Garrett County Chamber Offers Spring 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion

  Just in time for spring visitors traveling to Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake, Maryland area, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is offering a 3-2-1 Lodging & Activity Promotion on their website, www.visitdeepcreek.com. The promotion runs from March 16, 2015 – May 14, 2015, non-holidays. The promotion is for 3 nights at the price of 2 plus discounted activities.

Seven lodging companies – ranging from rental home properties and a lakefront hotel to a B&B and log-cabin-style hotel suites – are participating in the promotion. And activity offers include discounted shopping, dining and attraction and arcade use.

“The 3-2-1 Promotion is a terrific way to save on your spring trip to the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County,” said Sarah Duck, Director of Tourism & Marketing for the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “With discounts on both lodging and area activities, visitors will be sure to find a discount offer to suit their vacation.”

The 3-2-1 Promotion includes lodging offers from Cabin on Farm View, Deep Creek Lodging Company, Long & Foster Resort Rentals, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Ski Cove #3, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and Wisp Resort Hotel and Conference Center and activity offers from FireFly Farms Creamery & Market, Pine Lodge Steakhouse and Smiley’s Grill and Fun Zone. 

Garrett County, Maryland’s westernmost county, is less than a three-hour drive from the metropolitan areas of Washington DC and Baltimore, two hours from Pittsburgh, and a 45 minute drive from Morgantown, WV and Cumberland, MD. Garrett County is home to Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Resort, the state’s only ski resort, and the Adventure Sports Center International, one of only two recirculating whitewater courses in the western hemisphere.

To view all of the 3-2-1 offers or more information about Garrett County, please stop by www.visitdeepcreek.com or call 888.387.5237.

Garrett Receives Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant

 Keep America Beautiful's Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) today announced that Garrett County Solid Waste & Recycling  is a recipient of a $2,500 grant as one of 73 organizations receiving grants for the expanded 2015 CLPP Grants Program.

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliates, local governments, business improvement districts, downtown associations, parks and recreation areas, and other organizations dedicated to eradicating litter and beautifying communities are receiving grants. Since the establishment of the CLPP, communities in 49 states and the District of Columbia have implemented the program to reduce cigarette litter.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2015,  the official Cigarette Litter Prevention & Reduction Program will commence in Garrett County.  Our office will be working closely with local organizations and committees to kick-off a CLPP.   Places like the State Parks, College, store parking lots, beaches, athletic centers, marinas, fairgrounds and streets/roads/highways will be targeted for a major cigarette litter clean-up.

"We would like to thank our staff for taking on this very worthwhile project.  Cleaning up litter from our public places makes for a healthier community and beautifies the environment for our residents and guests," as commented by Chairman Paul Edwards, Garrett County Commissioners.

For the second straight year, KAB reported an average 48 percent reduction in cigarette litter in communities implementing KAB's CLPP.  One-hundred seventeen communities that launched programs in 2013 achieved an additional 34 percent reduction when measured again in 2014.

In 2014, the CLPP's 12th year, there were 129 grant-supported implementations across the country in a variety of settings including downtowns, roadways, beaches, parks, marinas, colleges/universities, tourist locations, and at special event locations.

Over the past 10 years, the CLPP has consistently cut cigarette butt litter by approximately half based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation.  Survey results also demonstrated that as communities continue to monitor the program those reductions are sustained or even increased over time.

"Keep America Beautiful is keenly aware that to make communities socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound, it is incumbent upon us to reduce the blight of cigarette litter," said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. "It's gratifying to see sustained results from the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program where access to ash receptacles is at work in tandem with the reinforcement of public education and awareness."

Tobacco products, consisting mainly of cigarette butts, are the most littered item in America, representing nearly 38 percent of all items littered, according to "Litter in America," KAB's landmark study of litter and littering behavior.

Research has shown that even self-reported "non-litterers" often don't consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be "littering."  Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points-areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area.  These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others.

To address cigarette butt litter, KAB's CLPP advocates that communities integrate four proven approaches<http://preventcigarettelitter.org/what_you_can_do/resources.html>:

 *   Encourage enforcement of litter laws, including cigarette litter;
 *   Raise awareness about the issue using public service messages;
 *   Place ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings; and
 *   Distribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.

The "Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention" provides information about starting and maintaining a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in your community, and can be found online at PreventCigaretteLitter.org<http://preventcigarettelitter.org/>.  You can also view the new PSA<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYqJ1hjKWU0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwXz-YHuMvTixJAC-Vr9EIg> on KAB's YouTube channel.

The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is supported by funding from Philip Morris USA, an Altria company; RAI Services Company; and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.

2015 Garrett County Job Fair Open to All Job Seekers

 Job seekers will be able to speak with employers seeking to hire now and in the near future at the upcoming Garrett County Job Fair, scheduled for Thursday, March 26, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Garrett College Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC) Gymnasium. The Job Fair is open to the entire Garrett County community. High school and college students as well as those with more experience are encouraged to attend. “The Job Fair is a must for anyone seeking full-time, part-time, and/or summer employment,” said Judy Carbone, Director of Advising and Academic Success Center at Garrett College and chair of the Job Fair planning committee

A website has been developed that offers information on the Job Fair as well as names and descriptions of the businesses that will participate. Job seekers may visit www.garrettcollege.edu/jobfair to learn more about the opportunities available and the employers that will be in attendance.

More than 50 businesses and organizations are registered to attend the Job Fair.  Attending are some of Garrett County’s most well-known employers including Total Biz Fulfillment, Morningstar, Inc., Wisp Resort, Beitzel Corp., First United Bank & Trust, Garrett Container Systems, Pillar Innovations, G.C.C. Technologies, Brenda’s Pizzeria, Trader’s Coffee House, Phenix Technologies, Goodwill Retirement Community, Pioneer Conveyor, Taylor Made Deep Creek Lake Vacations, AssetBook, Lowe’s, The Alley in Oakland, Tender Loving Care Home Care, and Bill’s Marine Service. Check the Job Fair website for a complete list.

Many of the companies registered to attend are seeking to fill jobs that include supervisors and managers, tellers and bank associates, office and data entry clerks, customer service representatives, hospitality staff members, outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, restaurants workers, home health care workers, computer technicians, welders and machine operators, sales representatives, and more. 

