Thursday, January 02, 2014
A group of progressive Sussex County physicians recently launched the Delmarva Health Network (DHN) to improve patients health, their healthcare experience and lower the cost of healthcare.  Delmarva Health Network was formed by 27 physicians in eight primary care practices. The network will allow us to better coordinate care that results in improved patient outcomes and patient experience, said Jeffrey J. Heckert, M.D., chairman of the board of directors of Delmarva Health Network and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Family Practice.  A main focus of Delmarva Health Network will be to coordinate primary care to help our patients stay healthy and reduce the need for expensive visits to the emergency room or a stay in the hospital. The network will initially focus on three areas: diabetes, vascular and coronary conditions, explained Dr. Heckert. Research has demonstrated that these and other conditions can be proactively treated in primary care practices in ways that keep the conditions from worsening without costly interventions. We look forward to helping our community stay healthier and enjoy a better quality of life, said Dr. Heckert. Healthcare is changing rapidly, and Delmarva Health Network will make sure our patients receive the full benefits of this transformation. The member practices in the network currently include: Beacon Medical Group, Rehoboth Beach; Beebe Physician Network, Lewes, Milton, Georgetown, Millville; Steven H. Berkowitz, DO, Rehoboth Beach; Family Practice Center, Lewes; Griffin Family Practice, Selbyville; La Red Health Center, Georgetown, Seaford; Lewes Family Practice, Lewes; Mid-Atlantic Family Practice, Lewes, Millsboro. Delmarva Health Network is seeking additional primary care physician practices interested in aligning together to coordinate care and manage chronic diseases. The network is also developing programs to integrate physician specialists, skilled nursing facilities and other services.  For physicians and healthcare providers interested in learning more about the network, contact Alex Sydnor at 302-645-3115 or

Center plans Grief Retreat The Family Support Center will hold a Grief Retreat for adults who have experienced a loss on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Spending time with others who know what you are going through helps you heal. When someone understands us, the intense feelings of being alone and misunderstood begin to fade. Dr. Judy Pierson, licensed clinical psychologist, will facilitate the retreat, leading discussions on topics such as what to expect when grieving, accessing and expressing our feelings of loss, soothing and caring for self, educating your support network and honoring our loved ones.

There is no charge for this Delaware Hospice community outreach program, however, lunch is available for a $5 fee.Registration is required as space is limited. Register by contacting Michelle August at 800-838-9800 or

Ruark-Smith joins NHS Nanticoke Health Services (NHS) welcomes Jacqueline Ruark-Smith, DNP, CRNP-FNP to the Nanticoke Physician Network. Dr. Ruark-Smith, CRNP-FNP, is accepting both adult and pediatric patients at the practice in Hurlock, Md. Jacqueline Ruark-Smith received her bachelor of science in nursing at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md., master of science in nursing at Wilmington University in Georgetown, and doctor of nurse practitioner at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, Md. She started her nursing career at Dorchester General Hospital in 1980 and has worked at other organizations including the Dorchester County Health Department, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Shore Pediatrics and Adventist Behavioral Health. She is a member of various professional organizations including the National Assembly of School Based Health Care, Maryland Assembly of School Based Health Care, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the Nurse Practitioners of Maryland. To make an appointment, call 410-943-0846. Walk-ins are welcome.

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes education program on Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management.  To register and to obtain more information regarding the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Grief Support Group Delaware Hospice will hold a free six-week support group for young widows, widowers and life partners (under the age of 60) on Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Jan. 7 through Feb. 11, at the Delaware Hospice Millsboro Office, 315 Old Landing Rd., Millsboro. Topics include what to expect when grieving the loss of a special person, ways to cope with grief, the complexities which include support and conflict regarding family dynamics, and ways to live with a renewed sense of purpose and hope. Registration is requested by Monday, Jan. 6, by contacting Carol Dobson, MSW, at 302-478-5707, ext. 1342 or by emailing