Page 1

MMC U Connections

ne ws for the University of M aryland Medical Center


“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

FALL 2011



Message from the CEO EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS A combination of preparedness and patience has seen the Medical Center through an extraordinary summer. The entire staff has risen to the occasion time and time again — through an earth-

For every friendly face a patient encounters during a stay at UMMC, there are hundreds of staff members behind the scenes making everything run smoothly. Equipment must be cleaned, sterilized, repaired and restocked. Linens must be washed and replenished. The telephone call center, laboratories, food services, pharmacy, medical records, patient-placement center — the list of departments is long and the roles diverse. Most of this work goes on around the clock, seven days a week, even during snowstorms and hurricanes. Turn to page 2 for a BEHIND THE SCENES look at what keeps the Medical Center humming, and meet some of the dedicated staff members who make it all happen. [ CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ]

quake, a hurricane and the Grand Prix race cars nearly at our front door. And at every stage, our staff didn’t even


blink an eye. (OK, maybe for a minute — who ever heard of an earthquake in Maryland?) As a team, we know that we can’t let these potential distractions interrupt our mission to take care of patients with the highest degree of efficiency possible.

Currently, only 15 to 20 percent of donor lungs are transplantable;

TRansplant Team

most do not meet rigorous transplant criteria. According to the United

Enrolls First US Patient in Novel Lung Trial

for a lung transplant. “Each opportunity to transplant an organ is a precious gift,” says


isionary leadership and synchronized teamwork propelled the

University of Maryland Medical Center to the forefront of

Bartley P. Griffith, MD, professor of surgery and head of the division of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Sometimes patient letters

transplantation once again this summer. The lung transplant team

come directly to my office, and

became the first in the US to use an experimental ex vivo (outside

sometimes they go to a

the body) perfusion technique in a clinical trial to repair donor lungs

particular unit — but the

before transplantation.

sentiment is the same: Patients

Network for Organ Sharing, nearly 30 people in Maryland are waiting

Griffith is the principal investigator in the study and director of heart and lung transplantation at UMMC. He credited the many staff members in research and on administrative teams for the preparation that enabled this perfusion technique to finally be used to help a patient.

This new technique, if approved by the FDA, could significantly

and their families are so moved

increase the number of lungs that can be transplanted to the more

by the care and service they

than 1,700 candidates on the waiting list.

“Not a single person on our team takes this responsibility lightly,” Griffith says. “Our OR staff and clinical trial program managers have studied the variables of this case inside and out so that when the

received from staff throughout

opportunity presented itself to use this new ex vivo technique, our

the Medical Center that they’re

team didn’t miss a beat. We were able to repair these lungs to meet our

compelled to write and thank us.

high transplant standards and give this patient an option where she

It’s clear from the letters that

otherwise might have had none.”

they notice everything, and

Other hospitals participating in the trial but still awaiting an

encounters big and small take on

opportunity to use this technique include Duke University, Columbia

new importance inside our walls.

University Medical Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital (affiliated with

We’re looking for more ways to share and acknowledge these

Harvard University) and the University of Colorado. Amid such

“Great Stories,” such as in this

esteemed medical centers, UMMC was the first to enroll a patient in this

issue (see pages 4-5).

Repairing the donor lungs

clinical trial, demonstrating the ongoing commitment to developing innovative procedures that improve a patient’s quality of life.

Whether they’re exceeding expectations during our “Shake, Rattle and Roll” summer or any other day, I thank our entire staff


for its Commitment to Excellence.



Consider these comments from a grateful wife of a cancer patient: “Every person that took care of


him...gave care that I have never

NCI Renewal

experienced before.”

Great Stories

I couldn't have said it better myself.

page 3 pages 4-5

Three-Way Kidney Swap

page 6

National Magnet Conference in Baltimore

page 7

September, October and November Employees of the Month JEFFREY A. RIVEST President & Chief Executive Officer

Heart Center Hybrid OR Integrates Patient Care

page 7

page 8

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2 UMMC Connections BEHIND THE SCENES HOSPITALS ARE LIKE SMALL CITIES, with multiple functions all happening at the same time, independent but intertwined, distinct but dependent on each other to take care of patients. As with cities, some of the functions are more visible than others, but all play critical roles. More than 6,800 staff members work across the Medical Center on a variety of shifts, keeping things humming day and night. Some staff members work all over the hospital, interacting with multiple departments. Others might perform all their work in one area, such as the lab or pharmacy. All of them take pride in the fact that their work touches patients whom they may never meet. Some staff members are just starting out their career with the Medical Center, while others have worked here for decades. COVER STORY:

Here are just a few of the many people who work so hard behind the scenes to make UMMC a great hospital: BLOOD BANK

Khalia Kirby (above) holds a just-sterilized scope sealed and ready for the next patient. She and Everett Whitney (cover) are certified sterile processing scope technicians.

