National Home Care Month Celebrated By UM Shore Home Care and UM Chester River Home Care

Left to right: Wilbur Leavengood, vice president, Caroline County Commission; Daniel Franklin, Commission member; Rita Holley, regional director, Home Based Services, UM SRH; Larry Porter; Commission president; and Home Based Care staff members Sam Ricketts, Kelly Lord and Cynthia Lloyd.

November was National Home Care Month – and for the staff of UM Shore Regional Health’s two home care agencies, UM Shore Home Care (UM SHC) and UM Chester River Home Care (UM CRHC), it was as busy as ever.

Says Rita Holley, regional director, Home Based Services for UM Shore Regional Health, “In fact it has been a very busy year, thanks to the team-building and administrative work involved in connecting the two agencies under a uniform management structure as well as the consistently high patient demand they garner.”

Both UM CRHC and UM SHC have been serving patients in the five country region for more than 15 years. They now have a combined total of 75 employees; of those, more than two-thirds are clinical staff. There also are 12 staff providing office support services, eight leadership team members and two managing Lifeline services.

The two agencies provide a full range of services including skilled nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social work; and home health aide assistance.

“During FY 2105, our clinicians admitted a total of more than 2500 individual patients and conducted nearly 35,000 visits – driving just under 444,000 miles in and around the five county region,” says Holley. “The fact that 17 percent of patients discharged from the hospital receive home health reflects how important and widely utilized our services are. I like to say that our staff members are the ‘eyes and ears’ of Shore Regional Health, in that we are out in the community and in patients’ homes and residential care facilities where we get a lot of  feedback — not only from patients but from their family members — that helps assess community health needs.”

In November, three County Commissions — Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Talbot — issued proclamations recognizing National Home Care Month and the outstanding service UM Shore Regional Health home care staff provide to their citizenry.

Holley is most proud of the high praise consistently won by staff from both agencies. “Our home care patient satisfaction rates consistently exceed national and state averages, often by several percentage points,” she explains. “We often receive thank you notes and cards from patients and their loved ones who compliment the staff not only on their professional skill and knowledge but also on their warm and supportive demeanor. ‘Creative solutions,’ ‘contagious energy,’ ‘excellent motivator and cheerleader,’ and ‘wonderful care and concern’ are some of the phrases used to describe the attitude and conduct of our home care staff. I feel really blessed to lead such an outstanding team that plays an important role in Shore Regional Health’s mission, Creating Healthier Communities Together.”