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  • Garrett Regional Medical Center Summer Nurse Extern Program 

    The Garrett Regional Medical Center Nurse Extern Program welcomed two participants this summer, Maliya Teets and Caitlyn Ogden. The nurse extern program allows nursing students to work in the hospital under the direction of experienced Registered Nurses between their Junior and Senior years of college.  Throughout the program, nurse externs obtain valuable clinical nursing experience and skills. Caitlyn and Maliya currently attend Allegany College of Maryland in Oakland, MD. 
    Program participants spend eight weeks rotating through the Medical/Surgical Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Operating Room, Emergency Department, and the Family Centered Maternity Suite. The extern performs all aspects of nursing duties with the exception of administering medications and starting IVs.  Upon completion of the program, GRMC presented Caitlyn and Maliya each with a $500 scholarship.
    The program accepts two externs each year. Among other requirements, applicants must be currently enrolled in a program approved by a state board of nursing to prepare candidates for registered nurse licensure. For more information on the GRMC Nurse Extern Program, contact Amanda Simmons at 

    Posted 8/7/2020

  • First United Bank & Trust Promotes Blake S. Walker to Vice President

    Oakland, MD – Carissa L. Rodeheaver, CEO, President and Chair of the Board and Josh C. Bosley, Vice President and Director of Lending is proud to announce the promotion of Blake S. Walker to Vice President and Commercial Banking Team Leader.  

    Joshua C. Bosley commented, “This promotion is well-deserved.  It recognizes the important contributions Blake has made to the performance of the bank.  Blake is a great team player and his dedication to the customers and communities he serves can be seen daily, making him a true asset of the Bank.” 

    Blake began his financial services career in 2011 at First United Bank as a Pool Teller.  After graduating from Frostburg State University, he was quickly promoted to Community Office Manager and then to Commercial Relationship Manager.  He is actively involved in and passionate about helping the community.  Currently, he is a member of the Greater Grantsville Business Association and Treasurer for the Grantsville Lions Club.  Blake is a Maryland Banking School’s Lilian T. Moffat Award recipient which is awarded to students that consistently present excellent coursework while serving as an outstanding leader and role model for their fellow students.

    First United Corporation operates one full-service commercial bank, First United Bank & Trust.  The Bank has a network of community offices in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties in Maryland, as well as Mineral, Berkeley, Harrison and Monongalia Counties in West Virginia.  First United’s website can be located at MyBank.com.  As of 6/30/2020, the Corporation posted assets of $1.5 billion.

    Posted 8/6/2020

  • McHenry Spec Building Completed

    The Board of Garrett County Commissioners is happy to announce the completion of a spec building in the McHenry Business Park. Located just off Bumble Bee Road, the business park will have direct access to the Garrett County Airport in McHenry.

    The project is a partnership between the County and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO). The building, which consists of 20,000 leasable square feet of flexible space, is now available by contacting Garrett County Economic Development.  Tenants may be able to choose to rent all or part of the space (from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet). 

    Building services available include propane gas, broadband, and high-capacity electric.  There is also planned space onsite for additional expansion of the building.

    The building also has an existing 120/208 volt service and a 300 kVA pad-mounted transformer. Upgrades are available for larger uses.

    Garrett County Economic Development may provide interest-free leasehold improvement loans up to $10 per square foot.

    “This spec building is just the start to prove our commitment to critical infrastructure to support businesses and jobs here in the County,” said Michael Hough, Director of Garrett County Economic Development.

    The Commissioners would like to thank our local contractors and Bob Brennan, the Executive Director of MEDCO, and his staff for their help and support for the much-needed project in Garrett County.

    For availability details and additional questions, please call 301-334-1992 or visit www.gconline.com.

    Posted 8/4/2020


  • Garrett Regional Medical Center opens new primary care clinic in Oakland, Garrett Family Medicine

    OAKLAND, MD - Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has opened a new primary care facility on Wolf Acres Drive in Oakland. Garrett Family Medicine will provide comprehensive primary care services for people of all ages, from infants and children through those in need of geriatric care. The new practice is located in the same building that previously housed the primary care practice of Dr. Daniel Miller, who recently retired. Garrett Family Medicine is happy to welcome all of Dr. Miller’s former patients, as well as new patients in need of a primary care provider. 

    “We are excited to offer a new primary care option in the area,” said Kendra Thayer, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Operating Officer. “Our focus is on providing the best access to care; the new clinic will better serve the Oakland region, and we hope to expand services there in the near future to continue to meet the growing needs of our community.” 

    GRMC has hired Brooklyn J. Ayersman, Family Nurse Practitioner, to serve as the clinic’s primary care provider.

    “We are pleased to add Brooklyn Ayersman to our growing list of providers,” continued Thayer. “We are excited that she chose to practice in our region and we know she will be a great asset to Garrett Family Medicine and our community.”

    A native of West Virginia, Ayersman graduated from Walden University, receiving a Master’s Degree in nursing as a family nurse practitioner after receiving her Bachelor‘s of Science in nursing from West Virginia University. Her most recent nursing roles include working at Preston Memorial Hospital and Preston Memorial Hospital Urgent Care.  As a Family Nurse Practitioner, Ayersman can diagnose conditions, prescribe medication, and dictate patient care. Much like a family doctor, FNPs work with patients of all ages throughout their lives.

    “I am excited to join the award-winning team at GRMC and begin working at Garrett Family Medicine,” said Ayersman. “As a family nurse practitioner, I have the versatility to provide comprehensive care to patients throughout their lives, and I look forward to caring for patients throughout the Garrett County community.

    Garrett Family Medicine is located at 69 Wolf Acres Dr, Oakland, and will be open Monday through Friday with evening hours on Thursdays. For more information or to set up an appointment, call 301-334-2929.

