August 16, 2012


It is hard to believe that it has already been 4 weeks since the fire.  The new routine feels almost normal.  However, the disruption continues to pose challenges as our daily lives are altered and we continue to rely on our support systems for help.  As the novelty wears off, we grow more impatient for the return to our usual routine and our usual location.

So, today it is fitting to review the things about July 19 for which we are most grateful - Feel free to add to your own list.

  • No one was injured
  • No one was injured
  • No one was injured
  • All treatments were finished for the day when the fire started
  • People passing by, who stopped, turned around and made sure we got out of the building safely
  • The Fire Department was able to save half of the building
  • The Calvert community rallied to our support - The Hospital, RCP, AAA transport - just to name a few
  • We had a central office in Baltimore, under the outstanding leadership of Joan Rogers, RN, which immediately sprung into action with a well constructed Disaster Plan.
  • A dedicated IDF staff in Calvert - who, although they had left for the day, appeared instantly at the scene to offer help - which was indispensable as we started to contact all of the patients and arrange for treatment the next day - a task that went well into the evening
  • A dedicated IDF staff in Baltimore who dropped what they were doing to attend to our needs - which for some meant scanning and faxing treatment records to us until midnight and for others meant loading a truck with extra machines, chairs and supplies so that treatments could start at 6 AM the next day
  • Mr Hammett, who was on the scene immediately and began to orchestrate the clean-up
  • Hospitable neighbors at Sander's Insurance and Frank's Insurance who opened up their offices to us for anything we needed - from fax machines to water to bathrooms.
  • Our electronic medical record, which allowed us to access important information immediately
  • Recently updated Emergency Contact information which allowed us to reach every patient that day
  • The many family members and community members who called to offer to help in whatever way they could

The rebuild continues at the center - as you can see we are starting with a fresh slate:

August 10, 2012


While the outside of the building has not changed, work is going non-stop inside.  The new floor plan will eliminate most of the walls in the treatment area, which means that the plumbing will move.  As a result, there has been quite a racket as the old floor is being torn up to allow for the new fixtures.  Framing of the new walls has also started.  I was surprised to see the amount of space we have to work with, now that everything has been cleared out.  The details of the floor plan should be finalized this week

Mark your calendars:  The Annual Picnic will be Sept 30th at the Naval Recreation Center in Solomons.  More details will follow - Many thanks to the team who is organizing it.  I know you are all anxious to see one another again.

August 8, 2012


The speed of the re-construction is remarkable.  It seems that every time I walk into or out of the building, a new phase has been completed.

By Friday, the roof was covered:

Shingling was done at a rapid pace -

And by the end of the day yesterday, the new windows were in too!

From the outside, it is starting to look good as new.  Now that we are under-roof, the weather won't be a factor in the schedule. 

The inside of the treatment side has been gutted and the plans for the redesign should be finished this week.  All of the interior walls in the treatment area have been removed and we are planning a more open flow to the space. 

Fortunately, everything is up and running on the office side and all administrative functions are going on as usual.  Last week, while the roof was being installed, Dr. Damalouji graciously welcomed me into his office so that I was able to see patients on schedule.  I am very grateful for his hospitality.  Fortunately, I was back in my usual space this week and things seem to be returning to normal.

The flexibility and adaptability that I am seeing - both in the patients and in the staff - continues to amaze me.  This has certainly been a disruption to the routine, but you are all rising to the occasion.  One of the biggest challenges is the separation of the shifts and not being able to catch up with one another.  Do not despair - preparations are underway for the Annual Picnic - the date and location are being finalized - so stay tuned...

August 2, 2012

Roof Returned!!

It is 2 weeks to the day, and once again, the Calvert Center has a roof!  Many thanks to Mr. Hammett and the local suppliers who made the trusses at top speed.
It was a busy day, and the crews wasted no time:

By 10 AM, the roof was removed:

Trusses were installed by lunch time:
 And covered by 4PM:

With no rain in sight, the tar paper should be finished by the end of the day and ready for shingling tomorrow.
We can only hope that the rest of the project moves along this smoothly!

July 29, 2012

Ashes Removed

It has been a busy week at the Calvert Center.  Mr. Hammett, the building's owner, has wasted no time in getting things in order.  He has been on site everyday, supervising the whole affair.

By Friday morning, electricity had been restored in the office portion of the building and a dumpster arrived for removal of all of the debris. 

The fire restoration company got to work quickly and restored the offices to pre-fire conditions - the walls have been washed down, the heating ducts cleaned out and the ceiling tiles replaced.  All traces of smoke are gone.

I am pleased to report that I plan on seeing patients in my office, as scheduled on Tuesday, July 31.

It has been a remarkable coordination of effort.  We hope to see even more progress this week - maybe even a new roof.  Prayers for good weather would be appreciated...

July 25, 2012

Fire Extinguished

It has been a week since the fire at the Calvert Center.  While it was a shocking and disruptive event, we have gotten through it together.  Dialysis units are made up of people, not buildings -- A monumental effort has allowed us to be up and running, without missing a treatment.

We are grateful for the flexibility of all the patients and the staff and for the immediate support we have received from the Calvert Community - from Calvert Memorial Hospital, RCP, and other local businesses.

To recap the last week:
  • After all of the dialysis patients had left for the day, a devastating fire broke out at approximately 2 PM on Thursday, July 19.  All staff were able to evacuate without injury.  Within minutes, the fire trucks arrived and our local firefighters were able to contain the fire and preserve half of the building.
  • Through the diligent work of our staff in Prince Frederick and Baltimore, dialysis treatments started on schedule the following morning, at 6 AM, at Calvert Memorial Hospital (CMH).  Every patient due for dialysis on Friday received treatment, either at the hospital or at RCP.  Since that day, arrangements have been made to allow all patients to receive full treatments here in Prince Frederick without interruption.
  • Similarly, we have wasted no time in starting to rebuild the facility.  Within 24 hours, clean-up crews arrived, electricity was re-established and limited administrative functions were taking place on site.  Construction crews have been busy preparing to rebuild.

We are taking all steps to get treatments back to a new and improved Calvert Center as quickly as we can. Stay tuned  here for regular updates on our progress.

We appreciate your patience and support.