UMMC Connections is produced by the Office of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for the UMMC community. 22 South Greene Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 410-328-6776 Jeffrey A. Rivest President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Lynn Carver Senior Vice President Communications and Public Affairs Anne Haddad Editor and Publications Manager Frank B. Moorman Director, Strategic Internal Communications Linda Praley Creative Director Marc Laytar Photography Linda J. Lynch Staff Assistant Sharon Boston Meghan Scalea Kathy Schuetz Karen Warmkessel Contributors Fax news and story ideas to UMMC Connections at 410-328-3450 or email

Deliveries of red blood cells, platelets and plasma arrive at the UMMC Blood Bank, where Daniel Kimball, laboratory technician II, unpacks and helps prepare them for patients throughout the hospital. If the patient is an infant, Kimball splits a unit into baby-sized amounts. For immune-compromised patients, he must irradiate platelets or other blood products. He’s also responsible for storing bone and skin tissue, such as skull flaps — the small pieces of skin and bone that surgeons sometimes remove temporarily to accommodate swelling in the brain. Kimball labels them and stores them in the freezer until doctors reattach them to the patients. “If the Blood Bank didn’t exist, we wouldn’t have many surgeries here and Shock Trauma wouldn’t be able to function,” Kimball notes. “We’d have to outsource a lot of the products we receive and it would take more time and more money if that were to happen. We are essential to the hospital.” On an average day, UMMC patients require 110 to 130 units of red cells, 75 units of plasma and about 40 units of platelets. But those numbers can spike any time there’s a motor vehicle crash with multiple victims, for example.

LINEN SERVICES People would be amazed if they could see the linen collection areas of UMMC, says Roland Nichols Sr., linen technician. There are four chutes at UMMC that nurses use to dispose of bags of used linens — towels, sheets, and the like — and hundreds of bags rain down into

the collection rooms over the course of a given day. Not to mention the occasional pocketbook, watch or ring that accidentally gets tossed along with them. (Such items are sent to Lost and Found, in the Security Department.) Nichols’ job is to give the bags to a cleaning service, and unload and unpack the clean linens that are delivered. He then sorts them and delivers them to storage closets throughout the hospital. The Medical Center goes through about 9,000 pounds of linens every day — more than 3.3 million pounds a year. “You really wouldn’t think it was that serious, but when you walk the areas and you take care of your units, you have a passion for your job and you want to do the best you can,” he says. “I don’t want them to ever need something and not have it right there for them when they need it. There’s a lot more to it than you see on the surface.” Dedication to patients runs in the family: His son, Roland Nichols Jr., also works at UMMC, as a lead equipment distribution technician.

SCOPE ROOM: CENTRAL STERILE PROCESSING Everett Whitney, certified sterile processing scope technician, cleans

some of the most contaminated and complicated equipment found in the hospital: the scopes used for everything from intubations to colonoscopies. They’re delicate instruments that contain computer chips and fiber-optic lenses that project images onto a monitor during surgery. After use in an OR, these instruments are placed in an equipment elevator that takes them down to the basement level, where Whitney and his fellow technicians clean, inspect and sterilize them. “We are leading the nation as far as the fastest turnaround rate for processing and we have the most advanced equipment. Other hospitals’ staff come here to see our process,” Whitney says, adding that his department’s average turnaround time is about 42 minutes. “The patients don’t see us or say, ‘I want to thank the guy who cleaned my scope,’ but you know you were a part of a group that made that [successful procedure] happen. It’s very rewarding.”

LABORATORIES OF PATHOLOGY When someone comes to the hospital complaining of chest pains, a blood sample goes to the Laboratories of Pathology, where Jennifer Christophi, MS, MLS (ASCP), senior medical technologist, studies it for cardiac markers to help determine whether the patient has suffered a heart attack. She also studies a variety of other types of samples, such as spinal and synovial fluid, looking for the presence or absence of disease processes. Many of the technologists in her department hold master’s degrees or, like Christophi, are in the process of earning a PhD.

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FALL 2011

“Our number is on the bill, so patients can reach us easily,” Kreafle says. “Sometimes they’re frustrated: They’re not just calling to say hi – it’s because they have a question or they believe an error has occurred. A lot of the time, it’s a simple solution and we can help them. I try to show them that I understand their frustration and that I want to help them. I try to use terms they will understand to explain the process and just be kind.” Kreafle and her colleagues in Patient Financial Services work about 15 miles north of the Medical Center. But they do see the occasional patient who prefers to come in rather than talk on the phone.


