MedStar Investigators Evaluate Validity and Reliability of Diabetes Survival Skills Knowledge Test

MedStar Health investigators examined the validity and reliability of the KNOW Diabetes test, a survival skill knowledge test used to evaluate the impact of diabetes education and research interventions in their study “Validity and Reliability of a (Brief) Diabetes ‘Survival Skills’ Knowledge Test.” Diabetes self-management education support (DSMES) may be defined as essential education that facilitates the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for safe and effective sort-term diabetes self-care.

In the United States, there is a low rate of participation in diabetes self-management education support and lack of availability of short, easy-to-administer diabetes knowledge tests. This presents a need for a tool that can easily identify knowledge deficits to ensure the safety and effectiveness of diabetes self-care management among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus where traditional diabetes self-management education support is not available. Managing diabetes is an important part of positive patient outcomes. The KNOW Diabetes knowledge test was developed with input from endocrinologists, certified diabetes educators, and patients in a US regional health care system. The test consists of questions from seven domains: nutrition and meal plan basics, blood glucose monitoring, glycemic targets, taking medications as prescribed, hyper- and hypoglycemia recognition and treatment, and when to seek medical help.

This study recruited 280 adults with T2DM for a two-phase research study. In phase one, the 19-question diabetes knowledge test was administered to assess feasibility. Following analysis of phase one data, three questions were removed from the knowledge test due to high difficulty and two questions on insulin storage were combined into a single question. The revised KNOW Diabetes survey contained 15 questions and was completed by 227 participants. Most participants were older than 65 years, and 65% reported having diabetes for more than five years. 70% of participants were African American.

The study results showed that patients who are older and have a lower level of education, have Medicaid or Medicare, and are without pain or numbness in the feet, scored significantly lower on the KNOW Diabetes test.  Test scores were higher among those who were younger, had a higher education level had a longer duration of diabetes and were non-Medicare or Medicaid insured.

The KNOW Diabetes knowledge test is intended to identify knowledge deficits in diabetes self-management survival skills and the study results prove the validity and reliability of the test for use in a variety of nondiabetic specialty care settings as well as in the clinical care setting.

The collaborative research team included Gretchen Youssef, MS, RD, CDE; Edward H. Ip, PhD; Michelle Magee, MD, MBBCh, BAO, LRCPSI; Shyh-Huei Chen, PhD; Amisha Wallia, MD, MS; Teresa Pollack, MS; Emilie Touma; Clayton Bourges, MS; Lynne Brecker, BSN, RN, CDE from the MedStar Diabetes Institute.

The Diabetes Educator, DOI: 10.1177/0145721719828064

Collaborative Research from MedStar Investigators Evaluates Early Laser Treatment in Surgical Scar Minimization

Recently published research from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, MedStar Health Research Institute, Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and Georgetown University School of Medicine investigated the efficacy of lasers to minimize surgical scars when applied less than one month after operation. Laser scar therapies aim to treat undesirable results post operation. Prevention of visible scars is preferred over treatment, and studies examining the use of lase scar therapies at earlier stages have shown improved results.

The study “Effectiveness of Early Laser Treatment in Surgical Scar Minimization: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” examined previously published literature in order to evaluate the efficacy of laser modalities in minimizing the undesirable characteristics of primary closed full-thickness surgical scars less than one month after operation. The literature review encompassed 8 articles in the systematic review and 4 in the meta-analysis.

The primary outcome of the study was the quantitative statistical review of the available data generated from randomized controlled trials determining the efficacy of early laser therapies applied less than 1 month after operation to minimize surgical scars. Based on the data, the analysis showed statistically significant therapeutic effect (p < .05). Due to the nature of the research included in this analysis (a diverse set of applications and usage), this statistical finding can offer evidence for the use of laser modalities as a whole under this indication.

The secondary outcome was a qualitative review where the validity of most individual studies included were determined to be “fair”. However, half of the studies included in the statistical review received “good” ratings.

Within the analyzed studies, there were inconsistent conclusions of studies using pulsed-dye laser systems. This observation was based on the varied use of purpuric versus non-purpuric laser settings. Only non-purpuric settings have been found to be reliably effective, whereas purpuric settings have failed to show efficacy. The research team recommends the use of non-pupuric settings when treating early scars, as this method is also desirable to patients.

In summary, the ability of lasers to achieve significant improvement after one session is ideal, alleviating the burden of repeat visits and providing a cost-effective means of minimizing scars. However, multiple scar treatments are often recommended for optimal results. Most patients prefer early treatment, as the scars are more amendable to treatment instead of waiting until they are hard, thick, and difficult to penetrate. The outcome supports the efficacy of lasers in minimizing primarily closed surgical scars when treated less than one month after surgery.

The study team included Rhett A. Kent, MD, Jeffrey Shupp, MD, Stephen Fernandez, MPH, Nick Prindeze, BS; and Cynthia M.C. DeKlotz, MD.

