Friday, July 21, 2017

Welcoming New Colleagues and a New Leader

Every other Monday morning I spend an hour welcoming new employees and introducing them to our organization during their orientation. This week, I was really pleased to meet nearly 70 new colleagues. There was so much positive energy in the room.

My job at orientation is to begin to enroll my new colleagues in our vision and engage them in a conversation about our transformation towards being the healthcare system that treats everyone, every time the way we want our own loved ones treated. Our ongoing metamorphosis from an outstanding hospital into an outstanding system of care, requires people who understand and embrace our vision and their role in helping us achieve it.

This orientation was a bit different because preceding me in the program was our new Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Anna-Maria Gonzalez Palmer. Anna-Maria exudes positive energy! She is an accomplished leader who has served in the human resources field with a number of organizations including McCormick and Company and Textron.

Anna-Maria will have responsibility and oversight for planning, organizing and providing leadership and direction for the organization’s human resources functions including policy development, interpretation and administration; recruitment, orientation and retention of employees; compensation and benefits programs; performance management and competency assessment; employee relations and labor relations; and training and development programs.

Prior to joining GBMC, she was the senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Compass Pointe Healthcare System. Anna-Maria earned her Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University and her Master’s degree in Administrative Science, Human Resources Development from The Johns Hopkins University. She is a ‘can-do’ person who hit the ground running at GBMC with our successful negotiation of a new union contract and a very successful employee barbecue. She is redesigning our Human Resources Department to be even better than it is today. I am really enjoying working with Anna-Maria as a senior team colleague and as our leader in increasing joy at work.

Please join me in welcoming Anna-Maria to the GBMC Family!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Raising Healthy Children

The proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” continues to resonate with many modern parents. The members of the village often include relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers and church leaders. What about a child’s primary care physician? People tend to think of doctors only when someone is sick, but healthcare is evolving to be more preventive and focused on the whole person rather than on just a symptom or episode of illness. If a primary care physician isn’t part of the village that is raising your family or that of someone you love, keep reading!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have a well-child appointment with their physician annually, beginning at age 3*. Ideally, this appointment will align with the child’s birthday. The purpose of the visit is to:
  • prevent illness
  • identify early concerns over development or medical issues
  • track development
  • build a positive, consistent relationship between children, their parents and their physicians
These annual appointments allow physicians to interact with the child while he or she is happy and feeling well, establishing a benchmark against which future symptoms or test results can be compared. They give parents more opportunity to talk face-to-face about their child’s growth and development with the doctor. They offer a way for children to become familiar with their doctor, which can ease their anxiety when it’s time for a shot. Building a solid relationship with a physician at an early age can help set the stage for a child to develop into a health-conscious adolescent. And, the continuity of seeing the same physician (or small group of physicians) over time provides a more personal care experience.

Along with their teams, primary care physicians are valuable resources for parents. In addition to delivering medical care during an illness, your child’s doctor can also give guidance on subjects like:
  • sleep quality and quantity
  • hearing and vision
  • body mass index and nutrition
  • oral health
  • mental and emotional health (separation anxiety, fear of the dark, expressing feelings)
  • social behaviors (sharing, making friends)
If your family’s “village” is in need of a primary care provider, visit for a list of practices and their contact information.

*Consult with a physician for more specifics about how often children under the age of 3 should be checked.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Pad Thai with Shirataki Noodles

Every month, GBMC holds a Facebook Live cooking demonstration featuring healthy recipes from The Sleeved Chef, Michael Salamon. Michael graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is passionate about “teaching cooking techniques and recipes to pre- and post-operative bariatric patients.” He had a type of bariatric surgery known as a sleeve gastrectomy in September 2016 and enjoys sharing his knowledge of cooking with fellow weight loss patients. Co-hosting the demonstration with him is Jana Wolff, RD, LDN, Director of Nutrition for GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program, where Michael was treated.

Please tune in to GBMC’s Facebook page on Tuesday, July 25 at 6pm for another live cooking demonstration with Michael and Jana! 