    Posted 8/3/2020

  • GRMC Subacute Unit awarded U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Home Distinction for Short-Term Rehabilitation  

    OAKLAND, MD- Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Subacute Unit won its sixth Best Nursing Home award from US News & World Report, receiving a five out of five-performance rating for short-term rehabilitation care. Winning this award means of the 226 nursing home facilities in the state of Maryland, Garrett Regional Medical Center is one of only 67 to achieve a top performance rating. This year the Short-Term Rehabilitation Ratings incorporated several measures of quality including consistency of registered nurse staffing, use of antipsychotic drugs and success in preventing falls. 

    “We are honored that the excellent care provided by our Subacute Unit has once again been recognized with this distinguished award,” said Kendra Thayer, Senior Vice President of Patient Services. “This recognition is due to our incredible staff, who strive every day to treat our patients like family. They are a dedicated and compassionate team who always go above and beyond to help our patients through their recovery. Their commitment and hard work make this team very deserving of the recognition they have received over the years.”

    The esteemed award is based on data provided by Nursing Home Compare, a program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS develops and enforces quality and safety standards across the nation’s health care system. Data considered in the methodology used by US News to determine nursing home performance is measured over the course of a year, with facilities required to meet certain performance standards consistently throughout the 12-month period. 

    Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Subacute Care Department is a ten-bed unit designed for patients who may fall between nursing home care and hospital care and serves between 350 to 400 patients annually. Subacute patients require complex care or rehabilitation. Some patients might be recovering from a stroke, surgery, cardio-respiratory conditions, or wound care. The unit offers a home-like atmosphere with its own dining area, activity room and laundry facility to provide patients with the care and education needed to function when they return home.

    “Patient stays in our department can vary from a few days to several weeks,” Said Lori Davis, RN, Director of the Subacute Unit. “Our unit offers a home-like atmosphere to provide patients with the care and education needed to function when they return home. The extended time we spend with our patients allows us to form a special bond. This department truly feels like a family.” 

    In 2018, U.S. News developed a Short-Term Rehabilitation Rating that assesses the performance of skilled nursing facilities in post-acute care. For 2019-20, 13,683 facilities received a Short-Term Rating, while only 2,250 homes earned a High-Performing Rating. The new U.S. News ratings include only 1,874 Best Nursing Homes in Short-Stay Rehabilitation. Fewer than 1 in 8 facilities nationwide met U.S. News' exacting standard. 

    Posted 7/21/2020

  • First United Announces Joyce Flinn Appointment to CRI Board of Directors

    Oakland, MD -- First United Bank & Trust is proud to announce the recent appointment of Joyce Flinn, Vice President and Information Security & Disaster Recovery Officer, to the Cyber Risk Institute Board of Directors.  

    The Cyber Risk Institute (CRI) is a not-for-profit coalition of financial institutions and trade associations that work to protect the global economy by enhancing cybersecurity and resiliency through standardization.  Their Cyber Profile tool is the benchmark for cyber security and resiliency in the financial services industry. This ever evolving and concise list of assessment questions is curated based on the intersection of global regulations and cyber standards.  CRI’s mission is to sharpen cybersecurity to protect the global economy.  They do this by creating and updating a common framework for cyber security and resilience assessment. 

    Joyce began her career in financial services in the retail arena and moved to Loan Operations, Finance, Item Processing, IT, Risk Management, and currently resides in the IT Department. She was appointed Information Security Officer in 2001 and has also acted as the Privacy and Security Officer at various times. She assumed the responsibilities of Disaster Recovery in 2017. Over the past 30 years, she’s assisted in multiple project implementations and conversions, including the implementation of the wide area network, core processing conversion, several mergers and acquisitions, a Vendor Management program, Information Security program, assisted in developing the Enterprise Risk Management solution as well as the development of subsequent frameworks. 

    She currently chairs First United’s Cybersecurity committee and implemented the Cybersecurity program. Joyce has participated in the validation and development of the FSSCC Cybersecurity Profile. She recently assumed responsibility for Vendor Management and Operational Risk Assessments. 

    Joyce lives in Oakland, MD with her husband, Gene. They have three daughters and a grandson. Joyce is on the Board of the Community Trust Foundation, co-chairs the Garrett Regional Health Center’s Gala Committee, and participates in various volunteer organizations throughout the year

    Matthew Growden, Vice President and Chief Information Officer commented, “This appointment exemplifies Joyce’s strong work ethic and accelerated growth within our organization and industry.  Her dedication to the customers and communities she serves can be seen daily, which makes her a true asset to the organization.”  

    First United Corporation operates one full-service commercial bank, First United Bank & Trust.  The Bank has a network of community offices in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties in Maryland, as well as Mineral, Berkeley, Harrison and Monongalia Counties in West Virginia.  As of 3/31/20, the Corporation posted assets of $1.5 billion.  First United’s website can be located at MyBank.com.

