March/April 2014

Hospice of the Chesapeake Announces $5 Million Gift- Largest Donation in its History

Hospice of the Chesapeake, the premier non-profit provider of hospice care to patients with advanced illness in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties, has announced the largest donation in the nonprofit’s history – $5 million dollars – from John and Cathy Belcher of Edgewater, MD.   The landmark gift will directly support the construction of a new 14-bed state-of-the-art Inpatient Care Center and will also provide seed funding for The John and Cathy Belcher Institute for Complex Illness Care.

To honor the couple, longtime supporters of the health care provider, Hospice of the Chesapeake’s headquarters location at 90 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena will be named The John & Cathy Belcher Campus.

The newly developed John and Cathy Belcher Institute will be steered by Dr. Lou Lukas, Chief Medical Officer, Hospice of the Chesapeake, and will lead positive and transformational change in the care and understanding of complex illness.

National Patient Safety Week: Center Strives to Keep Patients Safe through Education and Engagement

In honor of National Patient Safety Week, March 2 – 8, The Maryland Patient Safety Center is educating Marylanders and healthcare practitioners throughout the state about ways to keep patients safe. There are also special observances throughout the month of March, culminating with the Center’s annual conference on March 21.

Safety Tips to Share with Patients:
– Reduce the chance of infection by keeping your hands clean and ensuring healthcare practitioners do the same – don’t be shy about asking a doctor or nurse if they washed their hands before they administer care. It may seem like you are bugging them, but they appreciate the reminder.

– Be an engaged patient and lean on a family member or friend to come with you to be your advocate – when you are receiving health care services, you can tend to get caught up in the moment. Write down the questions you want to ask and be sure to write down the responses.

– Medication safety – review the labels on the bottle to be sure they match your prescription. Take time to review the literature about your medication and note potential risks and side effects. Also, be sure to fully inform doctors about your medication history and current status before accepting new treatments.

Providers can also share the Ask Me 3 video with patients to encourage them to ask appropriate questions during their medical visit. See

AAMC Oncology and Hematology Recertified for Cancer Care from Largest U.S. Oncology Society

AAMC Oncology and Hematology, part of Anne Arundel Medical Center’s (AAMC) Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute, has received reaccreditation by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  The QOPI® Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.

AAMC Oncology and Hematology is one of six practices in Maryland who have received the inaugural certification since 2006. There are approximately 200 QOPI certified practices nationwide.

University of Maryland School of Medicine Researchers find Association Between Stroke and Cocaine Use

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center have found a significant increase in the risk for ischemic stroke in young adults within 24 hours after cocaine use. The risk after using cocaine was higher than for other known risk factors including smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The investigators looked at the cases of 1,101 young adults (ages 15 to 49) in the Baltimore-Washington area who had a stroke between 1992 and 2008. They compared the stroke patients to a control group of 1,154 people, interviewing both groups about stroke risk factors and illicit drug use. In the stroke group, 28 percent reported a history of cocaine use compared to 26 percent in the control group; about 2.4 percent of the stroke cases and 0.4 percent of people in the control group reported acute cocaine use within 24 hours.

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