Carbone suggested that serious job seekers prepare to attend the fair as they would prepare to attend a job interview. Several of her suggestions are listed below:

Review the list of employers who will be participating in the Job Fair.  Identify employers you wish to see and research each using the Internet or other local sources of information. Knowing about the employers may help you better answer questions they pose. Links to the employer websites are available online at the Job Fair website.

Write a professional resume that presents qualifications for your target position.  “Employers appreciate and often expect being handed a resume that demonstrates your qualifications, including past experiences, education, skills, and accomplishments,” Carbone said, adding that job seekers who come to the Job Fair without a resume may find themselves at a disadvantage, and may not be seen as favorably as those who do have resumes.  Information on writing effective resumes can also be found on the Job Fair website.

Additional information on developing effective resumes can be found at the Garrett County One-Stop Job Center, at 221 South Third Street, 301-334-3972, according to Cheryl Angle, Maryland Workforce Exchange supervisor and member of the Job Fair planning committee.  Says Angle, “the professionally trained résumé writers at the Job Center will provide advice and assistance with résumé writing.”

Plan in advance to make a good, professional impression. One way to do this is to wear an outfit that is professional, similar to one that would be appropriate for a one-on-one interview. “At the very least, dress in clean, business casual attire,” Carbone recommended.

“There are other ways to prepare for the Job Fair and to increase your chances of success. On the Job Fair website, you can download a brochure and view a slide presentation entitled ‘Making the Most of the Garrett County Job Fair’ that contains other tips and suggestions,” Carbone said.

The job fair is being offered by a partnership of Garrett College, the Garrett County One-Stop Job Center, Western Maryland Consortium, 104.5 'KHJ/92.3 The Train/1050-AM WMSG, All Ad Media, and the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

For additional information one may contact Carbone at 301-387-3046 or judy.carbone@garrettcollege.edu or check the Job Fair website, www.garrettcollege.edu/jobfair.

Garrett College to Host Cyber Security Awareness Workshop on March 28

Garrett College, in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Small Business Administration, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, is offering a Cyber Security Awareness Workshop. The workshop will be held on March 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McHenry campus of Garrett College located in the Auditorium. The workshop is open to the general public and there is no charge to attend the event; however, participants are required to RSVP in advance.

One of many goals for the workshop is to help small business owners increase their information system security and to create awareness of cyber security threats and issues today. Participants will learn how to define information security for their organization, hear examples of common types of threats and understand how to determine the extent to which the organization should proactively address threats, and learn common best practices and procedures to operate more securely. In addition, those in attendance will hear a basic explanation of current technologies used in reducing information security vulnerabilities and learn of resources freely available to organizations today.

A variety of representatives of those employed and actively engaged in the Cyber Security industry are scheduled to present on the following topics:

‘Introduction to InfraGard & Maryland’s Role in Cyber Security’ – presented by Frederick Ferrer, President, InfraGard Maryland Members Alliance and Program Manager, Maryland CIP Fusion Center

‘FBI Threats’ – presented by Steve Shepherd, FBI Special Agent & InfraGard Coordinator and Michelle Pirtle, FBI Special Agent & InfraGard Coordinator

‘Overview of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) – presented by Kelley Dempsey and Celia Paulsen

‘Technology – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You’ – presented by Cliff Denholm, Owner of Team Logic IT & Member InfraGard

‘What is the Risk to Your Business’ – presented by Nick Tropian, Assured Risk Advisor, and Jodi Keller, Travelers Insurance

A complimentary lunch will be provided at the event in addition to panel discussions. Early registration is required for the workshop. For more information or to reserve tickets in advance, persons may contact the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division at Garrett College at 301-387-3069 or online www.garrettcollege.edu/cewd/cyber.


Garrett County Memorial Hospital and the American Cancer Society will hold the next Look Good…Feel Better workshop on Monday, March 23 from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm in the Hospital’s Board Room. The workshop is for individuals currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

 Look Good…Feel Better is a national public service program dedicated to teaching women and teen-age cancer patients the techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image, and how to deal with the sociological side of effects they experience during treatment. Volunteer cosmetologists help with the workshop that includes a 12-step skin and makeup program. Cosmetics for the program are free of charge, courtesy of the American Cancer Society, The Cosmetics, Toiletry & Fragrance Association Foundation and the National Cosmetics Association.

The program is offered free of charge and each participant receives a complimentary make up kit valued at $250. For those who cannot attend a workshop self-help materials including a video and instructional booklet are available. To register or obtain more information contact Bev Rasel at (301) 533-4366.


Dr. Rosemary J. Versteegen will be among the guest speakers at the Garrett County Health Fair, scheduled for Saturday, April 11, at the Community Aquatic & Recreation Center (CARC) at Garrett College in McHenry.

Dr. Versteegen received her B.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry from Glasgow University in Scotland. She held Postdoctoral scholarships at Cambridge University, England and the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC working in areas of disease research. Following several years in NIH sponsored cancer research programs, she joined Life Technologies as a major supplier of consumables for Life Science Research. In her almost 20 years there, she was Vice President of New Business Development and Vice President of Strategic Planning. During this time, she played an important role in obtaining FDA approval for the first DNA based diagnostic test, which was also the first diagnostic test for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.  In 2000, Dr. Versteegen became a founding partner of the Lifia Group, a consulting organization focused on helping life science and biotechnology companies grow through clearly enunciated, actionable strategic plans. Since its inception in 2006, Dr. Versteegen has been the CEO of the International Serum Industry Association, a global life science not-for-profit association. Her talk at the Garrett County Health Fair will touch on HPV.

She and her husband Peter spent almost every weekend in Garrett County from 1990 till 2000, when they became full time county residents.

The Health Fair will be open from 8:30 am until 1:00 pm. Organizers expect more than 60 information booths along with a variety of free health screenings. Screenings at this time include a foot orthotic scanning and postural screening offered by Williams Chiropractic Clinic; a bone density heel screening and cholesterol and A1C screening offered  by The Wellness Department of GCMH; a domestic violence screening by the Dove Center; and a balance screening offered by Allegany Hearing and Balance.

