Groups spread wings of caring

By Logan B. Anderson|The Banner

For a few hours on Wednesday the amount of people one Cambridge-area nursing facility care for grew to include the hungry of Dorchester County.

For the third year in a row, Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay partnered with the Maryland Food Bank and an area church to give out packages of food to the needy.

“It is obvious to anyone that lives or works in Cambridge that this is a community in need,” Andrea Lev, Mallard Bay facility administrator said.

Nearly four dozen employees and community volunteers, including Mallard Bay and Signature Healthcare administrators, converted the facility’s dining room into a large staging area for their community service effort.

Jackson Street Church of God joined the food bank and nursing facility in their efforts to feed the hungry people in the area this year.

“The first year we had about 400 families. Last year we had close to 1,000 people,” Ms. Lev said.

Mallard Bay officials said Wednesday evening that they provided care packages for 1,000 people.

The volunteers and employees, Wednesday morning, worked together like a well organized machine or choreographed dancers. Groups of people staffed food stations around the large room each with proteins, canned goods, cereal products or other nonperishable items.

Other volunteers shuttled white plastic shopping bags to the stations to be filled out before lining them up to be handed out.

While the group was still setting up, a line formed beginning at the center’s rear entrance and continued down Leonard Lane.

After a few hours, much of the linoleum floor was replaced with plastic bags filled with balanced meals.

The volunteers sorted through nine pallets of food on Wednesday.

Ms. Lev helped keep the machine running and directed the dancers while either moving furniture to make room for more bags or joining in the dance herself.

Kyle Browning, CFO of a Signature HealthCARE affiliate, rolled up his sleeves and joined in the effort.

“This is what we are all about, connecting with the people,” Mr. Browning said.

He described Mallard Bay as a leading healthcare facility in terms of its level of care, commitment to education and devotion to the community.

“This team at Mallard Bay is innovative and ahead of its time,” Mr. Browning said.

He added that many of the initiatives and programs used at the Cambridge facility are beginning to be adopted by other Signature HealthCARE centers.

Signature has 72 facilities in seven states in the south eastern United States.

Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay is centrally located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 45 miles east of the Bay Bridge, 16 miles east of Easton, MD, and 35 miles west of Salisbury, MD.

Mallard Bay, on Glenburn Avenue in Cambridge is a 160-bed dually certified skilled nursing and rehabilitation center.

Mallard has been a part of the community for more than 30 years.

Ms. Lev said she was very happy with how the team of employees and volunteers worked together to serve so many people in need.