Population health focus gains momentum

Nancy Bedell, center, director, Population Health at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, is shown with new Population Health staff members Jessica Denny, left, and Shelley Stone, right.

EASTON — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, population health “brings significant health concerns into focus and addresses ways that resources can be allocated to overcome the problems that drive poor health conditions in the population.”

The growing focus on population health encourages health care systems, agencies and organizations to collaborate in projects to improve the health outcomes of the communities they serve.

Population Health is an increasingly important component of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s mission, “Creating Healthier Communities Together.” Led by Nancy Bedell, director, the UM SRH Population Health team recently added two new members, Shelley Stone, manager, and Jessica Denny, project manager.

Stone has worked for UM SRH for 31 years in various nursing positions. While on a brief hiatus from SRH, she gained knowledge and experience in case management and health coaching, and she is pursuing certification in health coaching through the Mayo Clinic. A Talbot County resident, Stone said she is excited to collaborate with populations and organizations to bridge the gap between acute and post-acute environments.

Denny has worked for SRH Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services for 11 years as a physical therapist, clinical specialist and inpatient manager. A native and resident of Queen Anne’s County, Denny said she is excited to use her patient-centered skills and whole-person approach to help patients throughout the five county region.

“Our aim is to lead the creation of a stronger resource network to help improve the health of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties,” Bedell said. “This will be accomplished by collaborating with University of Maryland Shore Medical Group providers and with community organizations such as county health and social services departments, departments of aging, nursing and rehab facilities, Mobile Integrated Community Health programs, churches and others.”

For now, Shore’s Population Health team continues to focus on high-risk populations through the Transitional Nurse Navigator program staffed by TNNs Lori Geisler, Angela Lunczynski and Alyssa Baker, who assist patients deemed high-risk for readmission for 30 days after discharge from UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton. Moving forward, the team will begin outreach to UM SRH community partners with a focus on developing education, prevention and wellness initiatives that will benefit both high-and low-risk populations.

More information about population health initiatives at UM SRH may be obtained by contacting Nancy Bedell, 410-822-1000, ext. 5359, or nancy.bedell@umm.edu.

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