A Legacy of Compassion and Understanding

By Iris T. Smith, MSW, LCSW-C
UMMC Clinical Social Worker

Editor’s Note: Jean Tucker Mann (right), a long-time UMMC social worker who was a pioneer in her field, has been selected by The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) , to receive its 2010 National Lifetime Achievement Award today (April 28) at the Annual Leadership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, DC.

Mann has worked for 35 years in the public and nonprofit sectors, most recently as director of social work and human services at University of Maryland Medical Center. She retired from UMMC in 2005 after leading a multidisciplinary effort that established the Palliative Care Program for patients with life-altering or terminal illness.

In recognition of her leadership and accomplishments at UMMC, “The Jean Tucker Mann Award” was established in her honor to recognize those who make a difference in the way Jean did for so many years.

Below, Iris T. Smith, one of Jean’s former co-workers and a UMMC clinical social worker, shares her thoughts about Jean and what makes her so special.

It is with a great deal of pride and affection that I write a few words about Jean Tucker Mann and her accomplishments while she was director of social work and human services at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Jean was a dynamic leader who communicated with all. Her door was always open and staff felt comfortable in stopping by her office to discuss a variety of subjects. I feel that Jean was a special leader because of her commitment to excellence and her ability to take on new tasks, like establishing the Palliative Care Program at UMMC, and her work as founding member of UMMC’s Diversity Council. She used a situation that I had confronted and dealt with in regards to race to illustrate the need to the administration for a Diversity Council.

Jean nominated me for the Gold Award, the highest employee award given by UMMC, because of the professional way I handled the situation, which reflected the medical center’s mission, vision and values. Thanks to Jean, I received this award in 2004. Jean was an advocate for all.

Finally, Jean’s legacy and impact will live on through the programs she established and for the manner she was able to engage all levels of staff. She was a role model and encouraged all to work at a high level. She was warm, caring, inspirational and able to engage all around her on tasks that needed to be accomplished. Jean was special, which is why she was so loved.

Celebrating Our Five- and Ten-Year Employees

At the University of Maryland Medical Center, we take recognizing our employees very seriously, while having fun at the same time. On March 3, we celebrated our five- and ten-year employees with a luncheon and tributes at the Hilton Baltimore Hotel.

Watch the video above to get a flavor of the festivities.

Real-Life Heroes Recognized at UMMC

By Malissa Carroll
Web Content Developer

Eight health care professionals from the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine were recently recognized as finalists in the Daily Record’s 2011 Health Care Heroes awards program.

From a transplant surgeon who pioneered the use of single-incision laparoscopic kidney removal to benefit those selfless individuals who step forward to donate kidneys to their loved ones at the UMMC Transplant Center to an oncology nurse who rallied individuals in the UMMC community to knit and crochet more than 100 lap blankets for cancer patients this past holiday season, these individuals embody the spirit of the word “hero” and make a positive impact on the lives of others each day.

For more information about the finalists, please visit the Health Care Heroes Finalists page on the UMMC Web site, which features a complete list of the eight UMMC finalists, the reason each was nominated and a wealth of related links and information.

Crafters Spread Some Holiday Warmth to Cancer Patients

The UMMC Knit & Crochet Circle, a group of people who knit and crochet from throughout the Medical Center, have been busy this fall making lap blankets for cancer patients in the Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. The goal for the holiday project was to make 100 blankets to distribute to patients who are undergoing cancer treatment or who have to be in the hospital during the holidays.

Trisha Kendall, BSN, RN, OCN, who has been named a finalist in the Daily Record’s 2011 Health Care Heroes Awards Program for her work as the group’s founder, reports that the group exceeded its goal, with the help of friends both within and outside the Medical Center. “Staff from across the Medical Center joined forces with community members from the Waxter Center, local churches, and cancer survivors to give to others this season. It’s very touching to see how many people came through to help,” she says. At last count, 156 handmade lap blankets were waiting to be presented to patients as holiday gifts. Trisha personalizes each blanket with a tag that wishes each survivor strength, peace, and recovery.

Volunteers distributed the blankets during the week of December 20, both to outpatients in the Stoler Pavilion and to inpatients throughout the Medical Center living with cancer.

The UMMC Knitting Circle meets on the first Wednesday of the month from noon to 2 p.m. at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The public is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Trisha Kendall at 410-328-5420 or tkendall@umm.edu.

UMMC Employee’s Girl Scout Troop Reaches Out to Help Those Less Fortunate on Thanksgiving

By Tanya Berry
Training Coordinator, Learning and Organizational Development

This school year I became a Girl Scout (GS) Troop Leader in Harford County, MD to five amazing 11-year-old girls. When we first met, I asked them what it was they wanted to focus on this year. Without batting an eye, they all responded that they wanted to help other people — less fortunate people.