As a new addition this year, the Kids Fun Festival will join the Health Fair. For booth applications or additional information please call 301-533-4178. For up-to-date information like Garrett County Health Fair on Facebook


Jessica Meyers, RN, clinical supervisor and head of day to day operations in the new Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center at Garrett County Memorial Hospital will be among the guest speakers at the Health Fair slated for Saturday, April 11 in McHenry.  She will speak about the impact of rehabilitation programs on patient recovery and disease management; the impact on quality of life and overall benefits of the program; and the chronic disease management of pulmonary disease in the community. She will also cover primary and secondary prevention strategies to decrease the need for hospitalization.

Meyers has been with the Center since its opening last summer following her tenure with the Hospital’s operative services and post-anesthesia care unit.  She began her nursing career by working in cardiac care and stroke care prior to joining Garrett County Memorial Hospital. Meyers received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Marshall University and has extensive experience in nutritional counseling.  She is a member of the Maryland Association of Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Professionals. Currently Ms. Meyers is working on a national certification for the program and is pursuing her Masters Degree for Nurse Practitioner.

The Health Fair will be held at the CARC (Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex) at Garrett College and will be open from 8:30 am until 1:00 pm. The event will include free health screenings and more than 60 information booths. For up-to-date information like the Garrett County Health Fair on Facebook or call 301-533-4178 for additional information.

Raised Bed Gardening Course to be offered in Grantsville

Garrett College in coordination with the University of Maryland Extension is sponsoring a one-session course, Raised Bed Gardening, at the Northern Outreach Center in Grantsville. Class will be held on Thursday, March 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

This course will discuss raised bed garden construction, tips and tricks for building a raised bed, reasons to garden in this way, and crops that do well in raised beds. This is a great class for those that are looking to start a raised bed garden. Planting charts will be shared for participants also.

The course is being instructed by Ashley Bodkins who received her B.S. degree in Agronomy from WVU and an A.A. degree in Horticulture from Potomac State College. She works for the University of Maryland Extension where she answers home horticulture questions and coordinates the Maryland Master Gardener Program for Garrett County.

The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Anyone with a disability that requires special assistance for participation in the program should contact the extension office at 301-334-6960.

For more information on this course persons may contact Terry Beachy at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for the course, contact the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division at Garrett College at 301-387-3069

Greg Latta to Perform at GC Foundation Spring Scholarship Benefit

Greg Latta, mesmerizing singer, songwriter, and award-winning performer, will be performing at the 5th annual spring scholarship benefit, “Garrett Voices in the Mountain Mist” hosted by the Garrett College Foundation. The annual fundraiser will be held on Friday, May 1 at 6 p.m. in the Mountain Mist Tent of Sundown Yurt Village at the Wisp Resort in McHenry. All proceeds from the event will support scholarships for Garrett College students.

Latta is an award-winning performer on the hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar, Irish bouzouki, cittern, harmonica, recorder, Appalachian dulcimer, and concertina. A hammered dulcimer virtuoso and champion, he is a three time winner of the Mid-Eastern hammered dulcimer championships and has twice been a runner up in the National Hammered Dulcimer Championships held at Winfield, Kansas.

He performs an eclectic mix of carefully chosen Irish, traditional and contemporary folk, Broadway, bluegrass, and original music. His repertoire includes original works, old coal mining songs, whaling songs, contemporary and traditional topical songs, and children’s songs, to name a few. His diverse performances have included a private performance for the Hungarian Presidential Cabinet, and performances at the US Olympic Canoeing and Kayaking Trials, the Rocky Gap Country Bluegrass Festival, the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, numerous school performances, and a performance with the prestigious modern dance company Dance Alloy of Pittsburgh celebrating the centennial of Frostburg State University.

Latta is a finger style guitar player who has played guitar nearly his entire life. He plays both 6 and 12 string guitars, and open tunings on the 12 string guitar are a particular specialty of his. He is also an award winning banjo player, having won second or third place five years in a row at the banjo competitions held in Friendsville, MD. His banjo style is a combination of traditional bluegrass, old-timey, melodic, and contemporary styles.

Latta is also accredited as a Visiting Performer in the Maryland State Arts Council Artists in Education program. In addition to his stage performances and recordings, he is also host and producer of the popular radio show, “Just Plain Folks”, which can be heard Saturday afternoons on WFWM – 91.9 FM, the Frostburg State University public radio station.

He has released two recordings, “Headed for Home” and “My Favourite Things”. He is currently working on a fourth recording, but his work as a recording engineer and producer often takes time away from his personal work in the studio. Latta is a two time winner of the prestigious Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Solo Music Performance. One of only 11 musicians in the state of Maryland to win the award in 2012, he won an even larger award in 2015.

For more information and details on the upcoming spring scholarship fundraiser, “Garrett Voices in the Mountain Mist”, persons may contact the Garrett College Foundation office at 301-387-3131.



Regina Holliday, a patient rights activist and artist will be one of the guest speakers at the Garrett County Health Fair to be held in McHenry on Saturday, April 11. Holliday’s presentation is titled The Writing on the Wall. Through her presentation, Holliday will explain the power of the patient and caregiver to help shape health policy both in personal care and on the national stage. Her aim is to inspire those who attend and remind them that everyone has a voice no matter how humble their origin or their education. Holliday is the Founder of the Walking Gallery and authored The Walking Wall: 73 Cents to the Walking Gallery.

The Health Fair will be held at the CARC (Community Aquatic & Recreation Center) at Garrett College in McHenry and will be open from 8:30 am until 1:00 pm.  Organizers expect over 60 information booths along with a variety of free health screenings.  Screenings scheduled at this time include a foot orthotic scanning and postural screening offered by the Williams Chiropractic Clinic; a bone density heel screening and cholesterol and A1C screening offered by the Wellness Department of Garrett County Memorial Hospital.

As a new addition this year, the Kids Fun Festival will join the annual Health Fair making this truly an event for all ages. For booth applications or additional information please call 301-533-4178.

Gardening Classes to Begin at Ruth Enlow Libraries

The Ruth Enlow Library will host a series of gardening classes at three locations this year – Accident, Grantsville, and Oakland libraries – beginning in March. All classes are presented by the Garrett County Master Gardeners from University of Maryland Extension and are free and open to the public. Participants are asked to register as follows. For Accident classes, contact Crystal at 301-746-8792 or crystal@relib.net; for Grantsville classes, contact Kim at 301-895-5298 or kim@relib.net; for Oakland classes, contact Bonnie at 301-334-3996, x117 or bonnie@relib.net.

