baltimore. In these trying economic times, we understand that giving requires personal sacrifice. We are blessed to count our employees as cherished friends and partners in our mission.

2. Iris Fund

Susan Leon and Sheila Matthews: Co Chairs Rebekah Baird Barbara Berkman Judy Carmichael Elaine Clark Toriano Fisher Clintonette Garrison Carolyn Greene

$23,000 $3,000

3. Community Care Fund


4. Patient Care Fund



WHY I GIVE “As a co-worker committed to the mission of Bon Secours— being here for those most in need—I feel it’s important to support the health system on many levels by giving of my time, my talent and my treasure!” Karen M. Fitzpatrick, BCC Staff Chaplain, Pastoral Care ■

Bonnie Harry

Amount raised for each fund: 1. Sr. Theophane Fund

Special thanks to the volunteer members of the Employee Campaign Committee for their tireless efforts in raising money for a variety of needs around Bon Secours Baltimore.

Kathryn Lovejoy Samantha Miller Jeannette Washington Joanne Williams

“Participating in the employee giving campaign gives me a personal opportunity to live out our mission to be of good help and practice our core values. Plus, it just feels good.” Laura Dillman Physician Billing Coordinator ■


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“Donating to the giving campaign allows me to experience genuine joy in knowing that I am following God’s perfect plan. Matthew 25:40 says “I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people, you also did for me.” God blesses us, so that we can be a blessing to others.” Sondra Gamble Collections Coordinator, Patient Accounts




HELP IN 2013

Family and Women Services Bon Secours Family Support Center provides important resources for young, low-income families with children up to age four. The Women’s Resource Center is a place of support, counseling and service referrals for women facing homelessness and basic needs crisis. These services give women a stable foundation on which to build strong families and be economically self-sufficient. Combined, these programs seek $870,000 annually.

Economic Development and Financial Education Bon Secours manages numerous programs to tackle the education and employment disparities of community residents. The Career Development program provides many services including GED preparation, mentoring and equipment support services, which enable participants to gain employment or advance a career goal. Our Money Place is a vital and unique program providing financial literacy, individual financial counseling, and free or low-cost tax preparation to families seeking economic self- sufficiency. These programs seek $265,000 annually.

Services for Seniors Recognizing the need for safe, affordable housing, Bon Secours has built six senior resident buildings in West Baltimore providing 530 units of affordable housing for low- income seniors and people with disabilities, thus enabling these seniors to age in place. In addition, Bon Secours provides wrap-around services through service coordinators that arrange for health and wellness appointments, health and nutrition classes and accessibility to prescription drugs and transportation arrangements. The cost to provide these services is $220,017 annually.

Teleheart The Teleheart program treats individuals living with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart failure. These patients, the majority of whom are low income seniors, meet with a clinical nurse manager who provides in-patient counseling and conducts follow-up home visits. Teleheart also provides free classes on health topics and has a proven record of reducing Emergency Room visits, length of in-patient stays and hospital readmission rates. Funding of $110,000 annually allows this foundational program to continue.

Sister Theophane Fund The Sister Theophane Fund provides a patient-centered safety net of financial support to those in need of medical care, prescription drugs and medical supplies, or those facing a basic needs crisis. The fund extends this same assistance to employees of Bon Secours when in need. This vital emergency fund seeks to raise $100,000


Your Gift of:



helps provide a hot, nutritious meal to women experiencing homelessness


helps enable one student to receive a full week of GED prep classes


helps cover transportation costs so that seniors can attend a group event


helps provide transportation for GED parents and children for one month


helps cover development child-care for one child for one week


helps in-school youth build entrepreneurial skills and business acumen


helps cover the entire cost for GED classes for 25 participants for one week

Conversation with Our New Board Member: Giving Back to West Baltimore The Bon Secours Baltimore Foundation is pleased to welcome its newest board member: Financial Advisor Denika Palmer, MBA, CFP®, CRPC® Ms. Palmer works in the Global Wealth Development division at Merrill Lynch. A Baltimore native, Ms. Palmer received her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business. She is also an inducted member of the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society. Ms. Palmer also is a graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Class of 2010. In addition to her service to Bon Secours, Ms. Palmer participates in various civic and non-

Q. What is your vision for this community?

profit community endeavors. We are honored to have her on our board.

Q. Why Bon Secours? What inspires you about what this organization is doing?

Q. What motivates you to give back to this community and this organization?

A. I was born and raised in Baltimore City and appreciate how Bon Secours is serving West Baltimore, a community that’s near and dear to me and is severely underserved. When asked to join forces and become part of the solution, it was an opportunity I gladly accepted.

A. When I look around I think to myself, “Those people look like me. I’ve walked the same streets that they’re walking.” I remember frequent visits as a child with my


A. I believe that the community can be as much of a thriving community as the Bolton Hill, Federal Hill, Fells Point and Roland Park communities. I want to reduce the disparities among residents of different communities as it is disturbing. I desire to see the people in this community have the same opportunities to live well, be well and thrive! ■

Phil Toohey

or his 20-plus years of service to this organization, the Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Foundation would like to thank outgoing Board Member Phil Toohey, who stepped down from his position in December.

Q. How do you see your role as a board member? A. My role is to assist with furthering the mission of the board. It will involve everything from exposing the issues that are negatively impacting lives to raising awareness about what the Foundation and Health System seek to achieve and have already achieved in the community. It is also serving an underserved community and bringing them the resources that can enrich their lives with inspiration and hope.

grandfather to this side of town to visit the crab houses. However, even though we may dwell in the same city, everyone is not given the same opportunities. There are challenges that prevent and hinder some of us from realizing our potential. Knowing that I was given consideration compels me to do the same. It’s what everyone will need at some point in life.

It is difficult to overstate Phil’s contribution to Bon Secours. Over the course of two decades, Phil served in many roles, including as Chairman of the Board of the Bon Secours of Maryland Foundation and of the Bon Secours Baltimore Health System. He volunteered at the Family Support Center and gave tirelessly to the board, the organization and the community. A member of a family with three generations of involvement with Bon Secours, Phil succeeded his father who served on the Board of Directors in the 1970s. His grandmother was a volunteer in the 1930s and 1940s. And Phil has relatives who are Bon Secours-trained nurses. We thank Phil for his service and wish him well in his future endeavors. ■



2000 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21223

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OF BON SECOURS BALTIMORE HEALTH SYSTEM is to bring compassion to health care and to be Good Help to Those in Need.速 As a system of caregivers, we commit ourselves to help bring people and communities to health and wholeness as part of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

A PUBLICATION OF Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Foundation, Inc. 2000 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21223 For more information, please contact Almarie I. Wood Development and Fundraising Manager (410) 362-3204 office almarie_wood@bshsi.org Anita Crockett Development Operations Manager 410-362-3518 anita_crockett@bshsi.org Mitzi Francis Grants Manager (410) 960-6263 Kay_Martinez@bshsi.org



Profile for Joanna Shieh

In Touch Spring 2013  

Bon Secours Foundation newsletter.

In Touch Spring 2013  

Bon Secours Foundation newsletter.