Spicy Tofu
1 lb extra firm tofu, pressed
1 Tbsp peanut butter
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 Tbsp Sriracha
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp finely minced ginger

Pad Thai
8 oz shirataki noodles
2 tsp sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 Thai chili, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Spicy Pad Thai Sauce
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 limes, juiced
1 Tbsp Sriracha
3 Tbsp vegetable broth
1 tsp honey
2 tsp garlic chili paste
3 garlic cloves, minced

Watch the Spicy Peanut Tofu Pad Thai cooking demonstration here

Spicy Tofu
     Press Tofu
  1. Place a dry paper towel on a plate and the extra firm tofu on top
  2. Place a dry paper towel on top of the tofu and a similar plate on top of the paper towel
  3. Place a weighted object (cans work well) on top of the plate and place in the fridge
  4. Drain the extra water every 30 minutes or until no water is drained.
  5. Place tofu aside
     Prepare Tofu & Marinade
  1. Whisk all ingredients for the tofu marinade in a mixing bowl thoroughly and pour into a quart freezer bag
  2. Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over a medium flame and pour 1 Tbsp of sesame oil in the skillet
  3. When you smell the sesame oil, add the tofu to the pan and brown it on both sides.
  4. Remove tofu from the pan and place on a cutting board to rest for 2 minutes
  5. Large dice the tofu, place it in the marinade, close the bag and toss liberally.
Spicy Pad Thai Sauce
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a stainless steel mixing bowl and reserve
Shirataki Noodles
  1. Drain the Shirataki noodles in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water
  2. Bring water to a boil and add salt
  3. Place the Shirataki noodles in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes
  4. Drain and reserve the Shirataki noodles
Putting it All Together
  1. Thinly slice red bell pepper, yellow onion and carrots
  2. Mince the Thai chili pepper
  3. Finely chop cilantro
  4. Place all ingredients on a plate
  5. Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over a medium flame and add 2 tsp of sesame oil to the pan
  6. When you smell the sesame oil, add the onion, bell pepper, carrot and Thai chili to the pan. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Sauté all ingredients for 2-3 minutes until soft
  8. Add the diced spicy tofu to the pan. Sauté for 1 minute
  9. Add the spicy pad thai sauce and shirataki noodles to the pan
  10. Toss all ingredients together and add cilantro.
  11. Serve in a bowl and enjoy!!
Nutrition Information
Recipe yields 4 servings Calories: 220
Total Fat: 14g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 960mg
Protein: 16g
Carbohydrate: 14g

Recipe courtesy of Michael Salamon, The Sleeved Chef.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Help Dad Stay Healthy!

In honor of Father’s Day on June 18, GBMC wants to remind men how vital it is to see their primary care physician for the preventive healthcare they need.

A significant amount of published research has shown that, on average, men have higher mortality rates than women for fatal illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and AIDS. “Men need to make their health a priority. Being healthy requires maintaining a normal body weight, exercising, and not smoking,” says Kevin Ferentz, MD, lead physician for GBMC at Owings Mills.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than 50 percent of men in the U.S. haven't visited their family physician in the past year, and men make half as many doctor visits for disease prevention than women.

“The longer you put off seeing a doctor, the more likely it is that you will have to see a doctor on a regular basis for problems that were preventable,” warns Dr. Ferentz. He recommends that men discuss the following health screenings with their primary care physicians:
  • Blood pressure: Every man age 18 or older should have his blood pressure checked annually. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. If your numbers are higher, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medication or monitoring.
  • Cholesterol: Men ages 20 to 35 with a cardiovascular disease risk factor – like smoking or a family history of heart disease - should be screened. After age 35, men should be screened once every 5 years if normal, or more often if levels are elevated.
  • Colon cancer: Men should be screened regularly starting at age 50 or younger, especially if there is a family history of colorectal cancer.
  • Heart disease: According to the CDC, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49 percent) have at least one of these three risk factors.
  • Prostate cancer: Men should discuss prostate screening with their physician.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Men between the ages of 55-75 should consider this screening if they have a risk factor like smoking.
Along with health screenings, there are several vaccines that men should discuss with their physicians to protect themselves and their loved ones from serious illnesses like flu, shingles, pneumonia, whooping cough and, for men up to age 26, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Father’s Day is the perfect time to remind all the men in our families to schedule an annual health review or see a doctor about a health problem. Visit to find a primary care physician who is right for you.

Tune in! Dr. Ferentz will be featured on WBFF-TV (FOX 45) on Friday, June 16 during the 7am news hour to discuss men’s health issues.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice

Every month, GBMC holds a Facebook Live cooking demonstration featuring healthy recipes from The Sleeved Chef, Michael Salamon. Michael graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is passionate about “teaching cooking techniques and recipes to pre- and post-operative bariatric patients.” He had a type of bariatric surgery known as a sleeve gastrectomy in September 2016 and enjoys sharing his knowledge of cooking with fellow weight loss patients. Co-hosting the demonstration with him is Jana Wolff, RD, LDN, Director of Nutrition for GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program, where Michael was treated.

The recipe is appropriate for bariatric patients, but it is also a great high-protein, low-carb meal for anyone! Please tune in to GBMC’s Facebook page on Tuesday, June 27 at 6pm for another live cooking demonstration with Michael and Jana!


