Jones recognized by state, county for service in health care

From left: Talbot County Councilmen Chuck F. Callahan, Corey W. Pack and Frank Divilio; Gary Jones; and council members Laura E. Price and Pete Lesher.

EASTON — Gary Jones, director of the Heart and Vascular Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, recently received state and county proclamations honoring his 50 years with UM Shore Regional Health.

Jones retired at the end of 2019 but has agreed to stay on in a contractual role until a new director is found.

Born and raised in Talbot County, Jones attended Talbot County Public Schools. He later attained his associate’s degree from Chesapeake College and his Bachelor of Arts in health care administration from Ottawa University. He was advanced to doctoral candidacy in human development and neurophysiology at University of Maryland College Park.

A fellow of the American College of Cardiovascular Administrators, Jones is a licensed, registered respiratory care practitioner and, in the course of his career, has achieved multiple professional credentials, including certified physician assistant, pulmonary technologist, paramedic instructor certified by the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems, forensic investigator with the Office of Chief Medical Examiner-Maryland, neonatal resuscitation hospital-based instructor, basic life support instructor, and clinical instructor in Salisbury University’s Respiratory Care Practitioner Program and in Delaware Technical and Community College’s Respiratory Care Practitioner Program. He also has been certified in advanced cardiac life support.

Jones has been employed with UM Shore Regional Health since November 1969, rising from respiratory therapist to supervisor to director of Respiratory Care and, later, director of Cardiopulmonary/Neurodiagnostic Services. Before being named director of the Heart and Vascular Center at UM Shore Regional Health, Jones was regional director of Cardio-Pulmonary/Neurodiagnostic Services, a position he held since 1983.

Jones has been instrumental in the development of cardiovascular services at UM SRH. He helped establish the Vascular Lab at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, which has expanded to UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown and Dorchester, and to UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton. He also helped to establish the Regional Sleep Disorders Center that now provides sleep testing in four locations.

Cardiovascular services also have expanded to include pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, primary and elective percutaneous coronary intervention and cardiac electrophysiology services.

Jones helped establish the first Cardiac Cath Lab at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton in 1991. It since has grown to include a second cath lab, which in 2018 was designated as a Cardiac Interventional Center by MIEMSS and in 2019 was granted a four-year accreditation. The Cardiac Interventional Center consistently provides lifesaving care procedures for patients experiencing a heart attack caused by arterial blockage in less than 60 minutes, 95% of the time. The national target time is an average of 90 minutes. Three teams are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to serve the community.

Also in 2019, after just one year of operation, the American Heart Association presented the Cardiac Interventional Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton with two Mission Lifeline awards for percutaneous coronary intervention.

Outside UM Shore Regional Health, Jones has advocated for pre-hospital advanced life support services in the region to better serve local communities. Beginning as a member of Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Jones later became a volunteer emergency medical technician basic life support provider with the local ambulance service.

He also served as a charter member of the Talbot County Advanced Life Support Services and was one of five paramedics who volunteered 24/7 in this role.

Later, he transitioned to become a MIEMSS paramedic instructor, teaching paramedics working for emergency services in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.

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