Category Archives: Residents Association

A History of African American Hospitals in the U.S.

By Dr. Bud Gardiner

Join resident Dr. Bud Gardiner on February 15th at 2 pm in the Auditorium for this fascinating program.  Sponsored by the Health Services Committee.


The health of African slaves was an issue concerning slave-holders but there was no organized attention paid to this issue.  In 1832, the Georgia General Assembly established a hospital “for the relief and protection of afflicted and aged Africans”.  Thus, the Georgia Infirmary was built south of Savannah. Over the years approximately 200 hospitals were established for black citizens under the auspices of governments, a variety of charitable organizations and groups of African American citizens and physicians. They were often tied to medical and nursing education. The bulk of them, of course, was in the southern states and had varying lengths of survival. With the impact of economic and social influences, (especially racial integration) only one such hospital remains. Their history provides a fascinating glimpse of an oppressed but resourceful segment of our population.


Artists-in-Residence Featured in the TERP

Collington’s artists-in-residence, Samantha Flores and Matthew Rynes, students at the University of Maryland, were featured in an article in the university’s magazine, the Terp. Included is a picture of Sam and the Collington singers. Click here to see the full article.

Where Exactly is this Garden?


At the Landing of course.

the landing

Sometime during the week of 2/26 to 3/2, the long-awaited “Landing” will open.   You can expect your senses to be delighted.  Not only will you experience great tastes and aromas, but no end of consideration has gone into sights and should I say lack of sounds.

One unique treasure is the Garden on the Wall.  The idea was imported from Europe and is now used by many large and famous businesses to enhance their headquarters.  One look and you will understand why.  It does indeed turn our Patio area (where the terrace used to exist) into a bright tranquil space.  Large windows and skylights enhance this atmosphere.

There are “cloud” baffling, sound absorbing wall panels and even the purple sprayed ceilings aid with noise reduction.  The energy-efficient LED dimmable, motion sensor lighting with multiple zones and timers is state of the art.

SONY DSCChris awaiting furniture.

There will be separate sections in the Landing that will also be available for cozy group meals as well as the ability to open the spaces to the max.  These include the dining room adjacent to the kitchen, French doors leading to the Patio, and a Banquette area adjacent to the patio.   Total capacity will be 70 – 80 people.  Coat racks and scooter parking are readily available.


Rob and avRob Reigle fine-tuning the wireless projector and screen.

The Landing will be overseen by our culinary team including Chris, Taimi, and Ana.  Interviews are taking place for an internal promotion for a supervisor, and Mark Thompson will be promoted to sous chef.

Now on to the food.   You can expect a dining experience that will include an extensive menu from which you order food at a counter or even on a stand-alone computer, fill your own drink and then seat yourself.   You will be served your silverware and food.

The menu will include appetizers including Oven Baked Four Cheese mac and cheese, Flatbreads, salads, fresh made sandwiches, soups and combos.  Pizzas from our own wood stone pizza oven, burgers, pasta, rack of lamb, hickory plank salmon, and rib eye steak are all on the menu.  And of course decadent desserts.  Everything will be made to order and there will be many gluten-free options.

SONY DSCChris explaining our pizza oven that can bake six 12 inch pizzas at one time.

There is also a “grab and go” section that will include pre-made salads, sandwiches, yogurts, parfaits, drinks, etc. for those who want a quick bite to go.

Available for your drinking pleasure is a Barista’s Corner with specialty coffees and complimentary regular or decaf coffee and tea.  Premium wine and homemade Collington beer, as well as Coca-Cola products and specialty soft drinks, will be available.

The Landing is planning a “soft” opening, where breakfast will be the first meal available.  Afterwards, small groups will be invited to preview lunches and dinners.  This will allow the staff to ensure all mechanical functions are working, the staff is properly trained, and any initial problems remedied.  We must all be patient – the best is on the horizon – landing soon!

