Working Hard to Engage West Baltimore Communities

Members from UMMC’s Community and Workforce Development and Commitment to Excellence teams visited Mr. Barnett’s 5th grade class at James McHenry Elementary/Middle School.

The team dropped off 32 book bags (one for each student) filled with books and school supplies. Students also received holiday toys, donated by UMMC employees and staff. Additionally, through UMMC Commitment to Excellence holiday “Give Back Campaign”, UMMC employees and staff donated socks, undershirts, underwear, and other under garments to James McHenry Elementary/Middle School’s Uniform Closet.

UMMC has officially “adopted” this class, and will be closely working with them to provide mentoring, professional development and engagement opportunities. The UMMC community will continue to work with these students through middle school, high school, college and beyond!

This is just one example of how UMMC is continually working to improve the lives of those in its surrounding communities. UMMC aims to identify and address critical issues in West Baltimore by building permanent relationships with individuals and organizations in the area.

Some other UMMC initiatives include:

  • Launching the Stanford Living Well/Chronic Disease Management Program.
  • Implementing the BHEC Baltimore City-wide Community Health Work Training Certificate Program.
  • Sponsoring 50 youth in the 2017 Youth Works Internship program.
  • Initiating meetings with West Baltimore community organizations to introduce new CEO and re-establish collaborative relationships.

 

Learn more about UMMC’s community engagement efforts on our website: http://umm.edu/community

 

Setting the Table for Celiacs: Q&A with Celiac Disease Program’s Nutritionist

University of Maryland Medical Center nutritionist Pam Cureton answers questions about celiac disease and gluten-free diets.

pam-cureton-rdQ: What is gluten?

A: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. These grains in any form must be avoided. Foods labeled gluten free are safe to eat but if a food item is not labeled gluten free look for these six words in the ingredient list to see if it contains a gluten containing ingredient: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Malt, Brewer’s yeast and Oat (only use oats that are labeled gluten free).

Q: What exactly is wrong with gluten?

A: The problem with gluten is that it is not completely broken down into smaller amino acids that can be easily absorbed by the intestine. For the majority of people this presents no problem at all but in individuals with celiac disease, the body sees this protein as a toxin and this sets off a string of reactions leading to intestinal villous damage.

Q: What cross contamination problems should I look for in the kitchen?

A: Preventing gluten free foods from coming in contact with gluten containing foods make the difference in your guest enjoying a wonderful holiday meal or becoming ill and leaving early. Guest with celiac disease cannot simply take the croutons out of a salad or eat the meat from the wheat bread sandwich. Gluten free foods can be contaminated by using the same spoon to mix or serve foods, putting wheat products next to the gluten free dips, “double dipping” the knife into a condiment then gluten containing product then back into the condiments or using the same toaster.

Q: Can you taste the difference between gluten-free foods and their gluten counterparts?

A: Gluten free foods have come a long way in their taste and texture to be very close to their gluten containing counterpart. There are so many great tasting gluten free products on the market today that no one should be eating something they do not like.

Q: What are the symptoms of Celiac Disease:

A: Celiac disease can present itself in many different forms. Untreated, celiac disease causes multi-system complications such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, iron deficiency anemia, decreased bone density, failure to thrive, short stature, and behavior problems. If you have any concerns, please check with your primary care provider before you start a gluten free diet.

Q: I have severe reactions when I eat bread, such as stomach bloating and pain in my joints. Does this mean I could have celiac or gluten sensitivity?

A: We recommend that you see your primary care provider and ask to be tested for celiac disease. However, do not start a gluten free diet before this testing is done. The first step is a simple blood test for screening. If all the tests are complete and you do not have celiac disease, then try a gluten free diet to see if you improve as it may be non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Q: How common is late-onset celiac disease and is there any way to know if other family members are at risk of developing it later in life?

A: It is possible to develop celiac disease at any age. You may have had celiac disease for many years before being diagnosed because symptoms may have been attributed to other conditions or you may not have had any symptoms with the active disease. We recommend that all first degree relatives be screened for celiac disease after the relative had been diagnosed and if negative at that time, repeat the screening labs every 2-3 years or if symptoms appear.

Q: Is there a cure for Celiac Disease?

A: Currently the only treatment for celiac disease is the gluten free diet. In most cases, this treatment works very well but it can be expensive, socially isolating and, at times, difficult to follow. Also, there are people that do not respond completely to the diet or take up to 2 years to heal after diagnosis. For these people, additional therapies are need to prevent additional complications of celiac disease.