A variety of gardening topics are planned for this season, including herbs for beginners, native plants, perennial gardening, bird and butterfly gardening, and more, from March through October. The first class – Hot Beds, Season Extension – is scheduled for March 19, from 2 – 3 p.m., at the Oakland Library. Accident’s first class – Budget Friendly Gardening – is taking place on March 26 from 2 – 3 p.m. Grantsville’s classes will begin on April 9 from 2 – 3 p.m. with Hot Beds, Season Extension.

A complete list of class topics with locations and times is available on the library’s website at www.relib.net, at local library branches, and at the University of Maryland Extension office in Oakland.

“This schedule of classes offers the community an opportunity to pick and choose from a variety of gardening topics, locations, and times to suit individual preferences,” notes Bonnie Winters, public relations specialist for the library. “We are pleased to partner with the University of Maryland Extension to bring this kind of programming to our area.”

The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to any person and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.

Follow the library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RuthEnlowLibrary.

Jen Durben Promoted to Heritage Area and Groups Manager at Garrett County Chamber of Commerce

 The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the promotion of Jen Durben as the Heritage Area and Groups Manager. Jen joined the Chamber team in 2012 as the Group Sales and Marketing Manager and has been focusing her efforts on attracting new motor coach groups, meetings, and destination weddings to Garrett County.


“Jen has been a tremendous asset to our team and Garrett County,” said Nicole Christian, Chamber President & CEO. “She built the group sales and marketing initiative from the ground up and has grown the groups industry in Garrett County immensely.”


Jen has worked in the local tourism industry for over thirteen years and truly understands the visitors to our area. It is vital to see through the visitors eyes and know their expectations when they come to our destination.


Due to the inherent crossover between group tours and heritage tourism, over the past two years Jen has also worked closely with the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, assisting with the development of the Heritage website, social media presence, heritage attraction tour itineraries, ad design and promotion at travel shows. She will continue to utilize her expertise and experience to further develop awareness for heritage visitors including promoting and updating the newly launched Heritage mobile app and continuing to develop new itineraries featuring Garrett County’s heritage attractions. With the relationships Jen has developed with tour operators over the past years, she will continue to share these itineraries to entice future groups to travel to the area.


Since becoming a certified heritage area in 2011, the Chamber and Heritage Area Advisory Board have focused on meeting all of the technical requirements allowing our community to access project grants and other funding through the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Through the Heritage Area program, Garrett County has secured nearly three quarters of a million dollars ($719,484) in grants and 23 local projects have been funded since certification in November 2011.


By combining the Heritage Area Director position with the Group Sales and Marketing manager, the Chamber can now make a concerted effort to create greater awareness of the area’s cultural and historical sites.


“With Jen’s experience in tourism and marketing and her knowledge of the community, we can now concentrate on driving visitors to the many historical and cultural attractions in Garrett County,” said Christian.


“I’m very excited to be a part of the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area”, said Jen Durben. “With my knowledge in the groups market and being a life-long resident of the county, I believe we will be able to continue to boost the attraction of heritage visitors to the area. I’ve enjoyed working with the Heritage Area over the past two years, so this merger feels like a natural fit.”


Jen was recently awarded an Advanced Professional Internet Marketing Certificate from the University of San Francisco. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Travel & Tourism from Central Pennsylvania College and is a graduate of Southern Garrett High School.



Win a Home to Help Build a Home for Adoptable Animals

HART for Animals is raising funds to raise the roof of the HART Adoption Wing by raffling a house and 18 other cash prizes as part of their “Forever Home” fundraiser. In July 2014, HART was awarded a $250,000 grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission, with matching funds to be provided jointly by Garrett County and private donations.  The raffle is expected to raise $125,000 towards the construction, from the sale of the 4,000 tickets for a grand prize of a single-family Cape Cod home in Thurmont, Maryland, or 18 cash prizes including the first prize of $5,000. 

Many Garrett County residents helped celebrate the opening of the first phase of the HART Animal Center in 2014. Through a combination of private donations, grants, and a loan from the USDA -Rural Development’s Community Facility Program, the Bredel Veterinary Clinic opened on February 25, 2014. The Bed ‘n Bark Inn pet hotel, MUTTWorks Grooming Salon and the HART Shoppe retail store opened in March of the same year. These services will enable HART for Animals to support its mission of improving the lives of homeless animals by building an animal adoption center where adoptable animals will never have to be euthanized. The revenues generated by these services, along with grants and fundraising efforts, such as the current “Forever Home” house raffle, will support and sustain the operations of the final phase: the HART Adoption Shelter Wing, to be completed this year.

Founded in 2003, HART for Animals has been rescuing animals from the county’s twelve-kennel shelter and transporting them to larger adoption facilities in locations throughout the region. Prior to the organization’s founding, the local shelter was forced to euthanize hundreds of animals each year due to a low adoption rate and shelter capacity.  To date, HART has rescued and transported more than 6,500 animals.  In 2009, HART opened a small low-cost spay/neuter clinic for low-income households to help reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens and educate pet owners on the value of spaying and neutering.  Since that time, HART has performed 6,000 spay/neuter surgeries, reducing the intake to the county shelter by 18%. 

“A small group of fiercely committed people were determined to change the lives of homeless cats and dogs,” says Mercedes Pellet, HART’s development director. “So we rolled up our sleeves and knowing that without challenge, there is no change, began a capital fundraising campaign to build, from the ground up, a dedicated, state-of-the-art facility.  We knew this task seemed to many people like a monumental project for such a low-populated area, but through perseverance and sheer willpower, our dream became a reality,” she adds.  It is with the same determination that HART is now engaged in raffling the house to raise the $125,000 for the Adoption Wing.

The house, valued at $236,000, is located one block from Mount Saint Mary’s College, in Thurmont, Maryland. Convenient to Hagerstown, Emmitsburg and Frederick, this newly remodeled 1,419 square foot home on one-quarter acre features a detachable garage, secluded, fenced-in backyard, three bedrooms, one full bath and one half-bath and walk-out basement.

“The beauty of this home is the options when you do win,” says HART’s executive director, Paula Yudelevit. “You can keep this beautifully-appointed home, sell it or rent it. Being one-block from Mount Saint Mary’s College makes selling or renting a profitable option,” she concludes. 

