3 Reasons Why We’re Raising Awareness for Minority Health Month

Minority Health Month 2019 Photo

We’re proud to support Minority Health Month this April as we shine a light on the importance of equal and accessible health care in Southern Maryland. Here are three reasons why this month means so much to us and those who count on us.

Some Diseases Affect People Disproportionately

While diseases such as cancer or the flu affect everyone regardless of who they are, there are certain diseases and ailments that affect a disproportionate number of minority groups in America.

Sickle cell disease is one such disease that affects minorities in America, especially among black people and African-Americans. African-Americans and Latino-Americans are also at higher risk for developing diabetes than other groups, too.

While there are numerous reasons why these groups are at greater risk for developing these diseases, more than anything, these facts serve as stark reminders that more work needs to be done to ensure that every member of the population is given the same chance to live a long, healthy life.

Health Disparities Can Be Caused by Multiple Factors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health.” Ethnicity, race, gender, disability status, and socioeconomic factors can all play a role in this, and it’s important for communities to step up to help everyone live healthier.

Health disparities can come from:

  • Poverty
  • Environmental Threats
  • Poor Access to Health Care
  • Educational Differences

You can learn more about the various health differences that exist among the American population by visiting the official website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.

Health Fairness is Important

At University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, we believe that no one should be put at a disadvantage in the health system, regardless of race, ethnicity, social status, age, or gender. By valuing health fairness, we value all people equally, and we work to ensure that every person in our community always has access to high-quality health care.

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Get to Know Primary Nurse Practitioner Kelli Goldsborough

Kelli Goldsborough, NP, Photo

Kelli Goldsborough, NP, set out to study social work. But she gravitated toward nursing in school — first becoming a licensed practical nurse, then a registered nurse (RN) and finally a nurse practitioner (NP).

What’s the Difference Between a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner?

While RNs and NPs both tend to patients’ needs and treatments, nurse practitioners must complete a masters or doctoral educational program while RNs are required to complete a nursing program. In addition, NPs are able to see and treat patients on their own as well as prescribe medications. This is why you’ll commonly see an NP at a specialized practice, such as UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care, rather than at a hospital.

Where She Practices

From inpatient and outpatient settings to the health department and even hospice in St. Mary’s County, Goldsborough’s background is diverse and wide ranging. Now, she’s found a home in primary care.

“It’s challenging,” she said. “No two patient situations are the same. But I look forward to building relationships with patients the same way I have with my own primary care provider. I’ve been seeing some patients for more than 12 years, so when something’s wrong, there’s a little bit more understanding as to what’s happening. As you learn about patients and as they trust you, you can impact them in a more positive way to help them achieve their health goals.”

When She’s Not in the Office

When Goldsborough is off duty, her family takes center stage.

“My husband and I have five children between us — four of them still at home,” she said. “My youngest is six and my oldest is 16, along with two adult children who are 23 and almost 21.”

With three girls at home, after-school time and weekends often revolve around activities like Girl Scouts and dance. Goldsborough also makes time for extended family.

“I’ve lived in southern Maryland my entire life, and my family is here,” she said. “That’s important to me.”

Want to schedule an appointment with Nurse Practitioner Kelli Goldsborough? Give us a call at (301) 609-5044 today.

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High School Sports Physicals for Spring and Wellness for Life

Spring Sports Physicals Photo

Don’t save those doctor’s appointments for when there’s something already wrong.

Sure, a great primary care provider can help you get better. But our first goal is keeping you in your best health at all times and stopping health issues before they start.

UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care is a great team to have on your side, whether you’re a high school athlete or anyone looking to live their healthiest life.

Dr. Lorenzo Childress, III, along with Nurse Practitioner Kelli Goldsborough and the talented team of medical professionals are ready to help you be your best.

Now Scheduling High School Sports Physicals

Spring sports will be starting before you know it.

Lacrosse, baseball, softball, tennis or track & field. No matter what sport your student will be playing, they’ll need a sports physical from a licensed physician if they want to be ready to compete when practices start.

All that requires is a quick visit with our Primary Care team. We’ll ensure your athlete is healthy enough to compete at the top of their game.

Call 301-609-5044 to schedule your visit today.

Wellness is a Lifelong Pursuit

You don’t have to be a budding sports star to want to be at the top of your game.

No matter how old you are, achieving and maintaining your best health is an important goal. Do it for yourself. Do it for the ones who count on you.

Regular visits to a primary care physician can help you live well, live healthier and live longer.  Through quality, compassionate primary care, we’ll put you on the path to a lifetime of good health — and give you the freedom to live the life you want.

