Bayside student recognized by Shore Regional Health
EASTON — At the February meeting of its board of directors, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health presented its Creating Healthier Communities Together Award to Gregory Couch, an 11-year-old fifth-grade student at Bayside Elementary School in Stevensville.
The award was established by UM Shore Regional Health to recognize residents of the organization’s fivecounty service area who participate in realizing its mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together. The award recognizes individuals or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities within Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties through efforts, including raising awareness about a chronic disease or health-related issue and participation in a community service project and/or health-related program or service that provides the region with greater access to health care services.
Gregory, son of Paul and Kimberly Couch of Kent Island, was selected for the Creating Healthier Communities Together Award for his planning and execution of opening a chapter of Project Linus that covers Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. Through his newly opened chapter, Gregory donated handmade blankets to UM Shore Regional Health’s Shore Emergency Center in Queenstown and Shore Medical Center in Chestertown for young children who come into the medical facilities under harsh circumstances and are in need of comfort.
“Team members of our Chestertown and Queenstown locations are so grateful for the hard work and ef for t Gregor y puts into helping some of our youngest community members through Project Linus,” said Mary Alice Vanhoy, manager of the UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown and the emergency department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “We see many frightened children come through the doors of our emergency departments after unfortunate circumstances, and these blankets offer a sense of comfort in times when they need it most.”
Project Linus is a nonprofit organization represented by chapters covering all 50 states. Volunteers create blanket drives, make blankets and donate them to health care facilities.
“The leadership team and board of directors of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health were ecstatic to learn about the hard work and commitment Gregory has put behind advancing the well-being of patients and families at our medical facilities,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health. “Gregory is a great example of how community partnerships can help Shore Regional Health continue to put patients first and achieve our mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.”
For more information about Project Linus and volunteering with the MidShore chapter, visit www.projectlinus. org or call Kimberly Couch at 410- 9242488.
Gregory Couch of Kent Island, center, receives the Creating Healthier Communities Together Award from Kenneth Kozel, president and CEO, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, left, and John Dillon, chairman, UM Shore Regional Health Board of Directors, right.