Photos by Sandy Short and Lois Brown

Preparing for Dementia — An Individual and Collective Responsibility at Collington

As we move forward with operationalising our Strategic Plan, a recent New York Times article on dementia specific advance directives may be useful. Specifically:

Dr. Barak Gaster, an internist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, had spent three years working with specialists in geriatrics, neurology, palliative care and psychiatry to come up with a five-page document that he calls a dementia-specific advance directive.

In simple language, it maps out the effects of mild, moderate and severe dementia, and asks patients to specify which medical interventions they would want — and not want — at each phase of the illness.

“Patients stumble into the advanced stage of dementia before anyone identifies it and talks to them about what’s happening,” Dr. Gaster told me. “At what point, if ever, would they not want medical interventions to keep them alive longer? A lot of people have strong opinions about this, but it’s hard to figure out how to let them express them as the disease progresses.”

As a community with a commitment to individual autonomy, I think the document will speak to many of our concerns, and perhaps most specifically the fear of wanting to reject additional treatment, but no longer having the capacity to communicate that.  As the article elaborates:

For each stage of dementia, the patient can choose among four options. “Full efforts to prolong my life” and “comfort-oriented care only, focused on relieving suffering” represent two ends of the spectrum.

Patients can also opt for lifesaving treatments — except when their hearts stop or they can’t breathe on their own, precluding resuscitation or ventilators.

Or they can opt to receive care where they live but avoid hospitalization. “For someone who doesn’t understand what’s happening, going to an E.R. or being hospitalized can be really traumatic,” Dr. Gaster said. The experience can lead to delirium and other setbacks.

There is debate about whether there should be a separate dementia advance directive, but the idea of specific focus on the issue has great value.  (I personally find the Maryland MOLST utterly incomprehensible, and do achieve that this document does within the MOLST would be a great feat of editing.).

In any event, our commitment to the value of the individual challenges us, in my opinion, to do what we can to make sure that those who wish have thought through these issues, and that our entire system support people in these choices, which certainly reflect only current law, and do not represent any change from that law.

There was at one point talk to Collington working to improve the MOLST.  Maybe now is the time, reflecting the leadership goal in our strategic plan.  Surely these issue have great implications for staffing, training, staff-resident relationships, and culture building.

Thanks, Collington, for being a place where these things are as much on the table as they are on our minds.

Collingtonian Article on our “Pre-History” Raises Questions about Next Steps

Occasionally, this blog draws attention to articles in our sister publication, the Collingtonian. Peggy Latimer’s piece in the January 2018 issue is deserving of such focus. The piece, tells the history of slaves here at Collington, to the minimal extent that it can be reconstructed from wills and other documents. The story is particular present, because of the graves up on the hill, including one of Basil Warring, who had “inherited” ten slaves from his father.


It is, of course, deeply shaming for a white person to read, and I think Peggy gets just the right combination of factual clarity and respectful perspective:

Marsham’s 1730 will listed them. All but one, however, were identified only by first name [spelling and punctuation through- out are as written in the original documents]: “One Negro Man named Caceour One Negro Man named Hercules one Negro Man named George One Negro Woman named Moll One Mulatto Boy named Charles One Mulatto boy called Robin One Negro Boy named Will Bulger One Mulatto Girl named Sarah One Mulatto Girl named Cate one Negro girl named Lucy and their Increase”

Peggy notes at the end, “With much research, we may be able to learn more of the history of these people. At the very least, shouldn’t we be honoring those enslaved persons who lived and labored on the land where we all now reside?” At the very minimum we should find public ways to recognize and honor that we enjoy the legacy of the labor of their forced and denied lives. Without in any way suggesting equivalence, the need to remember and honor reminds me that a few years ago, I went with my Polish Holocaust surviving aunt to a gymnasium (high school) in Mainz Germany, and for our visit, as part of a larger group, they had put up a mounted display of The Holocaust in Mainz, including a map showing locations.


Here is a photo of my aunt with some of the display. The kids were deeply respectful and attentive.

Surely we can try to do as much.

Indeed, there must be much else that we could do, that not only reminds of the past, but steers us for the future in these apparently anti-historical times.