    Posted 7/16/2020

  • Garrett Regional Medical Center Resumes Limited Visitation  

    OAKLAND, MD- As of July 1st, Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has resumed limited visitation. The new policy follows guidelines from state and federal public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to slow the spread of COVID-19. The new guidelines have been put into place in order to protect the health and safety of the hospital’s patients, staff, and the community.
    Since mid-March, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRMC suspended all visitation to protect against any possible spread. Similar restrictions have been implemented in medical facilities across the country, including WVU Medicine, GRMC’s affiliate. As Maryland entered into phase 2 of reopening, the hospital was able to reevaluate their policy, loosening some restrictions to allow for limited visitation. GRMC has also added two temperature kiosks located in the main lobby and emergency room for quick and easy screening. Everyone entering the hospital is required to stop at a kiosk first.  
    “Our goal with the new policy is to allow some visitation while maintaining a safe and healthy environment,” said Linda Danjou, Director of Occupational Health and Infection Control at GRMC. “Visitors are a significant part of the healing process, and it was very important to us that we were able to reunite patients with their loved ones. We want everyone to be assured that while visitation is allowed, the new policy will be strictly enforced to protect those at the hospital and our community overall.”
    Visitation guidelines vary depending on your reason for visiting the hospital. The new policy is as follows:
    Everyone entering the hospital is required to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and will be screened at the temperature kiosks located in the main lobby and emergency room.
    Adult inpatients who are admitted may designate one consistent visitor throughout their stay. 
    Visitors must be 18 years or older and visit only during designated visiting hours, noon to 7 pm daily.
    All visitors must stay in the patient’s throughout the visit. 
    Visitors must obtain and wear a visitor badge while inside the hospital.  
    Visitation is not permitted if you have a fever, have been recently exposed to COVID-19, or are experiencing flu like symptoms.
    Patients who are suspected of having COVID-19 or have tested positive will not be allowed visitors. 
    The Subacute Unit will permit outside visits with one visitor per patient; if there is inclement weather a designated area indoors has been established for the visit that allows for social distancing.
    One visitor will be allowed per patient in the ER, or two visitors for pediatric patients.
    Patients at end-of-life stages will be allowed two visitors at one time, immediate family only.
    OB patients are allowed only one person to accompany them throughout the birth process; no other visitors will be allowed.
    Patients at the hospital for same day surgery procedures may be accompanied by one person; once the patient is taken to the outpatient area, the visitor must either accompany the patient and remain in their room, or leave the building until called back.
    No one is permitted to accompany outpatients in lab or radiology, unless a patient is a minor or assistance is required.
    The main entrance of the hospital will be locked on weekends. Please use the Emergency Room entrance beginning Friday at 7pm until Monday morning.
    GRMC is closely monitoring the COVID virus both locally and nationally and will continue to update the policy as needed. For a full list of the new visitation guidelines, visit www.grmc-wvumedicine.org.
    Posted 7/13/2020
  • Deep Creek Watershed Foundation Sounds Alarm on Zebra Mussels

    “We’re concerned about people who might endanger the lake,” said David Myerberg, President of the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation, a nonprofit that funds public-private partnerships to protect and preserve the Watershed, including Deep Creek Lake. That’s just what could have happened on Friday, July 3. That day, students hired by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as “launch stewards” at the Deep Creek Lake State Park launch ramp, discovered a boat that recently had been in the Ohio River, and was covered with zebra mussels, was going to be launched into Deep Creek Lake.

    The terribly destructive zebra mussels are a species originally native to the lakes of southern Russia and Ukraine. They have sharp shells that are a danger to swimmers who step on them, they clog hydroelectric dams such as the one at Deep Creek Lake, and they have a toxin that has killed thousands of birds. “If the zebra mussels begin to propagate here, our lake, which is the cornerstone of this beautiful area, can be lost as a practical matter,” Myerberg said.

    When the boat owner was told by the launch stewards (all Garrett College students) that zebra mussels were on the boat, the owner took the boat to be safely washed before it was put into Deep Creek Lake.

    “I know there’s a $250 fine for putting a boat with zebra mussels attached to the bottom into Deep Creek Lake, but even more importantly, this is the responsibility of each and every person who brings their boat to the lake. The launch stewards are not on duty full-time, so boat owners must look at their own boats to be absolutely sure that zebra mussels aren’t attached to them before those boats are put into the lake.”

    Over the past three years, the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation has joined with Brookfield Renewable Power, to help DNR test the waters and habitats in Deep Creek Lake to see if there are any indications that the lake has been invaded by zebra mussels. “The tests so far have yielded the good news that Deep Creek Lake shows no presence of Zebra Mussels, but the experience of July 3 shows it is imperative to keep watching for these dangerous invaders,” Myerberg said.

    Posted 7/13/2020

  • First United Announces 2020 FBLA Scholarship Winner

    Oakland – First United Bank & Trust is proud to announce Mackenzie J. Weimer of Northern High School as the recipient of the 2020 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Scholarship.  

    Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is the high school division of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. FBLA helps high school students prepare for careers in business and to assist them by becoming better employees and citizens. FBLA helps students develop leadership abilities, prepares them for entry into business-related occupations, and offers a setting where members compete at regional, state and national levels in business and technology curriculum.

    Carissa L. Rodeheaver, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, remarked, “Congratulations Mackenzie!  On behalf of the entire staff, we would like to take this opportunity to commend you on your achievement. We hope that this scholarship will be the foundation of your future academic success and we wish you luck in all your endeavors.”

    Earlier this year, after hosting a FBLA special event, First United offered a scholarship opportunity to current members of the local chapter.  In order to qualify for the $500 scholarship , applicants needed to be a current FBLA member; attend at least two FBLA meetings; attend at least two FBLA events and complete a 500 word essay explaining how participating in the Association has helped develop the skills and experience needed to help in the field of business.  Mackenzie met all of these qualifications and provided a very professional and well-thought out essay.   

    Jason E. VanSickle, Vice President and Director of Strategic Growth, spearheads First United’s partnership with the local FBLA chapter.  Jason commented, “It is my pleasure to congratulate Mackenzie on being awarded this inaugural scholarship.  Everyone at First United hopes this achievement is just the beginning of your business success.”

    First United Corporation operates one full-service commercial bank, First United Bank & Trust.  The Bank has a network of community offices in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties in Maryland, as well as Mineral, Berkeley, Harrison and Monongalia Counties in West Virginia.  As of 3/31/20, the Corporation posted assets of $1.5 billion.  First United’s website can be located at MyBank.com.