CENTRAL STERILE PROCESSING Before Vatrice McKoy, certified sterile processing technician, begins her job cleaning, sorting and sterilizing surgical instruments — many of which are razor sharp — she dons thick rubber gloves, puts booties over her shoes, covers her mouth and nose with a surgical mask, then lowers a plastic shield over her face, all in the name of avoiding infection and injury. After a preliminary washing, the instruments are put into what amounts to a high-tech automatic dishwasher that finishes the job with pressure and heat. It’s one of the most advanced instrument systems around: scanners and computers are used to keep track of each piece of equipment — from cleaning, to use in the operating room, and back again. “It’s a real energetic job and we learn new things every day,” McKoy says. “We go to seminars and workshops and learn from different vendors how the instruments should be cleaned. It’s a good stepping stone; a lot of people go back to school to be surgical techs or anesthesia techs.” McKoy is one step away from the OR, but her work goes all the way inside. The instrument sets she sterilizes won’t be opened again until they are in an operating room with the patient and a scrubbed-in OR team.

PATIENT FINANCIAL SERVICES On a typical day, Gina Kreafle, financial receivables coordinator, will take 50 calls from patients to help work through any obstacles or questions. Sometimes patients need help applying for Medicaid or other programs that can help with their hospital bills.

Coming November 7-20

“About 80 percent of the decision-making on the clinical side is based on what we do here in the lab,” Christophi says. “Yet some people have no idea who we are or what we do, and how much we study and train to do our jobs.” Christophi is working toward a doctorate in management. Her dissertation is on quality improvement in the laboratory. “We’re here for the patients. Our goal is to provide high-quality results in a timely fashion,” Christophi says.

At the heart of the Medical Center’s mission is the commitment to be available for all patients who need the expert care provided here. That means beds don’t sit empty for any longer than necessary when a patient care unit is due an overhaul by the Operations and Maintenance Department. Mary Anne Judy, operations and maintenance coordinator, makes sure the work goes without a hitch. “We plan ahead for ‘high-priority’ projects, which means that the patient care staff and patients move temporarily to another unit in the hospital. Then we have exactly one week to start and finish, so that we can move patients back in, and then go on to the next high-priority project,” says Judy. During the last week of September, for example, the operations and maintenance staff upgraded the plumbing and outlets for medical gases in patient rooms on the Multi-Trauma Critical Care unit on the sixth floor of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. They painted walls, repaired cabinetry and replaced ceiling panels, among other jobs. As her colleagues wielded power tools and climbed ladders, Judy circulated among them with a walkie-talkie in one hand and a Blackberry in the other. She made sure that anything they needed — another trades person, a carpenter, some supplies from the store room — was provided for them, stat. It’s fast-paced, think-on-your-feet work, which is just what Judy likes. “I like to get stuff done,” says Judy, who left a 20-year career as a paralegal to do this work. “I have to be moving.”

UMMC Employee Opinion Survey

Your voice counts!


NCI Renews Designation for the GREENEBAUM CANCER CENTER The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has won renewal of its National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation for five years, along with $7.6 million in new federal funding for cancer research. The NCI has bestowed this special designation on only 66 centers in the US in recognition of scientific excellence and outstanding patient care. The renewal this summer followed an exhaustive review process, which included a 1,100-page grant proposal and visit by a team of NCI-appointed scientists. “We’re enormously pleased,” says Kevin J. Cullen, MD, the cancer center’s director and professor of medicine at the UM School of Medicine. “The $7.6 million in additional funding through mid-2016 will help us significantly expand our clinical and basic-science research programs.” Since the cancer center first received NCI designation, its total research funding has increased 55 percent, to a current level of $74.2 million. “The cancer center’s NCI designation brings more clinical trials to patients, providing new treatment options,” says Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of the Medical Center. The center places a strong emphasis on participation of underrepresented minorities in clinical research. About 36 percent of minority patients treated at the cancer center participate in a clinical trial, compared to a national average of about 1 percent. Increased participation will lead to greater understanding of how treatments might be improved. “African-Americans have a much higher death rate from cancer than white patients with the same disease, and we need to look at the underlying reasons,” Cullen says. Key areas of research include cancer health disparities; cancer vaccines and tumor immunology; resistance of certain cancers to chemotherapy; HIV-related cancers; development of new cancer drugs and treatments; and the genetics of cancer. Angela H. Brodie, PhD, professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the School of Medicine, pioneered the development of drugs called aromatase inhibitors that have become the standard of care for thousands of breast cancer patients worldwide. Now, she is looking at ways to reprogram resistant tumors — such as aggressive triple-negative breast cancers — so that they respond to treatment with aromatase inhibitors. In addition, she is developing novel hormone compounds called antiandrogens to treat prostate cancer.