With a maximum number of 4,000 tickets for sale, the odds of winning the “Forever Home” are 1 in 4,000. The odds of winning one of the 18 cash prizes are 1 in 210. Tickets are $100 each.

Information on the house, the cash prizes and full rules may be found on the raffle website, www.harthomeraffle.org. Tickets may be purchased on the website or at the HART Animal Center, located at 1265 Bumble Bee Rd., Accident, MD 21520.  Information may also be obtained by calling 301.387.7729.

HART for Animals, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation. Donations to HART are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART or any of its charitable programs, visit the HART web site at www.hartforanimals.org

Ruth Enlow Library Resumes Book Discussion Series

The Ruth Enlow Library is hosting a book discussion with Katie Fallon, author of Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird, on Monday, March 30, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Oakland Library. This event will be the first in the library’s discussion series this year, keeping the momentum going from last year’s Pushing the Limits events. To register for this free program, contact Bonnie at 301-334-3996 x117 or bonnie@relib.net. The library has a limited supply of books available for the program and is asking that participants share with someone else who is attending, or return the book after reading it.

Fallon will give about a 20-minute presentation at the event and then will open the program to discussion. Caroline Blizzard, Director of the Discovery Center, also will attend and provide follow-up information from the group’s discussion last summer about the Monarch butterfly and its habitat here in the county.

Cerulean Blues describes the plight of the cerulean warbler, a tiny migratory songbird, and its struggle to survive in ever-shrinking bands of suitable habitat,” reads the book description. “With both scientific rigor and a sense of wonder, Fallon leads readers on a journey of more than two thousand miles—from the top of the forest canopy in the ancient mountains of Appalachia to a coffee plantation near troubled Bogotá, Colombia—and shows how the fate of a creature weighing less than an ounce is vitally linked to our own.”

A finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment, Cerulean Blues is “part journey, part documentary, and wholly engaging; a tribute to a bird that bridges continents with its wings and to a rising star among contemporary nature writers,” according to Pete Dunne, former Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and author of Hawks In Flight and other books.

Fallon has taught creative writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, and her essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ecotone, Bark Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Isotope, Fourth River, the minnesota review, and The Tusculum Review. Her essay “Rebirth” (published in River Teeth, Fall 2013) was listed as a “Notable” in Best American Science & Nature Writing 2014, and her essay “Hill of the Sacred Eagles” was a finalist in Terrain‘s 2011 essay contest. She has been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. More information is available at Fallon’s website: www.katiefallon.com.


Garrett County Memorial Hospital and General Electric have entered into a contract agreement that will upgrade and replace the critical care monitors for the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Surgical Suite, Post Anesthesia Care Unit and the Same Day Surgery Unit.  Also included in the critical care equipment package are three new ventilators and 2 new c-arms for Radiologic/Surgical procedures.

“Technology is one of the most important and most rapidly advancing tools in healthcare. I think it’s important that the hospital have the latest technology to offer the community,” explained Mark Boucot, GCMH President & CEO; “Providing high quality healthcare requires having state of the art technology available to the physicians and staff.”

Boucot went on to explain,  “This deal with General Electric provides GCMH with technological infrastructure for the most advanced critical care monitoring available and will carry us into the future with the new construction project.  It will also give doctors remote access to rapidly assist in care.”

Hospital-wide upgrades will provide standardization of equipment so that all departments are on the same platform.  Innovative advancements in technology allow the physicians to better diagnose and treat patients.  It has the potential to save countless lives and improve the overall quality of life.

“We see, firsthand, every day, the impact that improved equipment has in the lives of our patients. It’s everywhere; from our phones, to our laptops, to x-ray machines to defibrillators. Funding of new technology is always a challenge and often requires lengthy and savvy negotiations with medical suppliers to achieve our objectives. We do take a proactive approach to advancing our service lines as with the recent grant funding for telehealth services,” said Boucot.

GCMH was recently awarded a $62,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to fund telehealth services.  The funding will allow for the purchase of four new telehealth units to improve the community’s access to specialty medical services and consults from larger hospitals. As many community residents simply cannot afford to travel the long distances for specialized treatment, they often go without proper medical care as a result. This will allow patients to receive the same care as patients at a larger facility.

“I think it’s exciting that GCMH is in a growth mode and moving forward at an unprecedented level. These upgrades and advancements are a major investment on behalf of Garret County Memorial Hospital and they signify a real commitment to provide the best possible care to the patients of the Garrett region of Western Maryland. This technology advancement will carry GCMH well into the future. With structural improvements, increased square footage and state of art equipment, we can improve diagnostic capabilities, increase efficiency of services, provide a more comfortable and positive patient experience and continue to ensure excellent care for our patients.  GCMH will have the ability to meet the community’s need for quality healthcare and allow patients to spend less time in the hospital and more time enjoying life,” said Boucot.

“Garrett Memorial is on a road of continuous quality improvement and service excellence. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the access to care as well as enhance the quality of care available locally,” concluded Boucot.

Steve Storck to speak at GC Adventure Sports Colloquium

Steve Storck, Executive Director for Garrett Trails, will present ‘Trails and Trail Advocacy in Garrett and Beyond’ on Tuesday, March 3 in Room 224 in the Continuing Education building at Garrett College. The colloquium is a part of a class in the Adventure Sports program, and the public is welcome to attend beginning at 7 p.m. Learn about Garrett Trails work bringing sustainable, multi-use trails to Garrett County. Gain insights into the role of advocacy for recreation in natural resource management and particularly trail development as a key element of a career in adventure sports. Storck will provide an overview of the proposed Eastern Continental Divide Loop Trail and other ongoing trail projects in the county. He will also discuss upcoming volunteer and work opportunities with trails and career options in outdoor recreation planning and management.

Storck joined Garrett Trails as Executive Director in May 2014. A recent PhD graduate from West Virginia University's Recreation, Parks and Tourism department, he brings a diverse background in trails mapping, management systems, and participatory planning. His trail work has included research on trail erosion factors in the Monongahela National Forest, GIS trail inventories for the Mid-Atlantic, and producing the first map of the Great Eastern Trail. Diversification is a key element of success in careers related to adventure recreation and Storck has developed proficiencies in environmental education, web design, database development and strategic planning to compliment his outdoors skills and knowledge. A resident of Garrett County, he also worked in the Garrett College Adventure Sports program as an Associate Professor teaching hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and recreation program management.


