To the editor: That this year has been unusual is an understatement! It has called for extra effort while maintaining the course.

We recognize that, more than ever, our community needs access to the best possible health care, every day, close to home. Thus, the Chester River Health Foundation continues its work to raise funds to provide essential equipment, technology and improvements to your hospital, University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

We are nearing the successful end of a capital campaign, “Health Care Excellence: Close to Home. Close to Your Heart,” to raise $450,000 for the purchase of two pieces of absolutely vital medical equipment: a chemistry analyzer for the lab and a CT scanner for radiology. And the Foundation thanks our community, for its incredible charitable support this year—“charitable” by every definition of the word. Your gifts to our campaign efforts and most importantly, your outpouring of appreciation and compassion for the hospital’s staff, have been remarkable.

In the early months of this pandemic, the community donated more than 5,900 individual pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and face shields; 4,200 individual meals and snacks; 91 floral arrangements; and $10,900 for our COVID-19 response fund. These funds will be used to help expand our telemedicine capabilities; help purchase tablets and digital communication devices so providers can confer with others and patients can connect with loved ones; and just as importantly, provide support to our employees in their time of need.

A volunteer board of directors leads the Foundation and I am writing to share that we are now seeking candidates to serve for a three-year term beginning in January. There are a limited number of positions available.

A board member’s responsibilities include attending monthly meetings, setting the direction of the organization, being an ambassador and advocate of the Foundation and the hospital throughout the community, raising funds, being a donor and serving as a fiduciary of the Foundation’s assets.

These are exciting times for the future of your community’s hospital and now is the time to jump in and be involved.

I encourage anyone with interest to contact the Foundation’s executive director, Maryann Ruehrmund, at 410-810-5660 for more information or a job description.

Barrie Meima

Chairperson

Chester River Health

Foundation Board

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