For more information about the center, go to

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4 UMMC Connections


Great E

very day, patients and their families express gratitude to Medical Center staff members for the care and service they provide. Staff members notice when one of their own does something extraordinary, too.

Recognizing staff members for a job well done is now easier than ever, as the

Commitment to Excellence (C2X) Employee Engagement Team is reviving the

“Great Stories” and “I Was Noticed” programs with new features. “The Employee Engagement Team has worked very hard to redevelop these two programs in the spirit of recognizing all of the great work that happens here at the Medical Center,” says Kerry Sobol, MBA, RN, director of Patient Experience and Commitment to Excellence. “These programs are a great way to highlight excellence and bring our patients, families and staff together to celebrate." Each quarter, the Great Stories program highlights a handful of stories of staff members or teams who exceed the behavioral standards, exemplify role-model behavior or demonstrate how each staff member has the ability to enhance the patient’s experience. These stories come from a variety of sources: Patients and family members often are so moved and impressed by the care they receive that they send letters, cards or email, or submit comments to the UMMC Web and social media sites. Staff members can also submit examples of colleagues doing great work through the Great Stories email address ( “We know that UMMC employees do great things every day and that many go out of their way to take care of patients and visitors,” says Diana Johnson, MS, PT, director of rehabilitation services and leader for the Employee Engagement Team. “Great Stories allows us to showcase the ‘power of one’ as well as exceptional teamwork, which is what makes UMMC a great place to work.” Following are excerpts of four Great Stories selected for this quarter. If you would like to share a great story, please send it to Great Stories program recognition includes the following: H A quarterly recognition event for the winners, providing an opportunity to reunite staff members with patients and families who recognized their work. H Recognition for individuals and departments specifically mentioned in the letters received. H Publishing of stories and the winners’ names.

Melissa Steimel, RN, BSN, CCRN, is one of the ExpressCare pediatric transport nurses who cared for Cameron Christopher during the drive from Upper Chesapeake Medical Center to UMMC.

Sgt. Matt Christopher Shady Side, MD 20764 Cameron Christopher

Dear Mr. Rivest, My 14-month-old son, Cameron, was seen in the children's hospital from Christmas Night until January 4. Being first-time parents, we were terrified. Our night started with one of your crews picking him up and providing outstanding service the whole ride. We then were received into the children's emergency department and were well taken care of. Then we were transferred to the Pediatric ICU, where our level of care continued to awe us. Our nurse, Dovita Lerner, took wonderful care of our son and us. The whole team in the children's hospital was wonderful. The housekeeper, Maria Guzman, would see us and ask how he was doing. Dovita checked on us even when we had moved wards. It was plain to see that everyone there considers it more than just a job. Our last nurse's assistant, Nikki Burroughs, was able to relate to us and would ask us if we needed anything. Dr. Mary Boyd checked up on us constantly and became a quick friend. It's easy to see why you are an award-winning hospital. You have exceeded expectations for me and all of my family. I still can not believe the service we got while there. We were treated as if we were royalty. Thank you and God Bless, Matt Christopher Master Mason, USMC

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FALL 2011


Abound @ UMMC When the Cure Comes with a Price Daniel & Cheryl Fasano Enfield, CT May 5, 2011 From left, Paul Edwards, patient transportation supervisor; Nakeesha King, patient care technician in the Adult Emergency Department; Jonathan Kum, security officer; Emily Kay, BSN, RN, nurse in the ED; Temar Clark, valet supervisor; and Stephen Moyer, director of security.

Mr. Jeffrey Rivest University of Maryland Medical Center 22 S. Greene St. Baltimore, MD 21201-1595 RE: EMERGENCY ROOM SERVICE

Dear Mr. Rivest, I was brought to your emergency room on April 7 after a fall at the Inner Harbor. I have to say from the moment I was picked up by the ambulance until the moment your courtesy shuttle dropped me off at the airport, every single person I came in contact with was exceptional. I was well taken care of by the medical staff as well as by the registration staff. I was brought into X-ray within the hour. I needed to catch a plane home at 5 pm and everyone did everything they could to make that happen. I have never been taken care of so well in an emergency room. The security people helped us call a cab. The cab didn’t come and time was getting short [so] Stephen Moyer, director of security, had the UMMC courtesy shuttle drop us off at the airport. And finally, when looking for a contact to send this letter, I emailed your website and got an answer within a couple of hours. I want to thank you and commend you for your excellent customer service. Your staff thought outside the box at every point to help me with my problem.