    Posted 7/13/2020

  • First United Successfully Emerges from Proxy Contest; Continually Focused on its Shareholders & Communities

    OAKLAND, MARYLAND, June 30, 2020 -- First United Corporation (NASDAQ: FUNC), a bank holding company and the parent company of First United Bank & Trust, has released the results from the recent annual meeting proxy contest that occurred on Thursday, June 11, 2020. The Company announced the reaffirmation of, and vote, that confirmed all its director candidates. Each of the Company’s four nominees: John W. McCullough; John F. Barr; Brian R. Boal; and Marisa A. Shockley, will each retain their seats on the Board of Directors. The vote tally was overwhelmingly in favor of all the Company’s nominees and the results can be found in the 8-K released on June 17, 2020. 

    First United’s Board of Directors is comprised of eleven directors who represent the various geographies where the Bank operates.  The Board values diversity of thought and gender and was recognized as a "Winning (W)" company by 2020 Women on Boards, the premier global education and advocacy campaign committed to increasing the number of women on corporate boards.  Carissa Rodeheaver, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, was named one of "Maryland's Top 100 Women" by The Daily Record in 2020.  According to Rodeheaver, “the Board of Directors was overwhelmed by the support of our local and institutional shareholders as our director nominees were re-elected by a large margin at our recent annual meeting.  The results confirmed the confidence that our shareholders place in our experienced and knowledgeable Board and in their leadership as we continue to serve our communities and recover from the impact of COVID-19 and the challenges of these unprecedented times.”  

    The Bank believes strongly in being a supportive community member and has played a pivotal role in helping its communities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic uncertainties that have followed. In addition to ongoing initiatives to help the local, small business community and personal banking clients during these challenging times, the Bank quickly adapted its resources and enabled processing of all Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications received. At this time, First United has processed over 1,000 PPP loans, totaling over $146 million in funding and supporting nearly 17,000 local jobs. Additionally, the Bank helped clients with the processing of over 600 loan modifications totaling over $222 million in the first half of 2020.

    “Garrett County is very lucky to have an institution like First United headquartered in our hometown with local leadership that is involved and engaged in the community. Their commitment to Garrett County and, especially, their support of small businesses makes First United a true community bank,” stated Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

    First United, through its current leadership, has consistently strengthened the Bank's balance sheet, improved margins, enhanced the diversification of both the Bank's revenue streams and loan book, all the while executing on efficiency and growth initiatives, returning a 23% increase in earnings per share in 2019.  The strong profitability has enabled the bank to maintain and increase its quarterly dividend.  These efforts continued as on Thursday, June 18, 2020, the Company declared a cash dividend of $.13 per share that will be payable on August 3, 2020 to holders of record of the Corporation’s common stock as of July 17, 2020.

    “The Board is committed to protecting the investment of our shareholders and to delivering a strong, long-term total shareholder return. The support of our local customers and the associates who serve our communities are the backbone of our financial strength,” commented John McCullough, Lead Independent Director.  For the last three years, First United has consistently earned a five-star rating from Bauer Financial, the nation's leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, which indicates that a bank excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability and asset quality, among other key metrics.

    First United remains the only bank headquartered in Western Maryland and continues to be a consistent resource for its local communities. The Company’s efforts have a strong local economic impact, whether it is from the $200,000+ in annual, local contributions and donations, or the 300+ First United associates who annually donate over 45,000 hours in volunteerism and financial education outreach.

    "First United and its employees are integral for Garrett County and its communities.  Not only are they one of the largest private employers in the county, but they are financially supportive of every major community event. The employees serve on numerous boards including economic development, chamber of commerce and public-school committees, and Garrett College work groups. First United is truly a pillar of Garrett County,” said Paul Edwards, Chairman of the Garrett County Board of Commissioners.

    First United Corporation operates one full-service commercial bank, First United Bank & Trust.  The Bank has a network of community offices in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties in Maryland, as well as Mineral, Berkeley, Harrison and Monongalia Counties in West Virginia. The First United website can be located at MyBank.com. As of 3/31/2020, the Corporation posted assets of $1.5 billion.

    Posted 7/2/2020

  • Garrett Regional Medical Center Welcomes Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon H. John Park, MD

    OAKLAND, MD- Garrett Regional Medical Center recently welcomed H. John Park, MD to the medical staff. Dr. Park is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement, arthroscopy, cartilage restorations, sports injuries, and trauma. He has practiced for over 35 years in medical centers across the country, most recently at Vaughan Regional Medical Center in Selma, Alabama. At GRMC he will be joining Dr. Dona Alvarez and Dr. Todd Feathers at Garett County Orthopaedics as an orthopedic surgeon.    

    “We are excited to welcome Dr. Park to the GRMC surgical staff,” said Kendra Thayer, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Operating Officer at GRMC. “There is a growing need for orthopedic care in our region, and Dr. Park brings a great deal of experience that will enable Garrett County Orthopaedics and GRMC to better serve the community.”

    Dr. Park received a Bachelors of Science in Pre-Med from New York University and a Medical Doctorate from Catholic Medical College in Seoul, South Korea. He completed an internship in general surgery at Brown University Medical College in Providence, Rohde Island, before completing his residency in the department of Orthopedics at Tufts New England University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery.

    Dr. Park is now accepting new patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Garrett County Orthopaedics at 301-334-1034.
    Garrett County Orthopaedics provides state-of-the-art orthopedic services by Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons who are dedicated to serving patients in our region. Orthopedic surgical services include total joint replacement surgery, sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery, endoscopic carpal tunnel release, trauma and fracture care. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are also available to orthopedic patients.

