THUMBS UP: We gave all nurses a thumbs-up last week, in appreciation for all they do and in the middle of National Nurses Week. Today, we’ll focus on just one nurse in particular, Joseph Brown, who was named Carroll Hospital’s Nurse of the Year recently. A longtime veteran of emergency services, Brown has worked on an as-needed basis at Carroll Hospital for 17 years, before retiring from his former career to work in the hospital emergency department full time in 2017. He said he was humbled and thankful for the nomination and support from co-workers and that his previous jobs as a paramedic and battalion chief with the Baltimore County Fire Department helped to prepare him. “It all just worked out perfectly,” he told us. He is also a bay station coordinator to the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. Without a doubt, this is a difficult time to be a nurse. “Every nurse goes home every day and wonders whether or not they have contracted COVID and are they taking that home to their loved ones. Some of them even say they sleep in a separate bedroom just because of the unknown,” he told us. Kudos to Brown for his award and our gratitude for the job he does.
THUMBS UP: Celebratory gatherings have been all but eliminated thanks to the coronovirus, with remote graduations and drive-by birthdays becoming commonplace. Anyone unlucky enough to be retiring, even after a long career at a particular office, faces the prospect Bonnie Ludwig expected when ending her career after 21 years at the Carroll Register of Wills, walking out, by herself, with no one to say goodbye to. Talara Kumrow, the mother of one of Ludwig’s co-workers, arranged for a send-off after seeing a Facebook post about Ludwig’s approaching retirement date. “I just cried when I read it and said that is very sad to put all those years in and then leave without being able to see anybody," Kumrow told us. So she helped arrange for about 40 people to gather outside the courthouse in Westminster, at a proper distance from each other, to give the senior deputy a proper send-off. Coworkers and friends surprised her by showing up, with balloons and posters in tow. Kumrow said Ludwig told her that she had’t been surprised like that since her 16th birthday. Ludwig, who did estate and probate work, said her favorite part of her position was her coworkers. And, on her last day, they showed why that was the case.
THUMBS UP: Carroll County is standing up to be counted. Don Rowe, chair of Carroll County’s complete count committee for the 2020 U.S. Census, shared recently that our county leads the state in the percentage of households completing the census. “As of May 7, we are leading the state of Maryland with a 74.1% response rate. Overall, Maryland has a 62% response rate," Rowe told us. “In 2010, Carroll County led the state with an 83% response rate. I’d love to beat that number.” That’s a great thing and not just because we in Carroll are competitive and want to win at everything. It’s because every person really does count and getting an accurate picture of our population every decade, significant federal money comes in and decisions can be better made on now to spend it. “Over 10 years, the county receives $18,500 per person counted. The count helps to determine funding and resource allocation for things like libraries, public health and safety, along with many nonprofit organizations whose funding is derived from the census count.” So good job to the census committee and to Carroll countians. And if you haven’t yet responded online to the census, we urge you go do so. And so does Rowe: “If you haven’t filled out the census, do it today.”