May 24, 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center 22 S. Greene St. Baltimore, MD 21201 and M arylee Gorman Jim Dorsey Nancy Gambill, left, and Susan Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, 8th floor

Attention: Office of Administration and

To whom it may concern and to all who will read this: On Nov. 1, 2010, my husband was taken to [another hospital]. He had cancer. A doctor told me that if I wanted to save his life, he had to be transferred to University of Maryland hospital. On April 5, 2011, we learned that his cancer was gone. This is a miracle, but the true miracle is what happened from Nov. 4 to April 5, 2011. My husband started in the MICU unit, went to Oncology, to Acute Care, to Rehab and so on. Every person that took care of him gave him a level of care that I have never experienced before. Everyone,

Sincerely, Cheryl Fasano

from the men who park your car or give tickets for the garage, to the people who give the wrist bands (Stacy, Nadine) to the gentleman who greets you at the front door, are very special. Every day, they would ask how my husband was doing. The people in the clinic and Infusion Center were friendly and warm.


x Close < Reply > Forward

We want to say a special thanks to the people on the 8th floor of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center — this is where we spent most of our time:

From: Cathylena Brown, BSN, RN

3/30/2011 6:44 AM

Jennifer Cozad, Jennifer O, Krishna, Carlie, Kelly, Helen, Kim, Jo Jo, Phyllis, and Elaine Cooper, plus the people that delivered the meals, transport and physical thera-

To: Tonja D. Marell-Bell, MSN, RN

py. We cannot express how each and every one of the people we met helped us

Subject: Robert Rodriguez

through this nightmare. The great efforts of Dr. Michael Kleinberg and his team will


always be remembered. Dr. Amy Kimball is not only a great doctor, but her caring manner brought such comfort. Dr. Stephanie Mikulsky stayed with him for several hours and just gave him hope and comfort. We pray every day that the people, the

Dear Tonja, I wanted to let you know about one of your nurses, Robert Rodriguez, who works here in the PACU quite frequently. Robert Rodriguez, First I want to start by saying that we always enjoy BSN, RN, CCRN it when Rob is here to work. He usually works day shift and ends up doing a long shift. He is always courteous and friendly to everyone. He has an excellent rapport with his patients and families and takes time to talk with them regarding the surgery and hospital stay. He always shows them the utmost respect and you can see that he really cares about their well-being. I am impressed with his positive attitude when he works. He goes out of his way to help others when he's here, volunteering to go on transports, give boosts, turn patients, etc., and goes above and beyond until the very end of his shift to meet his patient's needs (to the point where as charge I have to tell him to GO HOME!!!). He is truly an asset to our PACU when he is here. He can care for the sickest Surgical Intensive Care Unit patient to the easiest Same Day Surgery patient, and if it is in his ability to get that patient to their room before his shift ends, he does it, safely. He never complains; he is just an all-around great guy and an awesome nurse!!!! I don't usually write these letters for just anybody but Rob is so unique that I feel that you need to know. We truly appreciate his work and dedication to us and our unit!!!!! Thank you.

angels at University of Maryland, are blessed as well. Sincerely, Marylee and Jim (Batman) Gorman Aberdeen, MD 21001

Cathylena Brown, BSN, RN Senior Clinical Nurse I Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) University of Maryland Medical Center


Jim Gorman (right) was able to beat cancer and get back to his favorite hobby of collecting Batman memorabilia. His UMMC care team included (from left) physical therapists Erica Percival, MPT, and Christine Force, DPT; patient care technicians Phyllis Smith and Joselito “JoJo” Kardenas; and 8 West nurses Jennifer Cozad, RN, Kelly Malloy, RN, and Jennifer Ocampo, BSN, RN.

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6 UMMC Connections F E A T U R E

Robert Rodriquez

UMMC is tops nationwide in


At a press conference in July, Matthew Cooper, MD, (standing ) associate professor of surgery and director of kidney transplantation at UMMC, introduces those who donated a kidney to the patients who received them. A diagram below shows how paired kidney donations work for patients whose own loved ones are not a match. Recipient Paul McSorley (above left) hugs Jesse Epperley, who donated a kidney to him through Paired Kidney Exchange.


