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UM Shore Regional Health nursing team gives back

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Nursing team gives back

Pat Thompson, Ann Marie Hernandez, Mary Paltoo, Rita Holley and Jaclyn Crawford pick up donations from UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.

EASTON — The University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Nursing team organized a food drive this month to help children, seniors and all those suffering from the economic impact of COVID-19.

According to a news release, the drive was planned as a response to the generous outpouring of community support during the pandemic, and especially during Health Care Heroes Week, which took place in early May.

Over the past few months, UM Shore Regional Health hospitals have received donations of meals, face masks, hand sanitizer, care packages, encouraging signs and more so the Nursing and Patient Care Services team wanted to do something special for the community in return, said Rita Holley, director of Shore Home Care Services.

“So many people are hurting right now, and collecting healthy food for vulnerable community members is another way that we can help,” Holley said.

Through the efforts of nursing leadership, UM Shore Home Care and UM Chester River Home Care, non-perishable food items, as well as pet food and supplies, were collected and distributed to food pantries and animal shelters throughout the Mid-Shore, the release states.

“We are so thankful to our community for standing with us, supporting us and boosting our spirits, as we care for people during this pandemic, ” said Pat Thompson, director, UM Shore Behavioral Health, and co-organizer of the event. “We are all grateful to have found a way to give back.”

UM Chester River Home Care social worker April Sharp and UM Shore Home Care social worker Alice Ofano completed much of the leg work, helping collect donations from multiple UM Shore Regional Health hospitals and outpatient facilities across the region.

The donations were distributed to the Lutheran Mission Society and the Humane Society of Dorchester County in Cambridge, Samaritan House in Denton, Neighborhood Service Center in Easton, Caroline County Humane Society in Ridgely, Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville and Queen Anne’s County Animal Services in Queenstown.

In addition to the food drive, UM Shore Regional Health recently made a donation of $5,000 to the Maryland Food Bank – Eastern Shore that benefited communities in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties. To make a donation to the Maryland Food Bank, visit

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