 

Learn more about the Celiac Disease Program or call 410-328-6749 to make an appointment.

vegetables

 

UM Children’s Hospital Patient Gives Back in a Big Way

Michelle Kaminaris, a kindergarten teacher at Hampstead Hill Academy in East Baltimore, has seen kids miss school for all kinds of reasons. Like most of us, she never expected her own child to miss school due to a serious illness. But when her daughter Eva (an eighth grader at Hampstead Hill Academy) started showing flu-like symptoms, a trip to the doctor confirmed that Eva would be missing school due to pneumonia.

From there, Eva had more tests and doctors found a tumor on her ovaries. The tumor was removed after an emergency surgery, but she still had to spend time recovering at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital (UMCH). While she endured a slew of poking and prodding and scary medical diagnoses, it was the Child Life team and other skilled nurses at UMCH who made her hospital stay a positive experience.

Group Photo

Eva (fourth from left) and Hampstead Hill Academy’s Kiwanis Builders Club pose with their donation to UMCH

“We had unbelievably phenomenal care. I never had to leave my daughter,” Michelle said. “One of the nurses even gave up his lunch hour to take Eva to play and walk around.”

Post-discharge and feeling better, Eva was determined to give back to the place that took such great care of her. She started looking online for ways to help and found UMCH’s toy wish list.

She sought help from her school’s Kiwanis Builders Club, and recruited some of her friends and classmates to help. The club, seven members strong, started planning fundraisers, bake sales, art supply and Band-Aid drives, and a paint night.

Shannon Joslin Builders Club

Shannon Joslin, Child Life Manager, describes the Child Life Program to the Hampstead Hill Academy Kiwanis Builders Club

The students stayed after school one day to stretch the canvases for the paint night by hand and helped cook food for the event. Thirty-five families came out after school to support the club and raise money for the cause.

The club went shopping for items on the UMCH wish list with the money from the fundraisers. They picked out high-demand items like DVDs, video games, building block sets and card games, all which they personally delivered to the hospital.

As Eva heads to high school, she wants to ensure that this is not a one-time donation. Even if she can’t start the club at her new high school, she plans to keep in touch and continue giving back to UMCH. Michelle’s youngest child, inspired by Eva’s involvement and by UMCH’s great care, plans continue the family tradition and join the Hampstead Hill Builders Club next year.

Many thanks to the Hampstead Hill Academy’s Kiwanis Builders Club! Your continued support of the Children’s Hospital ensures we have the resources available to make every patient’s stay comfortable and fun.

Learn more about the Child Life Program and meet the team.

Interested in giving to the Children’s Hospital? Here’s how you can help.


 

Fighting Violence with Art; Art Against Violence 2016 Gallery Show

Gallery ShowMany thanks to all of the student artists who made the Art Against Violence 2016 Gallery Show a success!

The show featured nearly 50 works of art from local City School students across a range of mediums, including print, colored pencil, watercolor and a sculpture of found objects.

The following winners were announced:

Trinity K.
Peace and Justice 4 All
Renaissance Academy

Jenelda A.
Black Lives Matter!
Renaissance Academy

Bella S.
Nature or Nurture? From the Cradle to the Grave
Baltimore School for the Arts

Awards were presented by our panel of guest judges:

Dr. Carnell Cooper
Violence Intervention Program Founder

Dr. Jane Lipscomb
University of Maryland School of Nursing

Anisha Thomas
Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, Baltimore City Health Department

Thanks again to all participants for bringing awareness to National Youth Violence Prevention Week.
Follow the conversation on social media: #nyvpweek16

Trinity

Jane Lipscomb and Jenelda

Bella

Gallery Show turnout

 

Lots of submissions!

Art Against Violence cake

March of Dimes Thanks UMMC During Day of Gratitude

The March of Dimes recognized the University of Maryland Medical Center during their Day of Gratitude, Wednesday, Jan. 6. Staff at the UMMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) received a plaque to commemorate their efforts to support the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies.

UMMC is one of 33 Maryland hospitals to earn banner recognition from the March of Dimes as part of its “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign, which aims to reduce the number of elective births before a full term of 39 weeks. The March of Dimes partners with the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Maryland Patient Safety Center to award banners.

P1060257

Left to right: Katie Stover (MoD), Jennifer Tarr (MoD),  Treza James, Joan Treacy, Caroline McGinnis, Danielle Luers, Dr. El-Metwally, Jane Munoz, Dr. Bearer, Sara Bielecki (MoD), Penelope Shields

Thanks to our staff for all you do to keep babies healthy!

Learn more about the NICU at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital or visit the Maryland March of Dimes website.

 

Double Divas Visit UMMC Breast Center

The Breast Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) welcomed two very special guests on Wednesday, September 16: Lifetime TV’s “Double Divas,” Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Decker of LiviRae Lingerie, offered their unique custom bra fittings to the women of Maryland. The event was sponsored by the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, with a portion of proceeds donated to the Breast Center. Each woman in attendance received a bra fitting and LiviRae Lingerie merchandise.