4 oz chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 cup of cauliflower rice
1 yellow onion, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
2 celery stalks, small diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce


Cauliflower Rice
  1. Cut one head of cauliflower into florets.
  2. Place the florets into a food processor and blend until cauliflower is riced.
  3. Stop processor, remove lid and stir to promote consistent size and texture
  4. Remove cauliflower rice from food processor and reserve

Other Ingredients
  1. Small dice onion, carrots, and celery; place on a plate
  2. Mince ginger and garlic; place on a plate
  3. Butterfly the chicken breast and thinly slice it into 1/4" strips
  4. Place 1 tsp of sesame oil in a cast iron pan on medium heat
  5. Add onion, carrots, celery, ginger and garlic to the pan; season with salt and pepper
  6. Sauté vegetables until tender, about 2 minutes
  7. Place chicken in the pan and season with salt and pepper
  8. Sauté chicken for 3-4 minutes until fully cooked
  9. Add cauliflower rice to pan, season with salt and pepper
  10. Sauté cauliflower rice for 1-2 minutes until tender
  11. Add soy sauce and cook for an additional minute
  12. Slice green onions on a bias and place into pan
  13. Serve immediately in a bowl

Watch the Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice cookingdemonstration here.

Nutrition Information
Recipe yields 1 serving

Calories: 330
Total Fat: 13g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 235mg
Sodium: 820mg
Protein: 37g
Carbohydrate: 18g

Recipe courtesy of Michael Salamon, The Sleeved Chef.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Lowdown on Falls

Physical therapist Joe Palmer, PT, DPT, OMPT,
CSCS, CMTPT, of Active Life and Sports
presenting on dizziness, imbalance and falls
at GBMC's Time for Me event
If you’re approaching retirement age, listen up! You may be at a higher risk for falling and injuring yourself. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that people lose strength and flexibility as they age. Activity levels tend to decline and other health issues may affect people’s balance or depth perception. You may not feel much different than you did at 40 or 50, but there are a few precautions you should begin taking in order to keep yourself healthy and safe. Here are some easy things you can do now to prevent a fall with injury:
  • Keep clutter at bay – things like shoes, power cords and small rugs are easy to trip over if you’re not paying attention
  • Make sure your home is well-lit
  • Ensure that staircases have secure railings and non-slip treads
  • Talk to your primary care physician or pharmacist about medications you’re taking, how the drugs interact with each other and side effects they may cause
  • Get your vision checked regularly
  • Consider installing “grab bars” in the restroom and applying non-slip strips to the bottom of your shower/tub
  • Exercise! Any type of activity is helpful, but weight-bearing exercises are known to boost bone and muscle strength
  • Speak with your physician about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to support bone health
  • Be cautious with alcohol consumption and use of over-the-counter medications
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable and fit properly
  • Can’t reach something you need? Call a family member, friend or neighbor to help you. It’s not an inconvenience – your loved ones don’t want you to get hurt!
If you’ve fallen more than twice in the past year or are fearful of falling, please consult with your primary care physician for more fall prevention strategies specific to your needs. Don’t have a primary care physician? Visit to find one who is right for you. GBMC recently hosted a health lecture in conjunction with physical therapists at Active Life and Sports on the subject of dizziness, imbalance and falls. Watch the presentation now!

America’s Most Amazing Nurse Is in Our Hospital!

Laura Clary, manager of GBMC's Sexual
Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) &
Domestic Violence Program, with members
of her team following her award celebration
It’s official! Laura Clary, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, SANE-A, CFN, CPEN, manager of GBMC’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) & Domestic Violence Program, is the Prevention magazine and The Doctors "America's Most Amazing Nurse" winner! 

The news was announced during a festive event in GBMC’s Yaggy OB Atrium on Friday, May 12. Prevention magazine and The Doctors TV show joined efforts in November to search the country for America’s Most Amazing Nurse. Each entrant or nominee had to have an active RN license or advanced nursing credential and must have been working in the nursing field at the time of nomination. Laura was nominated by her husband and was then selected over hundreds of applicants and four other finalists because of her compassion, commitment and expert skills as a caregiver.

Under Laura’s leadership, the GBMC SAFE program expanded to not only care for adult victims of sexual assault but also victims of child abuse, human trafficking, intimate partner violence and non-fatal strangulation.

Barbara O'Dair, editor-in-chief of Prevention magazine, said this about Laura: "Her extraordinary work embodies the true spirit of nursing." A devoted and comforting caregiver who advocates for her patients’ best interests, Laura is a shining example of both the nursing profession and of GBMC’s vision.

Congratulations Laura!