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Our View: Thumbs up to patient care tech, rescue diver, pet pantry and young pageant winner l COMMENTARY

Jaime Elliott, P.C.T., Carroll Hospital’s 2020 Patient Care Tech of the Year
Jaime Elliott, P.C.T., Carroll Hospital’s 2020 Patient Care Tech of the Year (Courtesy Photo)

THUMBS UP: Jaime Elliott, a patient care technician in the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at Carroll Hospital, greets every patient with her trademark smile, even if it is covered by a mask these days. Elliott was named Carroll Hospital’s 2020 Patient Care Tech of the Year, awarded annually based on nominations from co-workers. Elliott has worked at Carroll Hospital for 20 years. She takes each patient’s vital signs, asks them how they’re feeling, and prepares the patient for their visit with a nurse, who then gets the patient ready to see his or her doctor for further treatment. Linda Grogan, Carroll Hospital’s executive director of women’s children’s and surgical services, said Elliott received numerous recommendation letters for the honor. “She has such a strong work ethic and she’s very committed to doing what’s best for the patients and the staff she works with 100% of the time,” Grogan told us. Elliott said the coronavirus pandemic has been a stressful time for patients. “They can’t really see my expression on my face and they can’t see my smile. ... It’s been hard wearing a mask and everything, so I try to communicate with my eyes.”

Charles Wolford, 13, participates in an Atlantic Edge Scuba Diving class.
Charles Wolford, 13, participates in an Atlantic Edge Scuba Diving class. (Courtesy Photo)

THUMBS UP: Charles Wolford, a 14-year-old Westminster native who finished middle school at Gerstell Academy who became a certified rescue diver through Atlantic Edge Scuba in Gaithersburg on July 12, was recently accepted to the Hawaii Preparatory Academy, a co-educational, private, international boarding school in Waimea, Hawaii. He intends to join the HPA’s Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Program to aid in scientific efforts focused on the recovery of endangered sea turtles. Students in seventh grade and above are eligible to participate, according to the HPA website. Typical research trips involve capturing turtles in shallow waters, taking biometrics and completing heath assessments as well as inserting passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags into the turtle’s hind flippers. Data collected by HPA students and their instructors helps produce a deeper understanding of feeding activities, home range, growth rates, and other critical conservation data. “It makes me excited because this is the only high school in the United States that allows kids to do sea turtle research,” Wolford told us.

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Cans of cat food are distributed as the Humane Society of Carroll County hosts a pet food pantry outside Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
Cans of cat food are distributed as the Humane Society of Carroll County hosts a pet food pantry outside Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester Tuesday, July 21, 2020. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

THUMBS UP: With money tight for many during a coronavirus pandemic that has also created an epidemic of unemployment, feeding the family has been difficult enough, let alone feeding he family’s pets. The Humane Society of Carroll County (HSCC) has been has been hosting drive-thru pet pantries weekly since April to help families affected by the pandemic. Free supplies such as dog and cat food, cat litter, collars, dog beds, and more are available to pet owners who stop by, on a first-come, first-served basis. “We want to make sure that families with pets do not have to worry where their fur babies’ next meal will come from,” said Michelle Fidler, director of animal care at the shelter. Fidler told us the pantries have helped more than 800 families The shelter has been receiving supplies through GreaterGood.org, a nonprofit that has donated over $15 million in pet supplies across 46 states. Pantries are scheduled for July 25 at Thunderhead Bowl in Taneytown from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and July 28 at Green Acres Pet Center in Mount Airy from 10 a.m. to noon. Fidler hopes the pet pantries can continue into August.

Peyton Waters, 6, won the title of Miss Congeniality in an East Coast USA Pageant competition in June. She's been making donations of clothes and toys around the Carroll County community. Peyton is pictured here at a Planet Aid donation box in Upperco.
Peyton Waters, 6, won the title of Miss Congeniality in an East Coast USA Pageant competition in June. She's been making donations of clothes and toys around the Carroll County community. Peyton is pictured here at a Planet Aid donation box in Upperco. (Courtesy Photo)

THUMBS UP: Winning a title like Miss Congeniality is one thing. Living it is another. Peyton Waters, a 6-year-old from Westminster who attends Carroll Christian Schools, followed up her age group win in the East Coast USA Pageant last month by giving back to the community, according to her mother, Nicki Jenkins. Peyton has dropped donations at Goodwill in Westminster and at a Planet Aid box in Upperco, and she’s stopped at the fire station in Manchester to give out treats. “I gave them goodies. I gave them Kit-Kats, Crunch bars, cookies, and all that great stuff,” Peyton said. “Because they work so hard.” Peyton also donated chips, water, and masks made by her grandmother, Margaret. Peyton likes to wear her pageant sash when she drops off donations. Peyton encourages other children to donate clothes and toys too, “because it’s nice for people.” Her next plan is to donate pet supplies to the Humane Society of Carroll County.

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