A Week In Business – November 5, 2021

A Week In Business – November 5, 2021
The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed the Fidanza family and the new OC Eateries to the community last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony, above. Located in West Ocean City off Route 50, the market-style food destination offers seven diverse restaurants offering a variety of food like brick-oven pizza, wings, street tacos, macaroni and cheese and more in addition to bar service. Photo by Jeanette Deskiewicz

Real Estate Market Update

BERLIN — The weather may be cooling off, but the housing market is not following suit. September gave us a historic high for home sale prices in the lower three counties reaching $310,000. There was also a slight increase in inventory and days on the market which are all good trends to see.

In September, our median price was $310,000, which is up 21.6% from September of 2020 and 11.1% from August of 2021. We currently have only 645 active listings in the lower three counties, compared to 723 in September of 2020, and 1,371, which is the five-year average.

Overall, in the three counties, new settlements during September were down 11.7% compared to the same time last year. Individually, new settlements throughout September were up by 10.7% in Somerset, held even in Wicomico, and were down 18.2% in Worcester.

New listings in September were down just slightly at 0.8% compared to the same time last year in all three counties. Individually, new listings were up by 3% in Wicomico, and 31.3% in Somerset, and down 5.2% in Worcester from September of 2020.

Active listings in all three counties were down by 10.8%. Individually, there were 381 active listings in Worcester, 178 in Wicomico, and 86 in Somerset. We had 723 active listings at this time last year.

The Median Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for July was 11, or 26.7% less than the same time last year.

“The market is very strong, and it is still a wonderful time to sell your home, but we are also seeing good signs like increasing inventory and days on market which are crucial in order to get back to a more balanced market,” said CAR President Grace Masten. “Home prices hit historic highs last month and interest rates are still at historic lows so now is the time to both buy and sell.”

Masten added, “We are also starting to see initiatives from local government partnering with private business to encourage residential developments. After talking about inventory for the last 18 months it is clear that steps are being made to try and remedy the problem. All of these are great trends and if they continue into the new year, we should be able to get back to a more normal market in 2022.”


Hospital Earns Most Wired

BERLIN – Atlantic General Hospital has earned the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives’ 2021 Digital Health Most Wired recognition as a certified Level 8 institution, receiving awards for both acute care and ambulatory settings.

This year’s recognition is the sixth time in recent years that AGH has been named a Most Wired organization – recognized for its successful application of information technology solutions that positively impact the quality and safety of care, as well as improving the overall patient and family experience.

CHIME’s Most Wired program conducts annual surveys to assess how effectively health care organizations are applying core and advanced technologies to their clinical and business programs in order to improve care for their patients.

“We’re honored to have received Most Wired recognition once again,” says Jonathan Bauer, AGH’s vice president of information systems. “It takes hard work and dedication from our IT team, medical staff, plus employees from the front lines to the executive suite to implement information technologies initiatives that improve the quality of the care we commit to deliver every day.”

A total of 36,674 organizations were represented in the 2021 Most Wired program. Just over 1.5% of these organizations achieved Level 7-10 distinction. Surveys assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies by scoring the degree of advancement in seven separate segments (infrastructure, security, administrative/supply chain, analytics/data management, interoperability/population health, patient engagement, and clinical quality/safety). Each participating organization received a customized benchmarking report along with certification based on their overall performance – with Level 10 being the highest certification level possible. AGH’s Quality Awards and Level 8 certification reflects continuous improvement in its ratings over time.


New Beacon Director

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John Hickman

SALISBURY — Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business has announced John Hickman as the new director of its Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON).

Hickman currently serves as director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Maryland Small Business Development Center — Eastern Region (SBDC), affiliated with the Perdue School and housed at SU. His tenure with BEACON began Nov. 3.

“As a part of the SBDC since 2001, and director since 2002, John brings to BEACON two decades of experience working with businesses, community constituents and the Perdue School,” said Dr. Christy Weer, dean of the Perdue School. “We are excited to continue working with him in his new role.”

“Since 1990, BEACON has provided applied business and economic research support for public and private entities spanning from local businesses, to state governments, to Fortune 500 companies,” said Hickman. “I look forward to continuing those services, as well as BEACON’s regional initiatives.”

Those programs include ShoreTrends, through which data is compiled via surveys from more than 2,500 economic and business leaders; GraySHORE, focusing on opportunities and challenges created by Delmarva’s aging population; and Bienvenidos a Delmarva, better preparing local leaders and businesses to work with the peninsula’s growing immigrant communities.

Hickman also will supervise the SU students who conduct up to 85 percent of BEACON’s applied research work under faculty supervision.


Board Leadership Appointed

SALISBURY — Kimberly C. Gillis of Salisbury was recently named chairperson, and Morgan Hazel, also of Salisbury, was named vice chair of the

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Kimberly C. Gillis

board of trustees at Wor-Wic Community College.

Gillis, who was appointed to the board in 2017, served as vice chair from 2019-21. She is the communications and outreach director for the Greater Salisbury Committee. Prior to her position with the Greater Salisbury Committee, she was a senior associate and business development manager at the Becker Morgan Group in Salisbury, where she had been employed for more than 20 years.

She holds a bachelor of science degree from Salisbury University (SU). A member of the Shore Leadership Class of 2013, Gillis is also a member of the Education Awards Committee of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. She has served as vice president of the SU Alumni Association, chair of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and as vice chair of the College, Career and Life Readiness subcommittee of the City of Salisbury’s Youth Development Advisory Council.

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Morgan Hazel

Hazel, who was appointed to the board in 1996, served as the vice chair from 1997-99 and as chair from 1999-2001 and 2011-13. He is founder and co-owner of Fixer Upper Fitness in Salisbury and the former vice president and general manager of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. in Salisbury. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Delaware in Newark and a master’s degree in applied health and physiology from SU.

In addition to Gillis and Hazel, Wor-Wic board of trustees members include Anna G. Newton of Berlin, Russell W. Blake of Pocomoke City, Andrew W. Booth and Martin T. Neat of Salisbury and Lorraine Purnell-Ayres of Snow Hill.


New Visitor Center Opens

OCEAN PINES — The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce has opened a new Ocean Pines Visitors Center located at 11047 Racetrack Road. A grand opening and ribbon cutting was held this week.

In August the chamber moved to the location, affording it greater public visibility, more office space and a proper conference room, which Steven Sweigert of Mitchell & Hastings Financial Services has sponsored the conference room. The Ocean Pines Visitors Center will not only house the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce offices, but it will feature an Information Center sponsored by the Ocean Downs Casino and Racetrack.

Having more offices than the chamber needed, the building is also home to Coastal HR Solutions and will have an office available for those in need of temporary office space. The location is also the home of Premier Driving School.


Recertification Earned

SALISBURY — TidalHealth Peninsula Regional has announced the recertification of its cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

To earn accreditation, TidalHealth’s cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices. AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other related professional societies. Each program’s application is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee, and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

TidalHealth’s programs have been nationally and consistently certified since 2000, and recognized for upholding national quality standards and following clinical practices and guidelines established by the AACVPR.

“Recertification reflects our commitment to patients through our adherence to rigorous national standards to ensure quality care, consistency in the delivery of services, evidence of tracking clinical outcomes and program operational standards,” said Chris Evans, M.S., ACSM-CEP, Director of Cardiovascular Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology at TidalHealth.