For Immediate Release March 26, 2018

Hospice Officials being presented donation check

Shown left to right are Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, Chester River Health Foundation; Barrie Frazier-Meima, Board chair, Chester River Health Foundation; Heather Guerieri, executive direction, Compass Regional Hospice; Tom Helfenbein, Board chair, Compass Regional Hospice; and Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health.

Chester River Health Foundation has donated funds exceeding $234,000 — received in past years to support hospice care for Kent County and Queen Anne’s County residents — to Compass Regional Hospice. Chester River Health Foundation had raised funds for hospice care when it was provided by Chester River Home Care & Hospice.

Since 2014, Compass Regional Hospice has provided hospice care for Kent County residents in private homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and recently opened its new residential Hospice Center on the third floor of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

The official check presentation took place at UM Shore Medical Center on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Representing the board of the Chester River Health Foundation (CRHF), Barrie Frazier-Meima, stated, “Those of us on the Foundation board and many individuals in the community who have been involved with hospice over the years are so pleased that Compass Regional Hospice is now providing hospice care in our hospital. This arrangement represents a perfect coming together for the benefit of Kent and northern Queen Anne’s county residents, and today, the Board of the Chester River Health Foundation is pleased to provide to Compass Regional Hospice $234,146.34 in funds originally donated to support local hospice care. People in our communities have needed and wanted a residential Hospice Center in our county, and now here it is.”

According to Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice, the funds will be used to pay room and board at the Hospice Center in Chestertown for patients who are unable to afford it, and to help offset other unfunded hospice care and grief support services provided to the residents of Kent County.
“For many years Chester River Health Foundation has played a significant role in ensuring that the residents of Kent and northern Queen Anne’s counties have access to quality medical care,” said Guerieri. “On behalf of the board and staff of Compass Regional Hospice, I would like to thank the Foundation for helping us respond to the end-of-life needs of Kent County hospice patients and their loved ones through the release of Foundation funds earmarked for hospice.”

Other guests included members of the community who were involved with hospice care over the years, including longtime KHF Board members Judie Willock and Mary Wick, who also served as Board president of the organization.

“I’m delighted that hospice care is once again a viable and important resource in Kent County and that Shore Regional Health teamed up with Compass Regional Hospice to house the residential Hospice Center right here in our hospital,” said Wick. “For many years, the Kent Hospice Foundation – our Board, our medical director Dr. Patrick Shanahan and our administrators, including Nancy Morris who was exceptionally dedicated and very effective – provided hospice care with a small group of volunteers and of course, our hospice nurses who worked for Kent County Hospice under the leadership of Dr. John Grant and later for Chester River Home Care & Hospice. An important focus of our fundraising efforts was to support staff education as well as patient care. The field of hospice care was always rapidly evolving and we wanted our team to have the latest knowledge and skills to provide the best care.”

For information about how to support hospice care and grief support in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, contact Kenda Leager, development officer for Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4106, kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

For information about how to support patient care and staff development needs at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, contact Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, UM Chester River Health Foundation, 410-810-5660, mruehrmund@umm.edu