What can you expect from your primary care team? We welcome adult patients for preventive care and checkups, management of ongoing health issues, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, disease prevention, patient education and more.

It all starts with making that first appointment. Schedule yours today. We’re open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, plus we’re now open until 7 p.m. every Wednesday to make it even more convenient for you. Give us a call at 301-609-5044.

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Want To Boost Your Immunity? Here Are 5 Things You Can Do Right Now.

Boost Your Immunity

Did you know that, since 1982, peak flu activity has been observed in February more than any other month? That’s right, even though we’ve made it through what most people consider flu season, we’re actually in the heart of it right now.

So how can you protect yourself from the flu and those pesky colds that seem to be going around? It starts with a strong immune system. But you don’t need to turn to those “natural” remedies that claim they have immunity-boosting characteristics to strengthen your defenses. Here are five simple ways to do it yourself.

Roll up Your Sleeve, Get a Flu Shot

Let’s set the record straight, getting the flu shot is not a foolproof method of preventing the flu; however, the benefits of the flu vaccine are well-documented and wide-ranging.

Dr. Lorenzo Childress, a primary care physician with UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care in La Plata, generally recommends vaccination for people over six months of age if they’re medically able to do so.

Get Moving

People who work out regularly lower their risk of catching a cold. Many of them also enjoy a wide array of other health benefits, including a better mood, better sleeping habits, an overall energy boost, and more.

30 minutes of moderately intense activity, such as brisk walking, a few times a week is all it takes. Of course, consult with your primary care doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a big problem in the United States. To go along with the other emotional and physical health risks associated with not getting enough sleep, people who get fewer than seven hours of sleep are three times likelier to catch a cold than those who sleep at least eight hours.

Stop (or Never Start) Smoking

Smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products damages the lining of nasal passages, which act as the first line of defense for your body against viruses and bacteria. Smoking also suppresses the immune system overall, making it harder for you to fend off colds and the flu this time of year.

If you’re a smoker and need help quitting, visit SmokeFree.gov for some great resources for how to reach your goal.

Scrub, Scrub

Washing your hands frequently during flu season is an easy way to reduce the spread of a cold or  flu at home and in your community. Don’t worry about whether you’re using antibacterial soap or not — there’s little difference in the effectiveness as long as you wash your hands following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Holiday Hours for UM Charles Regional and UM Community Medical Group Practices

UM Charles Regional Holiday Hours

The holiday season is upon us, and a few of your local medical practices will be operating under holiday schedules. Read on for additional information regarding closures and adjusted hours as our team prepares to observe the holidays.

As always, our hospital’s emergency room will be open 24/7 throughout the holidays. In the event of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

UM Community Medical Group – Surgical Care

11340 Pembrooke Square, Suite 214
Waldorf, MD 20603

100 N. Oak Avenue
La Plata, MD 20646
(301) 609-5006

This locations will be closed on the following days:

  • Christmas Eve (12/24)
  • Christmas Day (12/25)
  • New Year’s Eve (12/31)
  • New Year’s Day (1/1)

This practice will follow its regular schedule for dates not listed above (Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm).

UM Community Medical Group – Women’s Health

605 E. Charles Street
La Plata, MD 20646
(301) 609-4800

The La Plata location will operate under the following holiday schedule:

  • Christmas Eve (12/24) — Closing at Noon
  • Christmas Day (12/25) — Closed
  • New Year’s Eve (12/31) — Closing at Noon
  • New Year’s Day (1/1) — Closed

For dates not highlighted above, this practice will continue to operate under its normal schedule (Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm).

UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care

5 N. La Plata Court, Suite 101
La Plata, MD 20646
(301) 609-5044

Dr. Childress’ office will observe the following holiday schedule:

  • Christmas Eve (12/24) — Closing at Noon
  • Christmas Day (12/25) — Closed
  • New Year’s Eve (12/31) — Closing at Noon
  • New Year’s Day (1/1) — Closed

On dates not listed above, the primary care practice will follow its regular schedule (Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm | Wednesdays, 8am-7pm).

UM Charles Regional Imaging

5 N. La Plata Court, Suite 104
La Plata, MD 20646
(301) 539-0345

Our imaging and radiology practice at the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion will operate under the following schedule during the holiday season:

  • Christmas Eve (12/24) — Closing at Noon
  • Christmas Day (12/25) — Closed
  • New Year’s Eve (12/31) — Closing at Noon
  • New Year’s Day (1/1) — Closed

On dates not listed above, this location will operate under its normal schedule (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm).

UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation

5 N. La Plata Court, Suite 102
La Plata, MD 20646
(301) 609-5494

Our outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation practice at the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion will operate under the following holiday schedule:

  • Christmas Eve (12/24) — Closing at 5pm
  • Christmas Day (12/25) — Closed
  • New Year’s Day (1/1) — Closed

For any dates not listed above, UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation will continue to operate under its normal schedule (Monday-Thursday, 7:30am-7pm | Friday, 7:30am-4pm).

For additional information about these holiday hours or to schedule an appointment, please call the numbers included with each practice, or visit UMCharlesRegional.org for additional information.

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When to Get the Seasonal Flu Vaccine


Summer’s only just officially come to an end, but flu season is right around the corner. But does that mean you need to get the flu shot right now? We break it all down below.

When Does Flu Season Start?

When you hear the term “flu season,” it’s generally in regards to the time of year when the seasonal influenza virus, which can cause mild to severe illness, is most widespread.

Generally, flu season begins slowly in the fall and picks up through the end of winter. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that “peak” flu activity (when the most cases of the flu are reported) has happened at least once in every month from October through March since 1982. But statistics also show that February is the most common month for peak flu activity.

Because the seasonal flu is an unpredictable virus, the CDC and other agencies can only make educated assumptions about when the seasonal flu will hit hardest in any given year. Also, outbreaks can occur more than once in a single flu season.

When Should I Get the Flu Shot?

For the 2018-2019 flu season, the CDC recommends that health care providers offer vaccination by the end of October. Ideally, vaccination should occur before peak flu activity is recorded because it takes up to two weeks for vaccine antibodies to develop in your body, so October might be the best time to get vaccinated.

If you’re unable to get the flu shot before the end of October, it is still recommended that you get vaccinated as long as flu symptoms remain in your community and you’re medically able to do so. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about the need for or timing of the seasonal flu vaccine.

Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine?

According to the CDC, everyone over the age of six months should get vaccinated every flu season. The more people who get vaccinated, the less likely it is that you or those around you get sick. Widespread vaccination is especially important for those who have weakened immune systems or for those who are unable to get vaccinated themselves.

Of course, there are certain medical conditions that may prevent you or someone you know from getting vaccinated. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about getting the flu shot or its potential impact on any existing health conditions.

Want to learn more about the flu, actions you can take to prevent the flu, or what you should do if you get sick? Visit the CDC website or contact your local health care provider today.

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Introducing the University of Maryland (UM) Charles Regional Medical Pavilion in La Plata

UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion

We are so proud to unveil the new home of several of the region’s most trusted medical specialists, the UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion.

As part of the UM Medical System’s commitment to growing its network of care throughout Southern Maryland, the new Medical Pavilion features a collection of three practices as well as the future home of the upcoming Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health.

And now that the doors are open, patients and visitors can find state-of-the-art facilities, ample parking space and expert specialty care in a convenient location, right near UM Charles Regional Medical Center.

Learn More About These Medical Pavilion Services

UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care

A great primary care provider can put you on a path to a lifetime of good health. And it’s that philosophy that inspires Dr. Lorenzo Childress, who leads the team at UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care.

UM Charles Regional Imaging

Board-certified radiologists employ their extensive experience and expertise to provide the highest quality diagnostic imaging services at UM Charles Regional Imaging.

There’s no need to travel beyond Southern Maryland when 3T MRIs, 64-slice low-dose CT scans, mammography and bone density (DEXA) scans are available right here in La Plata.

UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation

With early morning and evening appointment times, UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation offers personalized physical therapy that’s designed to fit your life. The talented, experienced team employs a one-on-one approach to help you get better faster — all on your schedule.

Coming Soon: Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health

When it opens its doors next year, the Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health will help us meet the goal of providing hope, support and care for family, friends and community members as they cope with breast health issues. Stay tuned to our blog and our Facebook page for the latest updates and information about this important new practice.

The UM Charles Regional Medical Pavilion is home to just a small handful of practices and experts in the UM Medical System. Visit our new website today to learn more about all of the UM Charles Regional and UM Community Medical Group services offered right here in Southern Maryland.

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UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care, Your Partner for Better Health

Health Care You Need Close to Home

A lasting relationship with a trusted primary care provider makes a big difference in your overall health.

UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care physician Dr. Lorenzo Childress has your best interests in mind and can make suggestions for how to keep you and your family healthy year after year. Because you will see the same provider every year, he will get to know you well over time and can provide you the best care with a personal touch.

Dr. Childress will help you achieve your health goals. Whether you’re in perfect health or in need of a serious lifestyle overhaul, he has your back!

