For Immediate Release April 11, 2023

Five people are gathered for a photo. Three are sitting and two are standing.

From left are Kelly Alexander, pharmacist; Maryann Ruehrmund, Executive Director, UM CRHF; Richard Barker, President, UM CRHF; Dennis Welsh, Vice President, Rural Health Care Transformation, and Executive Director, Shore Medical Center at Chestertown; and Melanie Chapple, pharmacist.  

Four pharmacists at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown are participating in Geriatric Pharmacist Boot Camp, an intensive, two-day online training program offered by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). Their participation is made possible thanks to generous community funding provided through the UM Chester River Health Foundation (CRHF).

"The Chester River Health Foundation is honored to provide funds donated by the community for staff education purposes," said Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director. "This training will allow our pharmacists to develop the expertise needed to focus on the unique needs of older patients who may have concurrent illnesses or might be taking multiple medications for issues that arise due to aging. We applaud our pharmacists' desire for this highly specialized education."

The training program is designed as a review and update of treatment guidelines for older populations, and also helps prepare those intending to sit for the geriatric pharmacy exam. Among the topics included are neurologic disorders, infectious disease, endocrine and cardiovascular disorders.

Pharmacists Melanie Chapple and Kelly Alexander completed training last month; Deborah Pippin and Linda Hendrickson are scheduled to complete the training later this spring.

"This was a fantastic opportunity for Kelly and Melanie," said Pippin. "Melanie works directly with our patients and their caregivers in the outpatient setting, while Kelly works directly with providers and the hospital team to guide therapy and treatment plans for inpatients."

"We are very fortunate to have four pharmacists who will be specially trained in geriatric pharmacy management in our community," said Dennis Welsh, Vice President, Rural Health Care Transformation, and Executive Director, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. "As we age, medication can become necessary to effectively prevent and manage illness and disease, and improve the quality of our lives. With the ever increasing number of new medications available and our expanding knowledge of disease and pharmacology, it becomes even more important to understand how the medications we take interact with each other."

For more information or to make a donation to UM Chester River Health Foundation in support of advanced education opportunities for other team members, contact Ruehrmund at