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Tuesday, November 11, 2014


SALISBURY -- Kerry Palakanis, PHD. a nurse practitioner who opened a health care clinic in Crisfield two years ago, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Maryland Capital Enterprises at a dinner celebration on Thursday at Salisbury University..

More than 25 entrepreneurs from the four Lower Shore counties were nominated, for the prestigious award, and three made it to the final round: Palakanis, Jennifer Layton of Layton's Chance Winery and Lazy Day Farms in Vienna, and Michael W. Wilt, President of Warwick Fulfillment Solutions in Hurlock.

"This was our third year presenting this award and we had so many great nominees this year,"said Joe Morse, CEO of MCE. "Our organization works hard to promote entrepreneurship and we take great pride in honoring those hard working men and women who not only take those business risks but also find time to give back to the community."

This year's winner, Kerry Palakanis, is a nurse practitioner who saw a critical need for health care services in Somerset County, one of the poorest and most under-served areas of the state. She opened the Crisfield Clinic two years ago and already has plans to rapidly expand to meet the needs. She now employs 10 full time workers and one part time, but envisions the opportunity to hire up to 75 more employees once her vision can be carried out.

She takes a holistic approach to patients that walk through her door. She offers services that help address medical, mental, social, economic and immediate needs.

She hopes to establish tele-medicine with the residents of Smith Island and all Somerset County Schools, setting up school-based health care. She wants to expand rural health care offices across the
state in a network managed system that will serve as a model for other nurse practitioner managed systems across the country.

Kerry belongs to the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland, she serves as Eastern Shore District Manager Healthy Somerset, Somerset Early Learning Advisory Council, and Reach out and Read. She is a clinical provider for Vaccines for Children. Kerry volunteers her time with the National Crab Derby and Women Supporting Women. She is a site supervisor for National Health Service Corp. She is a also a member of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce.

She will take home a check for $2,000 as part of the award, and the two runner-ups each earned $500.

MCE is a non-profit organization that promoted entrepreneurship through loans, counseling and trainings for start-up and established businesses. MCE also opened a Women's Business Center to help
women owned businesses thrive. MCE is a CDFI (certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution), serving the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Baltimore and Annapolis.

To learn more about MCE, visit or call (410) 546-1900.

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