Exelon Expands renewable energy in maryland
Exelon’s Fourmile Wind Energy Project Fully Operational

Exelon Generation’s Fourmile Wind Energy Project located in the northern section of Garrett County, Md. began full operation on Jan. 22, 2015.  The project has 16 turbines capable of generating 40 megawatts (MWs) of clean energy for Maryland consumers.


The Fourmile Project is the first of two wind projects being constructed in western Maryland as part of renewable energy commitments made to the state in connection with the Exelon – Constellation merger. The Fair Wind Energy Project will begin construction in the spring of 2015 which will add 30 MWs of clean renewable generation, fulfilling the merger commitment of providing at least 62.5 MWs of onshore wind power to Maryland. Exelon’s Criterion Wind Project was Maryland’s first commercial wind project began operation 2010 and consists of 28 turbines capable of generating 70 MWs of electricity.



“When complete, these two new projects will bring Exelon’s total wind generation in Garrett County to 140 MWs of renewable energy,” said Ron DeGregorio, President Exelon Power. “Our investment in clean renewable energy in western Maryland is another example of Exelon Generation’s continued growth to meet the needs of our customers.”


By the end of 2015, Exelon Generation’s wind projects in western Maryland will be capable of generating enough clean electricity, at full power, to provide electricity to more than 49,000 homes.


“We are proud to support the state of Maryland’s commitment to produce energy through renewable generation,” said David Drescher, Exelon’s vice president of wind and solar energy. “Renewable energy is an important part of Exelon’s generation portfolio and another component in our efforts to advance clean energy.”


Exelon’s wind assets are managed by Exelon Power, a division of Exelon Generation, which owns and operates Exelon’s renewable, hydroelectric and fossil power plants. Exelon Generation is the country’s 11th largest wind producer, with approximately 1,390 megawatts of wind generation in 12 states.  In addition to more than 100 MWs of wind generation in western Maryland, Exelon owns and operates Conowingo Hydro-electric Generating Facility in Harford County.  Its 572 MWs of generation is the largest single source of clean renewable generation in Maryland


Farmers, businesses and labor unite to advocate for property rights and energy development     

 A new coalition of farmers, property owners, businesses and labor organizations in Garrett and Allegany Counties has organized to advocate for safe shale gas drilling in western Maryland and to moderate the most extreme aspects of oil and gas regulations, proposed last month by Maryland’s Department of the Environment.

                In the final days of the Martin O’Malley administration, MDE registered the proposed regulations, which the Energy and Property Rights Coalition believes is “overly restrictive with unprecedented requirements to an extent that would quash any potential for shale gas drilling in Garrett and Allegany Counties.”  As a result, the landowners’ coalition has submitted its “strenuous” objections to the proposed regulations – via Cumberland attorney Robert S. Paye – to MDE as well as members of the Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive and Law Review Committee.

                “We strongly support putting these regulations on hold until the new administration has a chance to review them,” said Bill Bishoff, Energy and Property Rights Coalition president. “Plus, Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel need our help in informing Maryland lawmakers that many western Maryland citizens don’t support these proposed regulations.” Bishoff and the coalition’s board of directors hope a new “call to action” to some 1400 property owners will finally enable the region’s “silent majority” to speak out and be heard.

                Well over 90 percent of the comments and input, of which state officials based the looming gas extraction regulations, are negative opinions from environmental alarmists, according to the new coalition. “Until now, there had been no organization to advance safe gas development in western Maryland and to promote the transformative and economic fiscal impacts shale gas extraction would have for the region,” explained Bishoff. At the recent PACE reception in Annapolis, he and other coalition members met with hundreds of government and business leaders to explain what’s at stake for energy and property rights in western Maryland.

                Delegate Beitzel supports the new coalition and told members at a recent meeting: “Horizontal drilling – not hydraulic fracturing – has become the real game changer in energy extraction from shale formations. Natural gas drilling has occurred in Garrett County with no lasting adverse environmental damage. Further exploration into the Marcellus Shale would have a positive impact on our local economy by providing much needed jobs and added revenue.”

                Senator Edwards also endorses the new effort, however, during his visit to the Energy and Property Rights Coalition’s PACE exhibit, he noted, “It’s long overdue.”

                Support for safe shale gas development in Garrett County has also come from the Garrett County Commissioners, the Garrett Chamber of Commerce and the Garrett County Farm Bureau.

                Yet, while landowners, workers and businesses in adjoining states are prospering from shale gas development, Maryland has stymied gas exploration, by trying to formulate the so-called “gold standard” regulations on gas development, the coalition maintains. There are also – among certain environmentalists – new efforts to push for a long-term moratorium on natural gas exploration, despite the just ended 3 ½ year study the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission completed for the O’Malley administration.

                The Energy and Property Rights Coalition will push for the rights of property owners to use and develop natural resources subject to reasonable regulations similar to adjoining states. One of the many reasons the extreme restrictions will backfire, according to Bishoff and Paye, is that “the Maryland Marcellus Shale area is only 1.6 percent of the total Marcellus Shale play in neighboring states. If Maryland, with such a tiny area but with significant gas reserves, attempts to apply such extreme and difficult regulations, it is obvious that gas companies will simply bypass Maryland and concentrate production in the adjoining states.”

                Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, producing 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal and 30 percent less than oil, according to industry experts. The extraction process is labor intensive, generating many high–paying jobs, and gas shale development also provides payments in leases and royalties to landowners.

                For more information visit the coalition’s Web site: http://mylandourenergy.com/

Scheduled Released for Spring Joan Crawford Lecture Series

Garrett College has announced the Spring 2015 schedule for the Joan Crawford Lecture Series which will be held on the McHenry campus beginning Wednesday, February 25. Created in memory and honor of Joan Crawford, who dedicated her life to serving Garrett College and the community, this sequence of presentations is offered free of charge each year and is open to the public.

Coordinated by Beth Luers, Professor of Humanities at Garrett College, the lectures are scheduled at either 12 noon or at 7 p.m. and last approximately one hour.