The images in UMMC’s ad campaign make it clear: Living donor kidneys are removed through the belly button.

he belly-button TV commercial that debuted this year as part of UMMC’s new ad campaign has been prompting smiles all over Maryland. But under the charm is a serious message: The University of Maryland Medical Center boasts the largest program in the country for living donor kidney transplant and is one of only three hospitals in the country to master a minimally invasive surgical technique to remove kidneys from living donors through the belly button. Hospitals that perform high volumes of a particular surgery become especially good at it. Dozens of staff members at UMMC — technicians, nurses, surgeons, social workers and others — have become experts at performing complicated transplants and providing the care required to support these patients. “Everyone at the University of Maryland Medical Center was so wonderful to us — even the phlebotomist who came to draw my blood,” says Paul McSorley, who received a kidney this spring when he and five other Marylanders entered the Paired Kidney Exchange program and changed each other’s lives through a three-way kidney swap. UMMC is one of only three hospitals in the country that can remove the donor’s kidney through a single incision at the navel, leaving no obvious scar and only a Band-Aid after surgery. And UMMC’s research-based immunologic protocol ensures that kidney transplant recipients’ immune systems “adopt” the new organ as quickly and effectively as possible. But with all the successes, a kidney transplant is still a very complicated surgery. UMMC has built a multidisciplinary team to cover

all the bases, from helping the donor to evaluate all the physical and psychosocial issues before and after donation, to helping the recipient manage the physical changes in the months and years following transplant. Social workers, patient care technicians, laboratory staff, administrative assistants, transplant coordinators and finance and insurance experts all work on behalf of the patients. Patients often come to UMMC from other parts of the country because the Transplant team doesn’t turn away those whose cases are complicated or who may have other existing medical challenges. In fact, they thrive on the challenge and opportunity to help the sickest patients who are the most in need of this life-changing operation. A few weeks after the three-way kidney swap this past spring, the group of three donors and three recipients met each other for the first time at a small reception July 8 at UMMC. Emotions ran high as recipients met the generous donors who had given a piece of themselves — literally — to help a total stranger. When the matches were revealed, swap participants learned that Karen Becker’s kidney had gone to Mae Opie, a 73-year-old retired teacher. Becker’s donation to Opie allowed Jesse Epperley, who had originally intended to donate to Opie after reading about her need for a kidney in the church bulletin, to instead give his kidney to Paul McSorley, freeing McSorley’s twin sister, Joy Hindle, to donate her kidney to John Becker, Karen Becker’s husband. The three donors left the hospital with only a Band-Aid on their navels, and the recipients left the hospital with a new lease on life.



Paul McSorley

Joy Hindle

Karen Becker

Jesse Epperley



John Becker

Mae Opie

To read more about Paired Kidney Exchange and view video of the event, go to A

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The full articles for Employees of the M onth are available on the UM M C Employee Intranet.

FALL 2011


SEPTEMBER employee of the month

KEITH FRENCH, LCPC Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Department of Psychiatry, Outpatient Addiction Treatment Services

The rewards of counseling clients in UMMC’s Outpatient Addiction Treatment Services (OATS) come through watching people rediscover life in sobriety, says Keith French, LCPC, the September Employee of the Month. “Keith has consistently demonstrated that he is an excellent clinician who, in addition to having good technical skills, also shows a genuine interest in the client’s well-being,” says Michael Papa, LCSW-C, his manager. “I like seeing when clients start to get better — when you can see the physical changes in their appearance and their personalities emerge once they get sobriety,” French says. “I like how they rediscover the mundane. For example, I work with one client who recently started cutting the grass for the first time ever, and he’s completely enthusiastic about it.”

OCTOBER employee of the month

When there’s a job that needs doing in the Digestive Health Center, October’s Employee of the Month, Dawn Branagan, CMA (AAMA), is always ready to take it on. “Dawn never lets the ‘not me’ syndrome get in the way of excellent service,” says Heather Gibson, senior practice manager. “Regardless of whose job it is, she takes each challenge as her own responsibility and follows through with it until it is resolved. She inspires everyone with her dedication and her caring. So many people have benefited from her phenomenal work ethic and service.” “I love my job and I love the interaction with patients,” says Branagan, a certified medical assistant in the center.

DAWN BRANAGAN, CMA (AAMA) Medical Assistant Digestive Health Center

NOVEMBER employee of the month

Clinical Social Worker II Department of Social Work

U M M C Recognized as a 2011

Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in Nine Specialty Areas: Cancer



Diabetes & Endocrinology

Cardiology & Heart Surgery


Ear, Nose & Throat

Kidney Disorders


Thanks to the clinical faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the exceptional staff of the University of Maryland Medical Center.



