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CMH Honors Physicians for Community Service

Calvert Memorial Hospital recognized 10 local physicians for their outstanding leadership and exceptional service to the community. Unsung hero honors went to surgeons Dr. Helmut Pfalz and Dr. Emad Al-Banna, psychiatrist Dr. Dipak Shah and urologist Dr. Shafquat Meraj. Dermatologist Dr. Faris Hawit was praised for his skin cancer outreach efforts and emergency physician Dr. Drew Fuller was saluted as a champion of medication safety.

Partnership awards were presented to vascular surgeon Dr. Sean O’Donnell, neurosurgeon Dr. Guy Gargour and breast cancer surgeon Dr. Theodore Tsangaris for their work in bringing tertiary level expertise to our community. Additionally, Dr. David Rogers received special recognition for his 40-year-career as public health officer of Calvert County.

“We applaud the passion with which you, the medical staff, approach your work, and we sincerely appreciate the commitment you make to serve our community and our hospital,” said Sally Showalter, CMH board president, at the annual medical staff awards dinner.

“You go well beyond providing direct medical care,” she said. “You serve on committees, develop and lead new programs and advocate for the needs of your patients. You are the heart and soul of health care in Calvert County and we feel fortunate to work alongside such a talented team.”

CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis added his thanks, as well. “This is a really special night because it is our chance to recognize the medical staff of Calvert Memorial Hospital, for all you do each day to keep our local residents safe and healthy – and to provide life-saving intervention when they are in critical need,” he said. “Doctors are the cornerstone of any medical facility and it is truly a great pleasure to work with each and every one of you.”

Pfalz, who joined CMH in 2002, and Al-Banna, a member of the active medical staff since 1975, were honored as unsung heroes for providing additional surgical on-call support after Dr. Sheldon Goldberg died in a tragic rafting accident last July. “Your exceptional efforts ensured that Calvert Memorial was able to meet the surgical needs of the patients in our community,” said Chief of Staff Barbara Estes, who presented the community service awards with Dr. Robert Schlager, vice president for medical affairs at CMH.

Shah, who joined CMH in 2007, also chairs the hospital’s department of psychiatry. “He is available 24/7 to ensure the needs of our psychiatric patients day and night and he never lets us down,” said Schlager. Meraj, a member of the active medical staff since 2003, was also recognized for his prostate cancer outreach efforts.

According to Schlager, O’Donnell, Gargour and Tsangaris were invaluable in helping Calvert Memorial form vital partnerships that enabled the hospital to bring experts – like top vascular surgeons from Washington Hospital Center, the area’s best neurosurgeons from Georgetown University Hospital and breast cancer specialists from Johns Hopkins – to Calvert.

O’Donnell, who joined CMH in 2007, was saluted for his role in the development of the Center for Vascular Care at Calvert Memorial Hospital. Gargour, a member of the active medical staff since 2007, was honored for his leadership in establishing the hospital’s Center for Neuroscience. “Your work has made a real difference in the medical care we are able to offer to our community,” said Schlager.

Tsangaris was praised for carrying on the vision started by Dr. Goldberg at the Center for Breast Care at CMH. “You very graciously stepped in at a difficult time in our community,” said Schlager, “and we sincerely appreciate your efforts.”

Hawit, who joined CMH in 2007, has been an effective advocate for early skin cancer screening and prevention. “Without fail, he can be counted on to participate in our community outreach programs, whether it be free skin cancer screenings or educational talks,” said Margaret Fowler, director, community wellness at CMH.

Fuller, who joined the CMH emergency department in 2009, was presented the Patient Safety Champion Award for his commitment to improving medication safety. “Your expertise has been instrumental in establishing safety initiatives that benefit the entire hospital,” said Estes.

Rogers was honored for his distinguished service as the county’s public health officer. Xinis singled out his willingness to collaborate with the hospital on countywide health initiatives. “Your focus has always been the health and well being of the residents of Calvert County and we salute your life’s work.”

ER physician Dr. Drew Fuller (second from left) was presented with the Patient Safety Champion Award at Calvert Memorial Hospital’s medical awards dinner on March 16.
Urologist Dr. Shaquat Meraj (second from left) was honored with the Unsung Hero Award at Calvert Memorial Hospital’s medical awards dinner on March 16.

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