    Posted 7/1/2020

  • Garrett Regional Medical Center Celebrates 70th Anniversary

    OAKLAND, MD- As Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) celebrates its 70th anniversary this month amidst a national pandemic, the small community hospital originally established in 1950 continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community to which it is dedicated. From its start as a community hospital serving Garrett County, GRMC has grown into a true regional medical center serving a population of 46,000 people living in eight counties across three states. It has also become one of Garrett County’s largest employers with more than 500 team members.

    The history of the hospital dates back to 1946, when George W. Loar, a resident of Oakland, left the town $135,000 in his will to be used for the construction of a county hospital. On May 15, 1950, Garrett County Memorial Hospital officially opened its doors. Today, GRMC has grown into an award winning, progressive, Joint Commission accredited acute care facility with 55 inpatient beds and a plethora of outpatient services. 

    “From our modest beginning as a small county hospital, our commitment to patient care and the community has never changed,” said GRMC President and CEO Mark Boucot. “We’ve worked to create a hospital able to provide the services people need, and the services we’ve provided over the years have reflected the changes and growth in the health care industry. That is certainly the case today.  One of the best things that I was able to do when I came to GRMC was to develop the History Hall.  Through creating the memorial to the hospital’s history, I learned about the hospital and the people who formed it.  I’m grateful to be here and to cherish the unique history we have and the hospital it’s become.”

    In 2015, the hospital became clinically affiliated with West Virginia University Medicine, and Garrett County Memorial Hospital officially became Garrett Regional Medical Center. The new affiliation allowed GRMC to greatly expand services, which now include cardiopulmonary, heart and vascular, cancer care, infusion therapy, nephrology, orthopedics, wound care, behavioral health, dermatology, and a host of other outpatient services not typically found in a rural hospital setting. 

    GRMC has received numerous national recognitions for quality of care, patient outcomes, and patient safety. This year the hospital was awarded a coveted 5-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, named a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital by the Chartis Group, and received an ‘A’ grade by the Leapfrog Group for their achievements in providing safe, high quality health care.

    “As GRMC reaches the significant milestone of its 70th anniversary, I want to recognize our incredible physicians, providers, and staff for their dedication to our mission to treat every patient like family,” said Boucot. “They live that mission, every day.  It’s so humbling to think of all the talented and dedicated people that worked here over the years and those who work here today.  I’m honored to be in a leadership role here.”

    GRMC is the top-rated hospital in the state of Maryland for reducing hospital-acquired conditions, and has had the lowest readmission rate in the state for the past five years. GRMC’s surgical site infection rate of 0.08% is far below the national average of 1.9%. It is ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the United States for its low readmission rates for both COPD patients and for patients diagnosed with sepsis.

    This year the hospital has faced unique challenges as healthcare facilities across the country adapt to a global pandemic.  

    “We are experiencing a watershed moment in healthcare,” said Boucot. “As we face new challenges, the efforts of our staff will be remembered as an important part of our history for years to come. I am very grateful for those who make our hospital a special place. What we have accomplished over the years, even during these challenging times, is truly amazing.” 

    For more information visit www.grmc-wvumedicine.org.

    Posted 6/19/2020

  • New safety measures implemented at Grantsville Medical Center and the WVU Urgent Care in McHenry amid coronavirus pandemic

    Grantsville Medical Center and the WVU Urgent Care in McHenry have each implemented numerous new safety protocols to ensure social distancing and enhanced sanitation during the coronavirus pandemic. The enhanced protocols are in response to the fact that the number of Americans seeking emergency and routine medical care has decreased, mainly due to fear of being exposed to the virus. However, the strict precautionary actions taken at both facilities are allowing them to continue to safely serve the community.  
    “COVID-19 does not stop other illnesses or injuries from occurring, and ignoring those problems can cause more harm down the road,” Christopher Goode, M.D., chair of the WVU Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine and WVU Medicine assistant vice president of emergency medicine, said. “There are trends developing nationally where patients may be putting themselves at greater risk for non-COVID-related conditions by delaying or avoiding care. Your overall health is a priority, and it is critical to always seek medical attention when needed.”
    Both urgent care offices have taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff members in order to mitigate any potential spread of the virus. These precautions include:
    Patients being asked to wait in their cars instead of in the waiting room 
    Floor markings in place to ensure patients remain 6 feet apart
    Shields installed at check-in desks to provide a physical barrier between staff and patients
    All providers and staff required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
    PPE made available for any patient who may need it during his or her visit
    All exam rooms and common areas sanitized hourly
    In addition to the safety precautions above, staff will frequently disinfect all shared surfaces throughout the facility and are practicing meticulous hygiene between patients.
    “Medical offices are equipped to handle infectious diseases with sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilization being part of the daily routine,” Linda Danjou, director of Occupational Health and Infection Control, said. “With COVID-19, additional layers of protection have been added to ensure the community is safe while seeking medical treatment.”  
    Garrett Regional Medical Center established the Grantsville Medical Center in February 2017 to provide primary, urgent, and specialty care services for residents of the greater Grantsville area and neighboring communities in Pennsylvania. The state-of-the-art, 5,500 square foot facility offers exam and procedure rooms with radiography and lab areas. The center also includes specialty care areas used for surgical procedures, orthopedics, and obstetrics. It is open 
    11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.
    WVU Medicine Urgent Care is located at 24441 Garrett Highway in McHenry is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday
    Posted 6/12/2020
  • Community Action Coordinates Food Donation Sites

    The Garrett County Joint Information Center is directing all questions and local offers of donations related to COVID-19 to Garrett County Community Action. The non-profit has been appointed to manage all local contributions related to COVID-19 such as homemade face coverings, food assistance, volunteer sign-ups, and cash donations.
    Community Action has announced six separate food drives throughout the month of June. 