Big-name stores simply don’t carry the array of sizes most women need, which makes bra shopping difficult and the final purchase disappointing. Even with tape-measured fittings, many stores sell women incorrect sizes. LiviaRae Lingerie is working hard to change the way women shop for bras. With a visual fitting, backed by years of product knowledge and experience, customers are sent away with a great-fitting bra and often a new perspective on undergarments.

To give back, Molly and Cynthia offered free bra fittings to several breast cancer fighters and survivors. As they waited for their turns, they shared their breast cancer stories. Linda Adamson, a 49-year-old woman living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer, was in good spirits and rocking some seriously stylish heels. She credits her optimism to her family, who is her biggest support system.

Linda PosingWomen like Linda who live in the Baltimore area have another support system too: The Baltimore City Cancer Program (BCCP), a community-based initiative of the UM Greenebaum Cancer Center that seeks to reduce the city’s rates of cancer morbidity and develop a framework for delivering cancer care to uninsured and underinsured populations. BCCP also provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings. Linda is a beneficiary of BCCP’s services. Her treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, was completely covered.

Linda’s turn finally came, and Molly and Cynthia set her up in the dressing room with a few options to try on. When she emerged, Linda triumphantly threw her old bra into the trash can. “This bra fits like a dream—and it‘s cute too! I finally feel like myself again,” she raved.

Each woman left confident, comfortable and with a smile on her face. We’ll consider this visit from the Double Divas a much-needed mid-week lift.

Group Shot Double Divas

Walkthrough of the New NICU


NICU_Signage

The new Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has that new hospital look and feel. Everything in the space is new, from the lightbulbs to the intercoms, and smells like it just came out of the box.

NICU_huddleThe Jiji NICU is almost ready to welcome its first tiny patients, but with the lengthy checklist of pre-opening touchups, the nurses haven’t been allowed much time to see their new workspace. The agenda for today: familiarizing the nursing team with the new unit. Across a 48-hour span, every two hours, each of the unit’s 125 nurses will attend an orientation session like this one to get to know the Jiji NICU from the inside.

After a morning huddle in the spacious and bright team room, the nurses continue on for a physical orientation of the rooms. As everyone files into one side of an adjoining twin room, you can only hear the voices in the room itself. Noise absorbing windows, ceilings and floors blanket the unit and offer a respite from the outside Greene Street bustle. With the door closed, it is nearly impossible to hear voices from the hallway.

Twin_Room_AEach of the 52 rooms is thoughtfully designed, featuring fold-down couches for overnight guests and a designated breastmilk refrigerator. A grey provider zone and a white family zone are demarcated on the floor. These soft boundaries are representative of the team effort that will undoubtedly go into each patient’s care. Knowing that infants at the NICU may not see the outside world for some time, each room is equipped with circadian lighting to acclimate each baby to a standard sleep-wake cycle.

Concern for patient safety is also apparent in the design plans. Situated near each quad of rooms is a nursing station, at which patient vitals will be displayed and carefully monitored. Each nurse has been assigned to one of five neighborhoods, color-coded regions of the NICU that correspond to each of the five wings. Each neighborhood was also assigned a facilitator, a person in charge of monitoring the alarm system and making sure help goes to where it is needed.

The nurses then start training on the escalation alarm system. Colored lights sit above each door and throughout the hallways of each neighborhood. Each alarm has a different protocol. The three flashing orange lights for an urgent call are accompanied by a persistent “ding-dong” and are sent to all neighborhoods, whereas the single white light for a nurse call remains in one neighborhood. By the time the first patients come through the doors, nurses will know how to respond to each of the alarms.

Next up on the agenda: trips to different places in the hospital, including walking the most efficient route to labor and delivery. Floor plans and detailed way-finding maps line the hallway for reference, but everything is different in practice. Little details like time spent going to and from the elevator add up, and if the nurses know the best way to get from place to place, they can provide the most effective and attentive care for babies.

Scavenger_HuntThe final activity for this session is a scavenger hunt. To make sure the nurses know where to find things in their units and throughout the NICU as a whole, they divide up into groups and tick off items like the circadian light switches, EKG machines, bathrooms, stairwells and supply closets. As everyone finds their way around the unit and cross items off their lists, the confidence begins to build—within no time these professionals will be in the best shape to take care of the NICU’s most in-need patients. Pretty soon this place will be put to good use.

Watch Dr. Cynthia Bearer, division head of Pediatric Neonatology, give a virtual tour of the Jiji NICU:

 

The 52-room unit, specially designed by clinical staff, will open September 15th.