Treatments and Services

Our services include:

  • Preventive care such as checkups, flu shots and immunizations
  • Patient education and health counseling
  • Health screenings, including diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Sports physicals
  • Ongoing management of chronic diseases

In addition to these services, Dr. Childress can refer you to the right specialty provider if your condition requires—he has built relationships with doctors all across the state to make sure you receive the highest quality care every time.

Making an Appointment

Call us at (301) 609-5044 today to schedule your appointment. Then, you can find us at the address below:

5 North La Plata Court
Suite 101
La Plata, MD 20646

About Dr. Childress

Lorenzo Childress III, MD is a Board-Certified internal medicine physician with 10 years of experience. He is a 2001 graduate of Wright State University School of Medicine. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine in 2006 at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, OH, Dr. Childress did a two-year fellowship in joint preservation and replacement at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. In addition to traditional internal medicine services, Dr. Childress provides wound care and hyperbaric oxygen treatments at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center Wound Care Clinic.

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5 Proven Ways to Reduce Your Chances of Getting Sick This Holiday Season

Avoiding Sickness During the Holidays

Is there anything worse than getting sick during before you travel or take time off for the holidays?

While the seasonal flu is most prevalent in December and it seems like everyone around you is getting sick, it might only seem like a matter of time before you get sick as well. And although there’s no way to guarantee you won’t get sick at any point in the year, these are five of the most effective ways to avoid sickness throughout the holiday season:

Getting Enough Sleep

Your overall health and wellness are directly correlated to how much sleep you get every night. Give your body the energy it needs to make it through the day and fight off sickness by dedicating yourself to getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.

Washing Your Hands Regularly

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s even more important this time of year. Before you prepare or eat food, after using the bathroom, or after you blow your nose, take time to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. You’ll help protect yourself and others around you at the same time!

Receiving the Flu Shot

Although it can take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to be fully effective, there’s no better time than now to get vaccinated. You’ll protect yourself and everyone else around you, especially those who are most vulnerable, from this debilitating sickness.

Touching Your Face or Eyes Less

Make a conscious effort to avoid rubbing your eyes or face during this time of year. As the seasonal flu reaches its peak level of activity and the common cold spreads, touching your face makes it easy for bacteria and virus to get inside your body and get you sick.

Checking in with Your Primary Care Doctor

Now’s the time to meet with your doctor to get a checkup and discuss any health concerns you have heading into the holidays. What’s more is that your doctor can give you additional tips and advice not covered in this blog!

If you’re having trouble finding an appointment time with your current doctor, consider Dr. Lorenzo Childress. His office is located right here in La Plata and regularly offers next-day appointments. You can learn more about this UM Community Medical Group practice here.

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5 Keys to Reducing Stress During the Holidays

Reduce Stress During the Holidays

Money, time and energy. These things always seem to have a major impact on a person’s stress levels, and there never seems to be enough of any of it during the holiday season.

Although holiday stress seems to have become the norm in modern society, excessive stress can be one of the most harmful things to your overall health and wellness. But these are the five things you can do to manage and reduce stress throughout this busy time of year.

Managing Expectations with Your Family

Only you know what you can truly afford. Before anyone gets carried away with lavish gift suggestions or expensive ideas, have an open, honest conversation about what you really value about the holidays. And because not everyone in your family is going to have the same budget restrictions, don’t be afraid to temper expectations about gifts, meals or outings ahead of time.

Getting Organized

Having a to-do list for the holidays is a great way to keep everything in perspective and manage stress. It’s as simple as filling out the calendar you carry with you on your phone or just writing it down on a sticky note at home.

Keeping Up Your Exercise Routines

Don’t let the holidays be an excuse for skipping workouts in your routine. Make a point of continuing your exercise regimen (or get started with one) as usual. You’ll be surprised with how good it feels knowing you’re doing what you need to do to stay healthy.

Knowing When to Say “No”

One of the hardest things about this time of year is finding the time to fit everything in.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of party invites you’ve received, don’t be afraid to politely turn down the ones you’re okay skipping. And if you’re stressed by the idea of having to spend more money to attend expensive events, try suggesting more affordable alternatives or pass altogether.

Taking “Me” Time

The holidays are all about getting to spend time with friends and family, some of whom you haven’t seen for a long time. But that shouldn’t come at the expense of your own well-being.

Finding some time throughout the next few weeks to focus on doing what you want to do — exercising, relaxing, taking a walk, reading a book, etc. — for just a few minutes can go a long way. Your to-do list will be there when you get back, and you’ll feel even more ready to handle it when you do.

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