    Nonperishable food will be collected, with the first date today, at the following locations: 

    • Pine Grove Church of the Brethren:

    June 8th 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    June 11th 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    June 15th 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
    June 18th 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

    • Bloomington Volunteer Fire Department: 

    June 19th 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    • Friendsville Volunteer Fire Department:

    June 20th 10:00AM to 12:00 PM

    A volunteer portal at www.garretthealth.org/community has been designed by the Health Department to aid Community Action with the critical digital infrastructure to coordinate offers of help as well as the distribution of donations.

    The portal has a list of the specific foods requested based on Ready.gov/food recommendations for stocking a three-day supply of non-perishable items such as canned food, dry mixes and staples not requiring refrigeration.

    Those most-needed items include:

    • Soups – Chicken Noodle & Tomato
    • Beef stew
    • Hormel complete meals – any type
    • Tuna pouches or cans
    • Canned chicken
    • Canned vegetables
    • Fruit—canned or fruit cups
    • Juice
    • Raisins
    • Crackers
    • Granola bars
    • Whole grain cereals (ex. Cheerios)
    • Instant Oatmeal
    • Peanut Butter
    • Jelly
    • Mac & Cheese cups
    • Spaghetti sauce
    • Spaghetti Noodles
    • Pasta sides (instant potatoes, noodles or rice in packets)
    • Tuna Helper
    • Rice
    • Applesauce (cans or cups)

    For those who are not online, any offer of support can be initiated by contacting Courtni Helmick, Family Self-Sufficiency Manager at Community Action, by calling 301-334-9431 ext. 6143. Cash donations are encouraged by the county COVID-19 response team and will be graciously accepted.

    Posted 6/9/2020


  • Garrett Regional Medical Center now offering child and adolescent telepsychiatry through Sheppard Pratt Health System partnership

    Oakland, MD- Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Family Health & Wellness Services, through their partnership with Sheppard Pratt Health System, has expanded child and adolescent mental health care in the region with telepsychiatry. Sheppard Pratt Health System offers high-quality convenient mental healthcare in Maryland through their telehealth services. The new child and adolescent program will provide area youth with comprehensive mental health care that is easy to access.

    GRMC partnered with Sheppard Pratt last year in an effort to expand mental health care in the area through telepsychiatry services. Telepsychiatry is a form of telehealth that provides a convenient alternative to waiting months or having to travel in order to receive psychiatric care. Sheppard Pratt uses secure video conferencing to connect patients throughout Maryland with psychiatrists in their medical center.  

    “We are very excited to offer greater access to mental healthcare in the region,” said Kendra Thayer, Senior VP of Patient Care and COO of Garrett Regional Medical Center. “Children and Adolescents are a particularly vulnerable group for mental health issues with depression, anxiety, bulling, and peer conflict being common struggles. Telepsychiatry services will help us better serve children in our community with the support and care they need.”

    GRMC patients will have real-time consultation appointments with Sheppard Pratt psychiatrists and licensed mental health providers. Through video conferencing they will assess a patient’s behavioral health needs and provide counseling, therapy, and comprehensive treatment plans. 

    Sheppard Pratt was among the first health systems in Maryland to deliver telepsychiatry services. It’s telepsychiatry program creates access for populations from inner city Baltimore to rural areas across Maryland. 

    “We are very excited to help support these much-needed services for patients and families in the Western region of our state,” said Deepak Prabhakar, MD, Medical Director of Outpatient Services at Sheppard Pratt. “There is a national shortage of quality child psychiatry services and Western Maryland is not an exception.” “We are already collaborating with GRMC with our bi-weekly real-time treatment team meetings using telemedicine technology, and this endeavor takes us a step closer towards our goal of expanding access to quality care.”

    GRMC’s regional behavioral health center, Family Health & Wellness Services, provides comprehensive behavioral health counseling. Provided in conjunction with Sheppard Pratt Heath Services, the staff at the center includes a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Counselor, Masters Level Social Worker and a Licensed Practical Nurse.

    For more information about services or to schedule an appointment contact GRMC’s Family Health & Wellness Services at 301-533-2190.

    Posted 6/8/2020

  • First United Lends Over $146 million through the Paycheck Protection Program

    Oakland, MD - The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is intended to provide financial relief to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  Banks all over the country are working in partnership with the federal government to get these funds distributed to businesses in need, as quickly as possible.    As of May 22, First United has processed over 1,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans, totaling over $146 million in funding supporting nearly 17,000 jobs throughout Allegany, Garrett, Frederick, and Washington Counties in Maryland and Berkeley, Monongalia, and Harrison Counties in West Virginia.  

    Even before the Paycheck Protection Program, First United was, and continues to be, reaching out and working with their small business customers and clients on a wide range of support and alternatives to help during these challenging times; from waiving fees, handling payment deferrals, mortgage skip payments and more.  The addition of the Paycheck Protection Program added much-needed support for local businesses and their employees. 

     “We are thankful to be in a strong financial position, allowing us to help so many local businesses, their employees and families,” commented Carissa A. Rodeheaver, President, CEO and Chairman, First United Bank & Trust. “The health and well-being of our local communities continues to be a priority at First United.”

    Information regarding the SBA Paycheck Protection Program and loan forgiveness continues to update frequently. First United urges anyone interested to stay informed by visiting MyBank.com/ppp or by contacting their local accountant or their financial advisor.