The schedule of spring presentations are as follows:

Wednesday, March 11, “A Naturalist’s Travels in China” presented by Peter Skylstad at noon in Room 224

Wednesday, March 25, “Historical Trauma: Native Americans & Indigenous Populations” presented by Gloria Salazar at noon in Room 645

Wednesday, April 8, “From Hitler’s Germany to a New Life in the U.S.” presented by Paul Weiler at 7 p.m. in Room 205 in the Continuing Education building

Tuesday, April 14, “The Poets We Love” presented by Jack DuBose at 7 p.m. in Room 201 in the Continuing Education building

Wednesday, April 22, “Autism: What Doctors Know & What Autistic Children Wish You Knew” presented by Elizabeth Taliaferro at noon in Room 645.

For more information on the Joan Crawford Lecture Series persons may contact Beth Luers at 301-387-3020.

Ruth Enlow Library Runs Bookmark Contest

As part of its celebration of National Library Week this year in April, the Ruth Enlow Library is running a bookmark contest for children and young adults ages 5 – 18. Participants create a design on the template provided by the library, using crayons, markers, colored pencils, or a similar medium, and then take the entry to any Ruth Enlow branch. The contest runs from February 15 – March 15 and includes 4 separate age groups: 5 – 7, 8 – 10, 11 – 13, and 14 – 18. The bookmark design should reflect the theme for National Library Week, which is “Unlimited Possibilities @ your library®.” All entries must be created on the template provided by the library and submitted by March 15.

One winner will be selected from each age group by a group of three judges. Winning designs will be printed as Ruth Enlow Library bookmarks and will be available at the beginning of National Library Week (April 13). All entries become the property of the Ruth Enlow Library. Participants should stop by any branch in mid-February to pick up a copy of the bookmark template with specific guidelines.

For more information, contact Bonnie at 301-334-3996, x117 or any library branch.

A listing of events and services at the Ruth Enlow Library is available on the website at www.relib.net. Follow the library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RuthEnlowLibrary

Plan for adventure sports bachelor’s degree advances

Plans for a bachelor’s degree program in adventure sports management through Garrett College and Frostburg State University are advancing. A committee of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved the plan on Tuesday, January 14 during a meeting in Baltimore. It now goes to the full board for a vote as soon as next month.

The bachelor’s degree program in cooperation with Frostburg State University will continue to build on an associate’s degree offered at Garrett College since 1992. Proponents say most of those community college graduates want to earn a bachelor’s in adventure sports, and more than 60 percent of them transfer to schools in other states to get one.

In May of 1992, Garrett College’s Adventure Sports Institute developed the first degree program of its kind in the nation; it currently offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree and a one-year Certificate in Adventure Sports Management. Nationally recognized certifications that can be obtained include those from the American Canoe Association (ACA), the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), Professional Climbing Instructors’ Association (PCIA), Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), Leave-No-Trace (LNT) and Rescue 3 International. The Adventure Sports Institute develops leaders and professionals who have a strong sense of environmental stewardship and community service. 

Garrett College’s signature Adventure Sports program has earned a national and international reputation, allowing students to practice their passion while fueling the workforce for the growing adventure recreation industry. Field-skill activities include mountain biking, whitewater paddling, fair/cold weather back country living skills, rock/ice climbing, ropes/challenge course facilitation, alpine ski/snowboard, Nordic/Telemark skiing, land-rock-water based rescue, and wilderness emergency medical care. Program highlights include leadership development, program planning, risk management, and decision-making. Through the lens of outdoor education and recreation, students learn about health and fitness as well as economic development and environmental awareness.

More information on the Adventure Sports program at Garrett College can be found by contacting the Adventuresports Institute at 301-387-3333 or www.adventuresportsi.org.

GCMH Awarded Grant for Telehealth

Garrett County Memorial Hospital has been awarded a $62,000 grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for a project that will use telehealth to improve the community’s access to specialty medical services.  The new telehealth units will citizens in Western Maryland receive specialized healthcare in their own community.

In an announcement released by the offices of U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, Congressman John Delaney said, “Many residents of Garrett County live far from a hospital and even further from a specialist, but that shouldn’t mean they don’t receive the care they deserve.” Senator Cardin noted that where people live should never determine the quality of healthcare available to them.

Garrett County and the surrounding counties face high rates of chronic illness, low incomes and often lack health insurance. The shortage of local specialty care services in rural areas can pose serious problems to high-need patients, such as those with stroke, high risk pregnancies or renal conditions. The patients may have to travel long distances for treatment or forgo specialty care services altogether.

The ARC grant will enable Garrett County Memorial Hospital to secure four mobile telehealth units. These high definition video and audio units will link patients and providers at GCMH with specialty care providers at facilities, such as the Western Maryland Health System, University of Maryland Medical Center, and West Virginia University Medical Center. Clinicians in these advanced medical centers will be able to provide diagnosis and consultation for patients at the Oakland facility.

“Many patients simply can’t afford to travel long distances for treatment and often do not have access to adequate transportation to get care at specialty care clinics or larger hospitals,” explained Mark Boucot, President and CEO of Garrett County Memorial Hospital. “Telehealth is a great advancement to modern technology allowing rural areas to offer patients the same resources available at the larger metropolitan health centers. We are very excited about bringing this new service and new technology to the community.”

“This federal funding will save money, save time and save lives, said Senator Mikulski, senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This telehealth program is an example of the innovative ways we can make healthcare more affordable and more accessible in our communities. Now patients with chronic illness can receive specialty treatment from doctors across the region with delay and without facing long, expensive commutes. I will continue to fight for federal funding that promotes innovations that create more affordable access to healthcare.”

Garrett County Memorial Hospital expects to serve at least 250 patients through telehealth within one year of this new initiative.

GCMH Foundation Hits $1 Million Target

William B. Grant, Chairman of the Garrett County Memorial Hospital Foundation announced that the Foundation has reached the $1 million milestone in the Capital Campaign to help fund the Hospital’s expansion and renovation project currently underway. Total campaign project goal is $1.65 million by the end of 2015. Volunteers for the Garrett County Memorial Hospital Foundation are very excited about the progress of the project and are pleased with the positive response and support from their friends, families and neighbors.

“Reaching this level of support would not be possible without the generosity and thoughtfulness of donors.  Having the Hospital’s Loar Auxiliary make a lead Campaign gift of $150,000 was a wonderful way to start the fundraising effort.  Our mountain top community has historically put its best foot forward in support of healthcare in the community as evidenced through many philanthropic partners,” remarked William B. Grant, GCMH Foundation Chairman. “Our efforts will continue as we look for more partners and donors to get involved and work towards the additional $650,000.”

