Welcome to eFocus. Our goal is to provide you with timely, informative and useful short summaries and links about UM UCH related news, issues, or events. Feel free to contact us if you have news to share, story ideas or any other feedback. As always, your comments are welcome.

eFocus, April 2023 topics include:


Spring always puts a smile on my face as the sunlight extends longer into the day. It's also the time of year when we celebrate Doctors' Day. And, instead of a day, we had a weeklong celebration for our providers. I know they're not healthy, but the doughnuts were my favorite. And the umbrellas (our giveaways) will certainly come in handy. Thank you Dr. Dixon King and Jeanine Davidson-Walker for organizing the events!

We have some great material for you in eFocus this month. One is a great story of a doctor providing a community service--check it out! And we continue to win with our hospital acquired infections with only 8 so far during FY 24. Colleen Clay has reincarnated the CLABSI Crusher and we are making a push to close out the fiscal year with the best performance ever. Did you know we have gone 83 days before without an HAI?

The volumes remain challenging but the resiliency, dedication and courage of our teams is on display on a daily basis. From the ED waiting room where so much transformation has occurred to provide care there – to the OR where we are discharging same-day hysterectomy, total knees, total hips, appy's, choly's and more – to the floors where everyone is working together to care for and treat these patients as safely and efficiently as possible. Thank you for all that you do for our patients and community; be sure to take care of yourselves as well. Enjoy this month's eFocus!

Fermin Barrueto, Jr., M.D., M.B.A.
Senior Vice President/CMO
Medical Staff Affairs


Dr. Leo's Literature Review

View this month's full library of articles and resources here. Topics include quality efforts on EMS-placed PVCs, peripherally inserted central catheter lumens and their affect on the rate of central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in adult patients with acute leukemia, and the risk and economic burden of surgical site infection following spinal fusion in adults. Thank you to Dr. Hanouneh for your contribution, as well!

Oncology Grand Rounds, Cannabis Use and Oncology Care

Save the date and spread the word for Oncology Grand Rounds on April 12, 7:30-8:30 a.m. in the Streett Conference Room. The topic is: Cannabis Use and Oncology Care.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the legislative impact of medical cannabis on the State of Maryland
  2. Define sativa, indica and hemp
  3. Review the evidence for cannabinoids in selected medical conditions
  4. Discuss future directions of cannabis and its role in medicine

See flyer for details.


Celebrating our Providers

On March 30 of each year we celebrate Doctors' Day to honor the service of our providers to the community. In the midst of a public health emergency, having lasted multiple years, we cannot begin to count the ways our UCH providers have continued to stand for patients providing care and comfort when it is needed most. Take a look at some of our team members who participated in our activities, including a recognition lunch in the Memorial Garden.  

Recap: Well-Being During Times of Uncertainty

Thank you for joining us for our special Patient Safety Awareness Week webinar, Well-Being During Times of Uncertainty, with Dr. Bryan Sexton. We encourage you take advantage of the simple, practical and bite-sized strategies that Dr. Sexton presented throughout the meeting. Check out the additional resources below.

Physician Kudos

In an email to Dr. Barrueto, Vickie Bands writes: "I know Doctors’ Day was last week, but I wanted to share a really wonderful incident that just happened yesterday (April 3) and this morning.

Cathy Kearney, office manager for Upper Chesapeake Primary Care in Bel Air) and who was once my office manager in the HealthLink Primary Care Clinic, and I were contacted by Inez (who currently works for the Harford County Health Department but also used to an interpreter and office person for the HealthLink Clinic). She had a young uninsured, Hispanic boy who came to her with terrible ingrown toe nails whose father was trying to manage—unsuccessfully. HCHD was finally able to get a podiatrist to agree to see this child in the future on April 17th for $675.

The child has been missing school because of his pain and is unable to wear shoes much of the time. His father called Inez yesterday saying the child was in terrible pain and his toes were bleeding. Unfortunately, the podiatrist would not take him early and Inez had only been able to raise half the $675 to help. When she contacted Cathy and me, she was at her wits end. Cathy and I decided to contact Michael K. Block, DPM (whose office is located in Abingdon) and plead the case; we were pros at this with the HealthLink Clinic! Dr. Block saw this child first thing on Tuesday morning, provided treatment and will see him for a follow-up.

He said he would take the $300 that Inez had raised so far for the other podiatrist.

The boy told Dr. Block that he had missed so much school because of his feet that he was struggling academically. And at the end of the visit when the father went to pay, Dr. Block told him he did not have to pay for the visit on one condition: that the child had to bring an ‘A’ from school! I think Cathy’s office, the HCHD and my office were in tears this morning. Best story in a long time. Dr. Block told Inez that he would be more than willing to see other kids from the HCHD’s clinic who had foot issues.