    First United Corporation operates one full-service commercial bank, First United Bank & Trust.  The Bank has a network of community offices in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick Counties in Maryland, as well as Mineral, Berkeley, Harrison and Monongalia Counties in West Virginia.  As of 3/31/20, the Corporation posted assets of $1.4 billion.  First United’s website can be located at MyBank.com.

    Posted 6/2/2020

  • Garrett Regional Medical Center Nationally Recognized with an ‘A’ for the Spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

    Oakland, MD – Garrett Regional Medical Center was awarded an ‘A’ this spring by Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction awarded by the Leapfrog Group recognizing GRMC’s achievements in providing safe, high quality health care. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to helping improve health care in the United States. The Safety Grade is a letter grade assigned to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months, assessing how well the hospital prevents medical errors and other harms to patients. 

    “As the nation copes with a challenging pandemic, our gratitude extends to hospital leadership and health care workers everywhere for their tremendous dedication,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We hope this ‘A’ helps thank the people who work and volunteer for GRMC. They are role models in putting patients first, and their service has been extraordinary in our country’s time of need.” 

    "Receiving an 'A' grade from The Leapfrog Group this year is a direct result of our commitment to providing the highest level of care to our patients,” said Kendra Thayer, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Operating Officer at GRMC. “Safety and quality are at the forefront of everything we do." 
    Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 28 measures of publicly available hospital data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

    GRMC, which is clinically affiliated with WVU Medicine, was awarded an ‘A’ grade in April, when Leapfrog updated grades for spring 2020. To see Garrett Regional Medical Center’s full grade details and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org. 

    The A grade from Leapfrog marks the third top level achievement in quality care awarded Garrett Regional Medical Center this year. In January, GRMC was given a coveted 5-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and in March it was named a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital by the Chartis Group, which rates acute care rural hospitals throughout the United States on a variety of patient-related data points.

    “The recent recognitions Garrett Regional Medical Center has received all stem from the hard work and dedication of our incredible staff,” noted Mark Boucot, GRMC’s President and CEO. “I am honored and proud to be part of a team that makes excellent patient care the focal point of everything we do. It shows in the distinctions won, and it shows in our exceptional patient care statistics. Our mission of striving to treat every patient like family means we work to provide the best care possible.”

    Garrett Regional Medical Center is among the top rated hospitals in Maryland. GRMC is the top rated hospital in the state for reducing hospital-acquired conditions, and has had the lowest readmission rate in the state for the past four years. GRMC’s surgical site infection rate of 0.08% is far below the national average of 1.9%. It is ranked in the top 50 hospitals in the United States for its low readmission rates for both COPD patients and for patients diagnosed with sepsis.

    The Leapfrog Group was founded in 2000 and is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for improved quality and safety in American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. Leapfrog assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety and helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. 

    Garrett Regional Medical Center is an award winning, progressive, Joint Commission accredited acute care facility with 55 inpatient beds in Oakland, Maryland. The hospital serves a population of 46,000 within Garrett County and surrounding communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Originally established in 1950, the hospital has continuously evolved to advance the health and wellness needs of the region. Through its clinical affiliation with WVU Medicine, GRMC offers comprehensive health care services unique to a rural location. GRMC is one of the county’s largest employers with more than 450 team members, who are each dedicated to our mission of striving to treat every patient like family.  Learn more at https://www.grmc-wvumedicine.org/  

    Posted 5/28/2020

  • Somerset Trust Company Helps Sustain Local Businesses through Payment Protection Program

    Somerset, PA (May 13, 2020) – When passed on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allotted $349 billion in emergency loans to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program provides federally guaranteed loans through the Small Business Association (SBA) at a low interest rate, some of which may also be forgiven. This program represents a vital lifeline for local small business owners to help manage payroll and retain employees while non-essential businesses are under a mandated closure.
    As of the writing of this press release, Somerset Trust Company, an independent community bank with more than $1.3 billion in assets, is pleased to report that we have processed nearly 1300 PPP loans totaling $150,000,000 in critical funding for business and their employees in our area. This critical funding will help to protect 18,500 jobs throughout our region. The bank is committed to helping businesses of all sizes, with loans issued for as little as $270 and as large as $5.8 million. Our commercial lending team has been working tirelessly to help process these applications as quickly as possible. Their average turnaround time from application to approval is 24 hours. 
    “We are still getting applications,” said Somerset Trust President Jeff Cook. “Many businesses in this area are going to need this to survive.” 

    When the SBA system crashed in early April due to the high volume of applications it received, Somerset Trust employees volunteered to work late evenings and weekends to re-submit applications to the SBA.

    “Our process and our team’s approach to putting in long hours to take care of the customer made all the difference,” commented Sr. VP & Sr. Loan Officer John Malone. 
    The PPP funding was issued in two installments. The first rounds of submissions began on April 3rd. Then, in response to the overwhelming demand, Congress approved an additional $320 billion of funding on April 23rd, prompting a second wave of applications.
     “The program still has funding available and we have the ability to process these requests very quickly. We take great pride in helping small businesses and will help both customers and non-customers who may need assistance” said Malone.
    About Somerset Trust Company
    Somerset Trust Company is a community bank headquartered in Somerset, Pa. with more than $1.3 billion in assets, and a network of 39 branches serving Somerset, Cambria, Fayette, Westmoreland, and Bedford Counties and Garrett County, Maryland. The bank offers an extensive ATM network, consumer and commercial lending, Trust and Investment Management services, and an award winning online and mobile banking. Since 1889, Somerset Trust has been committed to providing excellent service and competitive products as well as maintaining a high profile in the growth and economic development of the markets it serves.