Our first chance to work on achieving this goal came during our first cookie sale drive. The girls chose to collect donated boxes of cookies for the University of Maryland Hospital for Children, because they wanted the children who were hospitalized there to know that there were people thinking about them and their families and wishing for their speedy recovery. They collected 50 boxes of cookies, which they called “Gifts of Caring,” and were delighted when they received a photograph and note from the kids who were benefiting from their yummy gift of cookies.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, the girls again wanted to reach out to those people less fortunate than themselves. I asked them how they thought they could achieve this, and they replied that they wanted to prove that the power of five was mighty! Five girls feeding 50 people!

Although the girls’ wanted to give back to the community, they knew they needed help. Each girl’s goal was to feed 10 homeless citizens here in Baltimore. They reached out to businesses in the neighborhood to ask for donations in order to realize this goal. Together, they were able to have Weis Supermarkets from Bel Air, MD donate 10 pounds of turkey and ham, six loaves of bread and seven cans of cranberry sauce. Kirbies Cafe in Baltimore was also kind enough to donate condiments, serving cups and 20 pounds of potato salad. The girls bought napkins, forks and sandwich bags with their own money. In the end, the troop was able make enough brown bag lunches to feed 80 people. They had a fantastic time making the lunches on Thanksgiving Eve.

We woke up early Thanksgiving morning to find homeless men and women throughout the area to feed. The girls searched under underpasses, street corners and park benches. They climbed the steps of Baltimore’s City Hall and fed the homeless at the Helping Up Mission on Baltimore Street. We were greeted with smiles and “Thank You’s” from all of the people we served that day, and the girls walked away with an amazing feeling and understanding of true community service.

The girls have now pledged to double the amount of food we serve next year and have already started planning their next service project. These kids genuinely want to give back and make a difference in the world they live in. I have never been more proud of any group of young girls as I am of my Troop 2825. I love them, and I know that they are each going do great things!

UMMC Hosts First-Ever “Ventilator 5K” Race to Support the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF)

This video showcases footage from the University of Maryland Medical Center’s first-ever “Ventilator 5K” race. The event included teams of respiratory therapists from local Maryland hospitals pushing decorated ventilators — which were donated by the vendors and were demos and/or inoperable — around a track at the University of Maryland Southern Management Corporation Campus Center in Baltimore.

The race was organized by UMMC employees Jeff Ford and Maria Madden as a fundraiser to help support ongoing community awareness efforts of the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF). It included four teams of respiratory therapists, for a total of 26 participants and four referees for each team. Together, these teams raised $1,800 for the ARCF. After the race, prizes were awarded to the participating teams for first, second and third place as well as “Best Dressed” ventilator.

UMMC Honors Employees During 2010 Service Awards Luncheon

At our 2010 Service Awards Luncheon on October 4, we recognized 468 dedicated employees who have served at UMMC for 10 years or more. Among some of the special groups acknowledged during this event were those employees who have worked at the Medical Center for 30, 35, 40 and even 45 years. See photos of these honorees below.

45-years: Paul Chancey, Jr.

45 Years: Paul Chancey, Jr.,

40-years of Service

40 Years of Service

35-years of Service

35 Years of Service

30-years of Service

30 Years of Service

Calling All Knitters and Crocheters: Help Us Reach Our Goal of 100 Lap Blankets for Cancer Patients This Holiday Season

By Trisha Kendall, BSN, BS, RN, OCN
UMMC Knit & Crochet Circle Group

Editor’s Note: Trisha Kendall, R.N., B.S.N., O.C.N., has been named a finalist in the Daily Record’s 2011 Health Care Heroes Awards Program for her work with the UMMC Knitting Circle.

The UMMC Knit & Crochet Circle Group, along with many community volunteers, is over halfway toward reaching our goal for the holiday season. We hope to have 100 lap blankets to provide to cancer patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center this year!

If you are looking for a great way to give back this year, but feeling pressured by the economy, consider knitting or crocheting a blanket. You can even gather other volunteers in your community or donate yarn/needles today!

For more information, please contact me at tkendall@umm.edu.

Kami’s Jammies Brightens the Day for Thousands of Critically Ill Children

By Debi Katzenberger
Casey Cares Foundation

I am often approached with the question “How did Kami’s Jammies come about?” Attempting to answer this question, I have found that there is no one, simple answer. The idea manifested itself in small pieces over time, while working my way through the grieving process of losing a grandchild to cancer.

On the night of Kamryn’s passing, I made two promises, both of which remain at the forefront of my thoughts every day. My first promise was to Kamryn, that I would honor her memory every day of my life. My second promise was to Kamryn’s father, Chris, that Kamryn would never be forgotten. And that is where the answer to the question “How did Kami’s Jammies come about?” begins.