Everyone who works with the November Employee of the Month, Linda Mullens, LCSW-C, talks about her passion for her work and her dedication to helping adult patients manage the medical, social and practical challenges of mental illness. “Linda has a strong internal drive to help very vulnerable psychiatric patients who must cope with the social stigma of mental illness,” says Rebecca Latham, LCSW-C, associate director for the Department of Social Work. “She regularly goes out of her way to help patients with needs that range from clothing to transportation to other parts of the country, where they can receive family support.”






Another W@y to Get Noticed The “I Was Noticed” program has a new look, with redesigned IWN cards that reflect UMMC’s new logo colors. The big change, though, is that this program has been expanded to include nominations from patients and their family members. This change occurred organically — patients and family members had begun to see the IWN cards and boxes meant for staff, and would pick up the cards and make their own nominations. Some patients and their loved ones didn’t want to wait until they went home to write a letter — they noticed the convenient cards and seized the opportunity to recognize great service and compassionate care. IWN is designed to make it easy for colleagues to commend each other. A staff member fills out the card and gives it to his/her colleague and thanks them. The employee being recognized then gives the card to his/her supervisor to sign and enter in a drawing. Three winners are drawn each month, each winning extra vacation time (if a regular staff member). The program now includes per diem staff, who would receive a gift card rather than vacation time. “We decided to extend this program to patients, family members and hospital visitors because over the past six months or so, we noticed they were already filling out the IWN cards and putting them in the collection boxes,” says Diana Johnson, director of rehabilitation services and Employee Engagement Team leader. “Extending the program to include them will increase the amount of recognition our employees receive, while making our patients, family members and visitors feel good about having an easy way to say ‘thanks’ for the care they or a loved one have received.”

Magnet National Conference Held in Baltimore MARYLAND NURSES TOOK CENTER STAGE WHEN MORE THAN 7,500 NURSES FROM AROUND THE WORLD ATTENDED THE 2011 NATIONAL MAGNET CONFERENCE ORGANIZED BY THE AMERICAN NURSES CREDENTIALING CENTER OCT. 4-6. Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, (above) senior vice president and chief nursing officer for UMMC, chaired a committee from the six Maryland hospitals that have earned Magnet designation and which served as local hosts for the convention. At the opening ceremonies, Rowen introduced a video featuring five Maryland nurses, including June Guadalupe, BSN, RN, CEN, CCRN, CMC, (right) a nurse in the Trauma Resuscitation Unit. More than 150 UMMC nurses volunteered during the 3-day conference and attended workshops. Three teams of UMMC nurses were among the 120 poster presenters — chosen from 1,300 submissions. UMMC presenters were: Ariel de Vera, BSN, RN, CCRN; Susanne Anderson, MS, RN, ACNP-BC; Ronetta Lambert, MS, RN; Joan McFadden-Cain, BSN, RN; Lora Gentile, BSN, RN; Cathy Widmer, MSN, RN; and (pictured) the interprofessional team of Ed Bennett, director of Web and communications technology, Greg Raymond, MS, MBA, RN; and Anne Naunton, MS, RN.

We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care > We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care > We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care > We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care >

8 UMMC Connections


Welcome > > > Gregory Mesa, MSPT, is the new outpatient manager for the Department of Rehabilitation Services. He graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, Va., and has 10 years of clinical experience, seven of which were in a leadership role. His most recent position was as clinic director for Capitol Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation in North Bethesda. He served more than six years in the US Navy, including Special Forces. He will oversee hospitalbased occupational therapy, ergonomics and pediatric rehabilitation services, as well as services in the Frenkil Building. David Smock, MA, is the new waste and recycling manager, leading the staff effort to comply with the Medical Center's waste and recycling policies. He has more than 20 years of project management and leadership experience in information technology, banking and community development. Before coming to UMMC as a member of the staff, he worked here in 2010 as an employee of First Diversity Management Group, a consultant that facilitated the transition of Housekeeping and Hospitality Services to an in-house department.