    Posted 5/27/2020

  • First United Bank & Trust and Exclamation Labs Win Financial Services Technology Award

    Oakland, MD – Financial Information Systems (FIS), a global leader in financial services technology, recently announced First United Bank & Trust as one of the winners of their 2020 FIS Impact Awards program.  In its fourth year, this signature awards program recognizes organizations that have used FIS technology in innovative ways to enhance customer experiences and drive tangible business results.  

    First United won for its innovative and collaboration work to build connectors for the FIS Code Connect gateway. Working with third-party developer Exclamation Labs, the software interface allows the bank’s core FIS services to automatically communicate with Provision, an Identity Access Management system designed by Exclamation Labs. Provision provides hardened network security by enforcing user permissions across the bank’s numerous IT systems. The new connectors allow real-time transactions, tracking every system user, while producing audit-ready reports.

    Entries were judged independently by the industry analyst Celent on the criteria of applied innovation, tangible return on investment and enhanced customer service. For all winning submissions, a $2,500 donation will be made to the charitable organizations chosen by each winner, through the FIS Foundation.  For its part, First United has chosen to donate these funds to the “I Can Swim” program.   This program provides free American Red Cross basic swimming and water safety instruction for all kindergarten children in Garrett County and is managed through the Garrett College Foundation.   

    First United’s Matthew T. Growden, Vice President and Chief Information Officer remarked, “It’s an honor to be recognized by FIS, one of the world’s top providers of core financial services, for our collaborative effort on this project. Winning is great, but the resulting interface has also made my job, and my team’s job, much easier; transforming many of my former pain points into improved efficiencies for the business.”

    Jonathan M. Hutcherson, Founder and CEO of Exclamation Labs, commented, “We’re very excited for our friends at First United. In addition to leading this technology project with FIS, Matt Growden and his team set the gold standard that community banks across the country follow. It’s unfortunate that due to COVID, we won’t see them accept the award in front of over 5,000 conference attendees, but that no less diminishes the impact and influence First United has on the industry.”

    “We are impressed by the creativity, innovation and client focus shown by our clients each year of the Impact Awards program, and this year is no exception,” said Gary Norcross, FIS chairman, president and CEO.  “We congratulate all of this year’s winners as well as the charitable causes they are supporting with their winning entries.” 

    First United Corporation is the parent company of First United Bank & Trust, a Maryland trust company with commercial banking powers (the "Bank"), and two statutory trusts that were used as financing vehicles.  The Bank has four wholly-owned subsidiaries: OakFirst Loan Center, Inc., a West Virginia finance company; OakFirst Loan Center, LLC, a Maryland finance company; First OREO Trust, a Maryland statutory trust that holds and services real estate acquired by the Bank through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure; and FUBT OREO I, LLC, a Maryland company that likewise holds and services real estate acquired by the Bank through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure. The Bank also owns 99.9% of the limited partnership interests in Liberty Mews Limited Partnership; a Maryland limited partnership formed for the purpose of acquiring, developing and operating low-income housing units in Garrett County, Maryland.  First United Corporation's website is www.mybank.com.

    Exclamation Labs designed the Provision™ Identity Access Management (IAM) platform to address an unmet need in the banking industry. Provision has enabled financial institutions nationwide to achieve superior compliance by operationalizing and instantly documenting internal system-wide permissions via connectors across their entire suite of systems. Exclamation Labs has provided digital solutions to national clients since 1996; brands like Gerber Life Insurance Company, Choice Hotels International, DuPont, and GE Commercial Finance. Headquartered in Cumberland, Maryland, Exclamation Labs employs business and technical professionals across the country.

    Posted 5/27/2020

  • Army Corps managed campgrounds to remain closed until further notice in response to COVID 19

    BALTIMORE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District-managed campgrounds will remain closed through at least May 31 due to the concern for public health and safety of its employees and the visiting public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This affects all Corps-managed campgrounds at the following Baltimore District flood-risk management projects: Raystown Lake and Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes in Pennsylvania, and Jennings Randolph Lake in West Virginia. Areas managed or leased by other entities on Corps’ lands are required to abide by federal, state and local laws and will follow the terms of their lease/license
    agreements and will operate at the discretion of the entities.

    An official date for the reopening of campgrounds has not yet been determined. Campers with reservations at campgrounds that remain closed will receive full refunds automatically processed with no cancellation fees. There is no need contact the reservation center to request a refund. If you have a reservation at a campground you know has closed and you have not received a refund, please wait 10 business days after the start date of your reservation for the refund to be received. If you still have not received a refund, please visit www.recreation.gov/contact-us and fill out the “contact us” form at the bottom of the page.

    “We are working diligently to develop a responsible reopening plan that prioritizes the health and safety of the visiting public as well as our employees, volunteers, and contractors who manage these campground and day-use facilities,” said Rob Schnell, acting chief of Flood Risk Management, Baltimore District. “We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during these unprecedented times and look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

    The closures also pertain to visitor centers, beaches, special events, volunteer activities, public meetings, interpretive programs and other public gatherings. While most day-use facilities and lake access areas such as boat launches, picnic areas, fishing piers and viewing areas remain open, restrooms that support those facilities are also closed. Certain site-specific closures may vary slightly; we recommend calling your Corps project of choice or visiting their Facebook account for the most upto-date local information. The Corps requests that all visitors recreate responsibly when visiting any Baltimore District recreation site so that we can all continue enjoy their beauty while also remaining safe and courteous. Social distancing and other restrictions required by local, state and federal authorities to include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be in place.

    If these restrictions cannot be followed, recreation areas could be forced to close. Corps lands are also subject to evolving COVID-19 conditions that may cause specific closures in the future. The public is encouraged to monitor the project web pages on Baltimore District’s website for information and/or follow the relevant pages on social media. Baltimore District personnel will continue to operate the dams to execute their essential flood risk management mission. 

    Posted 5/8/2020