Calvert Memorial Hospital recently recognized four local physicians and a dentist for their outstanding leadership and exceptional service to the community. The honorees were Dr. Chang Choi for his commitment to improving patient safety, Dr. Ronald Ross for his 33-year distinguished career in emergency medicine and Dr. Hyung Ryu for his outstanding work with the CMH gynecologic oncology program.
Additionally, longtime anesthesiologist Dr. Mohammad Shahvari was saluted for his exemplary patient care and Huntingtown dentist Marsha Plater was recognized for her advocacy of the community dental clinic. A special tribute was presented in honor of the late Dr. Guillermo Zambrano for his selfless dedication to the imaging needs of the residents of Calvert County.
“We recognize that you work long hours, spend time away from your families, take middle of the night phone calls and handle emergencies around the clock so that no member of our community is without medical care at any hour of the day,” said Laurie Uherek of the CMH board of directors.
“This is a sacrifice and a gift that is so easily taken for granted,” said Uherek, “and so it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge and pay tribute to you on this special night.” The annual awards ceremony singles out those medical staff members who have advanced the health and welfare of the community through their exceptional efforts.
CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis added his thanks, as well. “For every life you touch directly, you impact thousands more indirectly through your efforts to continually improve the quality of care and patient safety in our hospital.” One of the evening’s highlights was when he read excerpts from patient’s letters talking about the care they had received.
“Dr. Ryu is passionate about the care and treatment he offers,” said Chief of Staff Barbara Estes, who presented the community service awards with Dr. J. Michael Brooks, vice president for medical affairs at CMH. In October 2009, Dr. Ryu joined the Gynecologic Oncology Center at CMH, a collaborative effort with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. The center offers women in Southern Maryland the opportunity to be expertly treated for cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancers close to home.
“Since that time,” said Dr. Estes, “he has performed 433 cases and provided 2,091 consults,” said Dr. Estes, “and saved local women from driving over 250,000 miles to obtain these services.”
“Dr. Choi has a track record of excelling wherever he goes and, at CMH, he continues that tradition,” said Dr. Brooks. In addition to being the director of the hospitalist program, Dr. Choi was a key player in the successful implementation of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for use with patients who are kept for observation or admitted at Calvert. CPOE has been shown in hospitals across the country to significantly improve patient safety and the quality of care.
Dr. Plater, who also volunteers her time to serve on the hospital board, was instrumental in helping Calvert Memorial open a dental clinic for the underserved in the county. She provided hours of clinical guidance as well as volunteering her time as the dental director.
But her commitment did not stop there. Dr. Plater also shared her own office space with the clinic for the first year and a half, and if it ran short on supplies, she was always willing to share. Today, Calvert Community Dental Clinic, which is located in Lusby, provides basic dental services such as screenings, cleanings, sealants, basic restorative care and when other options are exhausted, extractions, for low-income families.
Dr. Shahvari, who retired after 14 years to spend time with family, was remembered as a wonderful teacher and mentor who was always willing to share his extensive knowledge with others. He came to CMH in 1999 after an impressive career at George Washington University Medical Center for more than 25 years. “Dr. Shahvari was committed to improving care for patients and he worked tirelessly on committees and projects to ensure it happened,” said Dr. Brooks. His award was greeted with a standing ovation by those in attendance.
Although not present for the ceremony, Dr. Ross was honored for his long service to the emergency department at Calvert Memorial and the Solomons Urgent Care. “He was a physician who always showed up early and was instrumental in providing quality and compassionate care to the many patients he treated,” said Dr. John Schnabel, chief of emergency medical services at CMH.
He went on to add, “Dr. Ross was able to see patients rather swiftly, reducing wait times of those arriving, but he never gave the impression he was in a rush. During his career at CMH, he touched countless lives in Calvert County. He was a professional we have all benefitted from working beside.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Xinis unveiled a portrait of Dr. Zambrano, who died in a car accident in January. The portrait along with a special plaque will be on display in the Calvert Medical Imaging Center in recognition of his excellent care and tireless commitment to serving the community.