New Roles > > > Sean Barrett is the new manager for patient transportation. He has worked at UMMC for 18 years, most recently as a supervisor for guest services and coordinator of retail and valet services. In his new role, he will supervise the staff who transport patients and maintain transport equipment, including an in-house team of mechanics who specialize in hospital beds. He is a graduate of Coppin State University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in social science and social work Thomas F. Crusse, RN, BSN, CEN, has been promoted to the role of nurse manager of the Adult Emergency Department. He began his career in the Shock Trauma Center in 1990 before moving to the ED. He has served in leadership roles for the Emergency Nurses Association’s Baltimore-area chapter and as past chair of the Chesapeake Chapter of the ED Consortium. At UMMC, he has chaired the Professional Development Council and is coprincipal investigator for a study on the effect of different types of collection tubes on the quality of blood samples drawn from ED

patients. He is expected to complete a master’s degree in nursing with a certificate in education from the UM School of Nursing in December. Patricia Hudson-Pitts has accepted a new role as the logistics operations manager in the Materials Management Department, where she will use her key leadership skills to manage in-house distribution of medical-surgical products previously delivered by an outside vendor. Her new role involves detailed emphasis on product quality, safety, utilization and customer satisfaction. She has worked at UMMC for more than 20 years, most recently as supervisor in the Perioperative Distribution Center. Margie Goralski Stickles, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN, has been promoted to director of nursing and will oversee the Perioperative Services Preparation Center, the GI Endoscopy Suite and the Mobile Practitioner and Rapid Response teams. Previously, she has held several positions with progressively more responsibility since first beginning her career at the Shock Trauma Center in neurotrauma critical care.

Fall Honored > > > Wendy Foy, administrative assistant in the Department of Managed Care, was honored by the Citywide Special Education Project, a nonprofit organization that began as part of the Maryland Disability Law Center, for her service as a member of the board of directors. Several years ago, Foy had sought help from the law center in advocating for three of her family members who were students in Baltimore City Public Schools. She grew to take a leadership role as a family advocate before being named to the board.

Shari Simone, DNP, CPNPAC, FCCM, received the Outstanding Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduate award at the UM School of Nursing commencement in May when she completed her doctorate. She is the lead nurse practitioner (NP) for Women’s and Children’s Health at UMMC, where she has worked for 15 years as a nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She was instrumental in developing the NP model of care in the PICU. Simone also is a clinical instructor in the Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing program of the School of Nursing.

Be Part of the Solution SUPPORT THE UMMC


The United Way of Central Maryland aids the most vulnerable members of the community in times of need. To be part of the solution, sign up through the Intranet to donate or volunteer. A full list of charitable programs connected to the Medical Center, including the capital campaign for the Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower, is available for donors who want to designate their contributions for a specific program. “The amount each employee gives is not as important as the impact of thousands of us joining together to make a significant difference to the vulnerable members of our community,” says Alison Brown, senior vice president for business development at UMMC and a former UWCM board member.


Heart Center’s New Hybrid OR Integrates Patient Care


atients needing cardiac stenting or the most com-

da Vinci robot

“The inclusion of the da Vinci robot makes this OR unique. I

plicated of heart surgeries may now be treated in

take my hat off to our facilities, perioperative, cardiac sur-

the UMMC Heart Center’s one-of-a-kind hybrid operat-

gery and cardiology teams who shared our vision for this

ing room. The opening of the new hybrid OR brings

innovative OR and brought it to life for the betterment of

together the best of cardiology and the best of cardiac

our patients.”

surgery by providing a diagnostic and operative environ-

Patients treated in this OR will undergo hybrid, or com-

ment with the most advanced imaging technology and

bined, procedures, such as TECAB (totally endoscopic coro-

surgical robotics, including the da Vinci robot. The use of

nary artery bypass) and balloon angioplasty with stenting in

the da Vinci robot and the ability to perform closed-chest

the same session. Teams will also perform heart valve

heart bypass surgery differentiate this hybrid OR from

implantation and repair of the thoracic aorta through a tiny

nearly every other hybrid OR in the US.

access in the groin. All these procedures are able to be per-

“This cardiac hybrid OR provides patients with the best collaborative decision making from interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, perfusionists

formed in this hybrid setting without opening the chest, leading to faster recovery times for the patient. Cutting-edge X-ray and 3-D imaging devices allow the

and radiologists who are all working together, side by

clinical team to provide the highest quality care by enabling

side, to make immediate decisions about the best path-

them to view the structures and repairs inside the body in

way of care for our cardiac patients,” says Stephen

near real-time so that they can evaluate the procedure and

Bartlett, MD, professor and chair, Department of Surgery.

begin more advanced operations immediately, if necessary.

UMMC Connections

is available on the Intranet and at

The University of Maryland Medical Center is an equal opportunity employer and proud supporter of an environment of diversity. We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care > We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care > We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care > We Heal > We Teach > We Discover > We Care >

UMMC Connections  

UMMC Connections is the newsletter for the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is published four times a year, and produced by the Off...

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