I started Kami’s Jammies to create a legacy for my granddaughter — a fantastic and brave little girl named Kamryn Lambert — who would never be able to create one for herself. Kamryn was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September 2004. Although she fought a heroic battle and was in remission, she passed away from complications caused by a depleted immune system on September 3, 2007. Her flair for fashion and unflappable resolve to be a trendsetter in spite of her painful treatments and frequent hospital stays is the foundation on which this legacy is based.

Kami’s Jammies was formed with the mission to provide pajamas to children on extended inpatient stays at the hospital in an effort to brighten their day and make their stay a little more like home. I officially began this journey in February 2008, after surviving the first holiday season without Kamryn. It took its toll on the holiday traditions that had been so important to my family. Kamryn particularly loved the family tradition of wearing holiday pajamas, and as I fought to carry on the tradition without her, I purchased a pair for her as I normally would, simply because it was too painful not to purchase them. Left with the decision of what to do with “Kami’s Jammies,” I decided to give them to another little girl who was battling a brain tumor at the same clinic as Kamryn, the University of Maryland Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

This little girl’s excitement at receiving this small gift made me remember how much Kamryn had always looked forward to receiving a new pair of pajamas while she was in the hospital for treatment. Here was something so simple, and yet so uniquely Kamryn, that I decided at that moment to pass this little symbol of joy and normalcy on to others who are battling critical illnesses.

My goal is to ensure that new pajamas are always on hand for patients beginning another round of inpatient treatment, or those who have been inpatients for a long period of time. Kami’s Jammies was introduced to the University of Maryland Hospital for Children in March 2008, exactly six months from the night that I made those two very important promises, and to the very hospital that had taken such wonderful care of Kamryn throughout her illness. Along with the pajamas, we also hold monthly themed pajama parties at the hospital.

In May 2008, Kami’s Jammies became a program under the Casey Cares Foundation, which provides uplifting programs to critically ill children and their families. Kamryn was a recipient of many of the services offered by the foundation, so it was a perfect fit. Together, we have collected over 4,000 pairs of pajamas and have expanded services to other area hospitals, including Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Maryland Medical System.

For information about how you can contribute to Kamryn’s legacy, please contact me at debi@caseycaresfoundation.org or visit our website at www.caseycaresfoundation.org.

UMMC Hosts First-Ever Sukkot Celebration on Wednesday, September 29

By Rabbi Ruth Smith
Staff Chaplain
Department of Pastoral Care Services

Building the Sukkah Booth
Building the Sukkah Booth at UMMC.

Patients and visitors at the University of Maryland Medical Center will notice that there is a new booth perched on the porch of Donna’s Café on the first floor of the South Hospital. Some of you may be wondering what this booth is and why it’s in the hospital. This special booth is known as a Sukkah, and it’s used by Jewish staff, students and patients to celebrate Sukkot — a Jewish harvest festival that lasts for eight days.

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of a Sukkah booth is that it doesn’t have a real roof. This is to allow those who are inside of the booth to see the stars through whatever is overhead. The Sukkah that we are using at the Medical Center is currently on loan from Chabad of Baltimore. This group has been very helpful in providing a wide range of religious services for Jewish staff, students and patients staying at the Medical Center. In the past, Chabad of Baltimore has also aided the Department of Pastoral Care Services at UMMC by providing Shofar blowers during Rosh Hashanah and Megilla readers for Purim.

The Sukkah is available for use by staff, UMB students, patients and their families. It will be available during the day from 7:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Please help the Department of Pastoral Care Services spread the word that it is here and alert others about the Medical Center’s first-ever Sukkot celebration. The celebration is a “bring your own lunch” affair, with Pastoral Care Services providing a variety of kosher desserts. The celebration will take place on Wednesday, September 29, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., and we hope that anyone who has some time — regardless of religion or ethnicity — will join us in the Sukkah. To arrive at the Sukkah, use the Medical Center’s Greene Street entrance. Go up the steps and through the gate on Donna’s porch.

The Department of Pastoral Care Services is also raising money to buy our own Sukkah for the Medical Center. If you or someone you know would like to make a donation towards purchasing this Sukkah, please make a check out to the UMMS Foundation, and in the “memo” line write “Sukkah.” You can mail your check to Beth Ryan at the UMMS Foundation, located at 110 S. Paca Street, 9th floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.

We hope to see you at our Sukkot celebration on Wednesday, September 29.

For More Information:

For more information about Sukkot, please visit the Pastoral Care Services Web site at www.umm.edu/pastoral_care, and click on the “Services for Jewish Patients” link.