A Week In Business – May 22, 2020

Hospital Treating Patients With Plasma From Survivors

BERLIN – Through the Blood Bank of Delmarva, Atlantic General Hospital is participating in a Mayo Clinic study to provide convalescent plasma to treat patients with COVID-19.

Hospital officials say the goal is to use the antibodies in the plasma of now healthy coronavirus survivors to help the patients fight the virus.

“Researchers are optimistic about the potential of this treatment for COVID-19,” said Matt Morris, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Atlantic General Hospital.

Morris said while the treatment may not be for everyone, the hospital enrolled and transfused their first patient Friday, April 24. He noted that the hospital’s medical staff will actively screen future patients with COVID-19 to evaluate the benefits of this treatment for their care.

“Initial anecdotal reports have been positive across the country,” said Morris. “We believe our participation will improve the care we provide to our patients.”

The Blood Bank of Delmarva is now accepting plasma donations from those who have recovered from coronavirus and are now asymptomatic.

Morris said plasma donors must have tested positive for coronavirus and been symptom-free for 28 days. He said those who have been symptom-free for 14 days can also donate if they test negative to ensure they no longer have the active virus.

Patients requesting information on becoming a COVID convalescent plasma donor are asked to contact the Blood Bank of Delmarva directly at http://delmarvablood.org/cpdonor  or call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 (1-888-825-6638).

“It’s definitely another resource in our effort to treat patients that are critically ill, and we really hope that it improves the outcomes of these patients,” Morris said. “It is affordable, easy to administer and rarely has side effects. The possibilities presented by this treatment are encouraging.”

While hospital officials say they are cautiously optimistic about the treatment, Morris said, “it is very reasonable to be optimistic about this because of the positive results in studies that convalescent plasma has had in prior outbreaks with other respiratory tract infections and its track record with other diseases.”


Company Expands Again

SNOW HILL – Advisor Meredith Mears recently secured a 40,000-square-foot lease for Hardwire LLC inside a Worcester County-owned commercial building along Route 12 in Snow Hill.

Hardwire’s further expansion into the county demonstrates the company’s commitment to the community by bringing 100-plus new jobs to the Eastern Shore in a time of need.

Hardwire LLC specializes in the development and testing of military-grade armor protection for ground vehicles, aircraft, boats, and personnel. Partnering with Worcester County to lease commercial space at this time is an indicator of their commitment to public safety. This additional space addresses a vital storage need, as Hardwire LLC ramps up operations to provide our nation’s healthcare workers with face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE) in light of COVID-19.

“Hardwire’s expansion coincides with a time when our community craves signs of economic growth,” said Mears. “George and Emily Tunis and the entire Hardwire team have always been true partners in the community. Worcester County is sure to further realize the benefits of their choice in location as they work together to meet the needs of people throughout the COVID-crisis.”

As a result of her deep and trusted relationships with local governments and municipalities, Mears represented both Hardwire LLC and Worcester County in this transaction. Mears continually serves as a trusted resource to the community and has invaluable knowledge backed by years of experience in real estate and economic development.

“We’ve worked with Merry in the past – she consistently produces great results,” said George Tunis, chairman and chief executive officer of Hardwire LLC. “The space she guided us to fits our needs perfectly, and the lease was executed swiftly, with ease. We look forward to working together in the future.”


Nurse Retires After 50 Years

CRISFIELD — Friday, May 15, was a remarkable day at the McCready Health Pavilion in Crisfield as it represented the closing of an outstanding career of caring, compassion and nursing excellence.

Shelley Byrd, a registered nurse at McCready, retired on May 15 after an incredible 50 years of nursing care.  That same day, she was presented with the Daisy Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her remarkable career and dedication to the people of Crisfield and Somerset County.

Byrd started working, officially, at Edward W. McCready Memorial Hospital in August 1969 as a graduate nurse.  She’s been a fixture at McCready for more than half the time the hospital has been in existence.

She graduated from North Hampton Accomack Memorial Hospital as an LPN, then Wor-Wic Community College as an RN in 1989.  Shelley has worked in all areas of McCready including ER, OR, in the Tawes Nursing Home and in MedSurg.  She even helped to deliver a few babies when McCready had an OB unit.

According to a press release, the biggest change that Byrd has seen throughout her career is the responsibility that nurses have now versus responsibilities when she started, and she is proud of the many hats they now wear.  She has enjoyed all of the many doctors, nurses, patients and other co-workers throughout the years.  She says that everyone she meets has something to offer, and she enjoys serving her community and friends in Somerset County.  She has cared for countless numbers of them during her career, and was caring for their grandchildren right up to the day she retired.


Hospital Employees Honored

SALISBURY — Luzetta Jones of Patient Care Management and Dan Harris of Information Services were recently named the 2019-2020 Employees of the Year at Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s (PRMC).

While presenting the Employees of the Year award to each, PRMC and Peninsula Regional Health System President/CEO Dr. Steve Leonard described both as leaders, mentors and true champions of customer service and patient satisfaction.

Jones and Harris were selected from a field of 16 candidates who had earned Employee of the Quarter honors in Support and Administrative Services, Nursing Services and Professional Services.

Of the many gifts each received for earning Employee of the Year recognition, perhaps none is more coveted than their own designated parking spaces at the Medical Center for the next year.