Jones Honored by County, State for Service in Health Care

At the presentation of a proclamation recognizing his decades of service to health care on January 14, 2020 Gary Jones (third from right) is shown with (left to right) Talbot County Council members Chuck Callahan, Corey Pack, Frank Divilio, Laura Price and Pete Lesher.

Gary Jones, RCP, RRT, FACCA, director, Heart and Vascular Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, recently received state and county proclamations honoring his 50 years with UM Shore Regional Health. Jones recently retired at the end of 2019, but has agreed to stay on in a contractual role until a new director is found.

Born and raised in Talbot County, Jones attended Talbot County Public Schools. He later attained his A.A. degree from Chesapeake College and his B.A. in healthcare administration from Ottawa University. He also was advanced to doctoral candidacy in human development and neurophysiology from University of Maryland College Park.

A  Fellow of the American College of Cardiovascular Administrators (FACCA), Jones is a licensed, registered  respiratory care practitioner and in the course of his career, has held achieved multiple professional credentials, including: certified physician assistant, pulmonary technologist, paramedic instructor certified by the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS), forensic investigator with the Office of Chief Medical Examiner-Maryland, neonatal resuscitation hospital-based instructor, basic life support instructor and a clinical instructor in Salisbury University’s Respiratory Care Practitioner Program, and Delaware Technical and Community College Respiratory Care Practitioner Program. He also has been certified in advanced cardiac life support.

Jones has been employed with UM Shore Regional Health since November 1969, rising from respiratory therapist to supervisor to director of Respiratory Care, and later to director of Cardio-Pulmonary/Neurodiagnostic Services. Before being named director of the Heart and Vascular Center at UM Shore Regional Health, he was regional director of CardioPulmonary/Neurodiagnostic Services, a position he held since 1983.

Jones has been instrumental in the development of Cardiovascular Services at UM SRH. He helped establish the Vascular Lab at Easton, which has expanded to UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown and Dorchester and to UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton. He also helped to establish the Regional Sleep Disorders Center that now provides sleep testing in four locations.

Cardiovascular Services also have expanded to include pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, primary and elective PCI and cardiac electrophysiology services.

Jones helped establish the first Cardiac Cath Lab at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton in 1991. It has since grown to include a second Cath Lab, which in 2018 was designated as a Cardiac Interventional Center by MIEMSS, and in 2019 was granted a four-year accreditation. The Cath Lab consistently provides life-saving care procedures for patients experiencing a heart attack caused by arterial blockage in less than 60 minutes, 95 percent of the time. (The national target time is an average of 90 minutes.) The three teams are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in order to serve the community.

Also in 2019, after just one year of operation, the American Heart Association presented the Cardiac Intervention Center at Shore Medical Center at Easton with two separate Mission Lifeline awards for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Outside of UM Shore Regional Health, Jones has consistently advocated for pre-hospital advanced life support services in the region to better serve local communities. Beginning as a member of Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Jones later became a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) basic life support provider with the local ambulance service. He also served as a charter member of the Talbot County Advanced Life Support Services and was one of five paramedics who volunteered 24/7 in this role. Later, he transitioned to become a MIEMSS paramedic instructor, teaching paramedics working for emergency services in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.