I am a firm believe it never hurts to ask, and beg sometimes!

Grateful Patient

In a recent letter to Elizabeth Wise, president and CEO, a patient writes, "I was brought in with a brought in with a broken left hip and had surgery to repair it. It was the worst pain I have ever felt, including a broken pelvis two years ago. But when I came out of surgery I was surrounded by Earth angels. The sweetest, caring, loving team who knew their calling and that's why they became nurses.

You are very lucky, Mrs. CEO. You have the Olympic team working for you on UCMC 2 West--nursing, blood drawers, blood transfusion, X-ray staff, breathing treatment team (respiratory) and the awesome physical therapy, along with the vital takers (nursing techs), and sweet Dr. Bhatta.

I know you have great surgeons; they fix the problem. And then this awesome staff takes over."


COVID-19 Update

UMMS Moving to Level Green: As of Wednesday, March 29, UMMS has moved to Level Green for Infection Prevention guidance across all facilities under a phased approach. In the first phase, masking is optional everywhere except in cases of direct patient contact, where it is required. This applies to both team members and Care Partners (visitors).

Nominate a ‘Top Doctor’ for Baltimore Magazine

Baltimore magazine's 36th annual ‘Top Doctors’ survey is now underway for 2023. We hope that you’ll participate by nominating your physician peers across 100-plus specialties. The survey is available HERE. Last year, more than 250 individuals in 90 specialties and sub-specialties who provide care across University of Maryland Medical System hospitals were recognized as ‘Top Doctors’ in the November 2022 issue of Baltimore magazine. Twenty-six of them were on staff or had privileges at UM Upper Chesapeake Health. You can see the full 2022 list at umuch.org/topdocs. DEADLINE IS JUNE 2!

Safety and Quality Dashboard

Primary Care Kudos

The Bel Air office of Upper Chesapeake Primary Care recently received the Quitline Referral Award from the Maryland Tobacco Control Resource Center for an outstanding record of EHR referrals during fiscal year 22. The office celebrated with presentation of a plaque by Vickie Bands (Director, Community Outreach and Health Improvement) and lunch!

Welcome New Primary Care Providers

The Aberdeen office of Upper Chesapeake Primary Care welcomes Tatyauna Lanier, DNP to the practice. Ms. Lanier received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Coppin State University and Doctor of Nursing Practice (Family Nurse Practitioner specialty) from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She has nursing experience in a variety of different settings including case management, medical surgical/telemetry and critical care.

In addition, she has received nursing excellence, teamwork and collaboration and employee of the quarter awards at University of Maryland Medical Center. In her free time, she provides pet therapy community service as a Pets On Wheels volunteer.

The Forest Hill office of Upper Chesapeake Primary Care welcomes Dr. Deep Mahapatra to the practice. Dr. Mahapatra is a native Marylander who did his undergraduate work at University of Maryland’s College Park campus. He completed medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and family medicine residency at Harnett Health in North Carolina where he participated on emergency department, infection control, ethics and process committees.

Dr. Mahapatra has a special interest in preventive care, nutrition and healthy living initiatives. He and his young family have relocated to Harford County and look forward to planting long-term roots in our community.

Celebrating Patient Safety Week

Patient Safety Awareness Week was celebrated March 12-18. Every day a safety tip was sent out to all staff as well as a trivia question; correct answers were entered into a drawing each day that include prizes like a waffle maker, bluetooth speaker and insulated cooler. The education simulation lab was set up as a "room or errors" and team members were invited to find the 20 errors in the room that could lead to patient harm. Winner of this activity was Lisa Jennings, Nursing.

We recognized team members each day as our safety advocates at the daily patient safety brief: Our thanks to Adam Kravitz, Security; Mary Kate Wiegand, Nursing; Jyness Williams, Pharmacy; Billie Simmons, RT; and Paddy Poet, OT for their contribution to our culture of safety.

Special recognition also goes to Tanika Thompson, Patient Safety Officer, and Jamie Kelly, Patient Safety Coordinator. Tanika and Jamie have done an incredible job in moving us along on our HRO journey. During CY2022, this small but mighty team conducted nearly 50 root cause analyses (RCAs), reviewed hundreds of UMMSafe events, identified safety trends/system vulnerabilities, and helped us improve the patient safety brief. As an organization, we have a greater awareness of patient safety because of the Tanika and Jamie's relentless focus. We are deeply grateful for their contributions.