“The Hospital’s four story addition and renovation project is slated to be complete in 2017 and will improve the community’s access to needed services,” explained Mark Boucot, GCMH President and CEO. “We are humbled by the generosity of the donors and the dedication of the Foundation volunteers towards this effort. We are equally humbled by the numbers of part time residents and vacationers who support the hospital with their charitable dollars. Garrett County Memorial Hospital is blessed to be part of a generous and supportive community. ”

“The expansion and renovation project will increase space and capabilities in nearly every department, patient wait times will be decreased as quality of service is enhanced. These improvements will maintain our Hospital’s well-earned reputation for a caring attitude toward all patients,” remarked Boucot.

More information about the Hospital Foundation and the current project is available by contacting the Foundation Office at 301-533-4178 or 301-533-4304.

Garrett County Memorial Hospital Receives National Recognition from the American Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association (AHA) recognized Garrett County Memorial Hospital for its efforts in quality of care, patient safety and patient centered care and for its participation in the AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.  The Quest for Quality Prize is recognition for hospitals that pursue excellence in continuous quality improvement and patient safety.  GCMH received the recognition after submitting a description of its quality improvement processes and measurements of success.

In the same week, GCMH was also awarded the Carolyn Boone Lewis “Living the Vision Award” for the hospital’s participation and membership in a state collaborative that is reinventing the payment systems for hospitals in the State of Maryland.  This “new” payment is also known as Total Patient Revenue, or TPR.  The way that the TPR payment system works, is that hospitals assume risk for the health of the community and are paid based on the population served, versus being paid based on the volume of patients.  The TPR Collaborative consists of a total of 10 Hospitals in the State of Maryland, all of which were presented the award for reinventing themselves to meet the new payment system.  Awards were presented by Rich Umbdenstock, President and CEO of the AHA.

“Garrett County Memorial Hospital is the longest standing TPR Hospital in Maryland.  We’ve been paid on this system since the early 1980’s.  This work has led to GCMH having the lowest 30 day readmission rate in the state, which is currently below 6%, versus the state average of 12%,” explained Mark Boucot, GCMH President and CEO.   “The people of Garrett County may not realize it, but this work could essentially become a basis for the rest of the nation when considering the implementation of a population based health reimbursement system.”

Maryland TPR Collaborative formed in 2010 out of 10 hospitals involved in the Maryland Total Patient Revenue Project. The Maryland Total Patient Revenue Project uses a fixed revenue system to encourage hospitals to decrease hospitalizations. The participating hospitals are the sole providers in communities in the western mountain region and coastal parts of the state. The collaborative’s purpose is to reshape the participating hospitals’ approach to health care, learn from each other’s challenges and successes, share best practices and data and improve care as a group, despite demographic diversity.  Tracy Lipscomb, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at GCMH remarked, “I have been honored to work with such a talented group of CEO’s and CFO’s as part of this TPR Collaborative.”

These 10 hospitals focus on providing greater access to primary care, which keeps patients out of the hospital, and improving quality. Some of the successful strategies implemented by TPR Collaborative Maryland hospitals include:

·         Creating partnerships with physicians, pharmacists and community groups;

·         Supporting the primary care physician practices;

·         Creating primary care medical homes;

·         Developing high-risk clinics like GCMH’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Unit;

·         Partnering with independent urgent care centers and increasing collaboration with

            Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s);

·         Expanding and supporting Home Health and community resources;

·         Focusing on appropriateness of admissions;

·         Improving and changing discharge procedures and follow-up; and,

·         Increasing health and wellness activities on a regional basis.

Umbdenstock recognized the TPR Collaborative in Maryland for their efforts to reducing costs, increasing access to primary care and sharing best practices in a way that all hospital can learn from.  An important element of the Carolyn Boone Lewis Living the Vision Award is that a hospital must be recognized as a leader and nominated by others in the health care field.

Participating hospitals in the collaborative are Calvert Memorial Hospital, Carroll Hospital Center, Chester River Hospital Center, Garrett County Memorial Hospital, The McCready Foundation, Meritus Medical Center, Shore Health System, Union Hospital and Western Maryland Health System.

The American Hospital Association is the national advocate for its members, nearly 5,000 hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 43,000 individuals.  For more information visit the website at www.aha.org.

GC Awarded TAACCCT Grant

 Garrett College, as a partner in a consortium with 13 other Maryland community colleges, led by Montgomery College, has been awarded a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant for $448,959, over four years. A total of 14 community colleges in Maryland will benefit from the $14,957,899 in funding to support job-driven training programs. The funding is part of the TAACCCT competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education.

Vice President Biden, Secretary Thomas E. Perez, and Secretary Arne Duncan announced the winners of $450 million in job-driven training grants going to nearly 270 community colleges across the country. Maryland is a national center of cybersecurity with over 130,000 IT jobs–49% above the national average–yet many workers find these careers difficult to enter.

The grant will support the Cyber Technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) project which is directed toward significantly increasing the number of pathways leading to employment in cybersecurity or closely related fields, where this is a critical shortage of workers.

The TAACCCT grant will enable Garrett College to expand existing AAS degree programs and offer new training programs. “The new certification programs offered in Continuing Education and Workforce Development will enable students to earn various industry recognized credentials or certifications. The training will be designed to meet the needs of students new to Cyber Technology as well as enhance employability for individuals who have already earned an AAS or BS degree,” says Carol Mowbray Brooks, Director of Workforce Development and Adult Education. “The Health Information Technology training program will expand job opportunities for individuals wishing to enter the Allied Health field or expand their knowledge and employability.”

With support from grant funding, Garrett College will provide a continuum of training (both noncredit and credit) ranging from basic skills through coursework leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree in Cybersecurity. Health Information Technology will be a new certificate program. The college will also upgrade and expand its PearsonVue testing center to facilitate certification testing for CPAM project participants, and work with local business partners to provide job shadowing, internship, and possible employment opportunities.

The grant also provides funding to support curriculum development, student recruitment and advising, and faculty/instructor professional development, acquisition of equipment and supplies, and project management and administration. The grant will also cover costs associated with hiring the temporary (contractual) personnel needed to carry out the CPAM project. These include a program coordinator, a part-time instructor, and a testing center administrator.