Dermatologic Surgery, DOI: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001887

MedStar Health Teaching and Research Scholars: Now Accepting Applications

Applications open for the 12th class of Teaching Scholars at MedStar Health

The heart of the MedStar Teaching Scholars program is raising clinician educators to scholars of medical education by teaching educators from across MedStar Health how to apply research principles to medical education; become informed consumers of the medical education research literature; to be effective collaborators in medical education research; and to develop as a leader in academic medicine. GME program directors, core clinical teaching faculty, clerkship directors and other clinician educators (with limited research training or experience) in all specialties and professions are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due on Friday, October 31 .
Learn more about the program at

Apply Today

Applications open for the 7th class of Research Scholars at MedStar Health

The MedStar Health Research Scholars programs aids in the development of a cadre of future academic leaders from disciplines across the entire system. Ideal Research Scholar applicants are early career MedStar clinicians seeking to develop significant personal scholarship in clinical or translational research, but with limited research experience, or with research experience in another field. A commitment to conducting mentored clinical or translational research with the ultimate goal of progressing to scholarly independence is the cornerstone of this program. 

Applications are due on Friday, November 15.
Learn more about the program at

Apply Today

September Peer-Reviewed Publications from MedStar Health

Congratulations to all MedStar researchers who had articles published in September 2019. The selected articles and link to PubMed provided below represent the body of work completed by MedStar Health investigators, physicians, and associates and published in peer-reviewed journals last month. The list is compiled from PubMed for any author using “MedStar” in the author affiliation. Congratulations to this month’s authors. We look forward to seeing your future research.

View the full list of publications on here.

Selected research:

  1. Future technology-enabled care for diabetes and hyperglycemia in the hospital setting.
    World Journal of Diabetes, 2019. DOI: 10.4239/wjd.v10.i9.473
    Montero AR, Dubin JS, Sack P, Magee MF.
  1. Advancements in Reconstructive Surgery Broaden Opportunities for Salvage of the Injured Lower Extremity.
    Annals of Plastic Surgery, 2019. DOI: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001977
    Assi PE, Giladi AM.
  1. Clinical, Pathological, and Molecular Profiling of Radioactive Iodine Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer.
    Thyroid, 2019. DOI:10.1089/thy.2019.0075
    Shobab L, Gomes-Lima C, Zeymo A, Feldman R, Jonklaas J, Wartofsky L, Burman KD.
  1. Lateral Transfer of the Flexor Digitorum Longus for Peroneal Tendinopathy.
    Foot & Ankle International, 2019. DOI:10.1177/1071100719853297
    Sherman TI, Koury K, Orapin J, Schon LC.

Open Enrollment Begins This Month

Open Enrollment for 2020 benefits starts this month. This is your opportunity to choose benefits for you and your family. From October 28 through November 18, you will have the option to review your current benefit selections and determine which coverage best meets your needs for 2020. You may enroll in medical, dental and vision plans; flexible spending accounts; supplemental life insurance; supplemental accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; dependent life coverage; legal resources; and voluntary benefits during Open Enrollment.

Enrollment Process
Associates must enroll online at myHR, where they have access to an updated enrollment site with a new look and feel, as well as features to help them choose the right level of coverage and covered dependents. If associates want to keep their current benefits for 2019, they do not need to enroll online. All 2019 benefit selections and enrolled dependents will roll over to 2020, except for Flexible Spending Account elections. Associates must enroll each year to participate in these accounts.

An important step in the Annual Enrollment process is learning about the many benefit options available to you. One way to accomplish this is by attending an upcoming in-person Benefits Fair or virtual Benefits Information Session.

During these scheduled events, associates may:

  • Interact with MedStar's benefit providers to ask specific questions and obtain more detailed plan information.
  • Hear what's new for 2020
  • Ask questions to our benefits experts

Looking for more information about the total rewards package offered to you and your dependents? Take some time to attend a benefits fair and learn more. The full schedule of fairs is available here.

Flu Vaccinations Protect Patients, Save Lives

At MedStar Health, patient safety is our highest priority. The most effective way to reduce the risk of contracting influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated. Even if you received a vaccination last season, immunity decreases over time, and therefore you must be vaccinated on an annual basis.

Vaccination of associates reduces the risk of transmitting the flu virus to patients, since healthcare workers are frequently linked as the source of flu in healthcare settings. You could have no flu symptoms and still be a carrier, and unknowingly spread it to patients, fellow co-workers, visitors, and your family.

All MedStar associates, affiliated physicians, volunteers, students, contracted staff, and vendors are required to receive the influenza vaccination by December 4. If you are unable to receive vaccination due to medical contraindications and/or religious exemptions, you must submit an Influenza Vaccination Exemption Form by the October 31 deadline. To obtain an Influenza Vaccination Exemption Form, or more information about influenza vaccinations visit

MedStar is committed to making the influenza vaccine as accessible to you as possible. Obtain your free flu vaccination from:

  • All Occupational Health offices across the system
  • Unit rounds in high-volume patient care areas
  • Peer immunizers
  • Clinics scheduled at various sites
  • MedStar PromptCare locations

Note: A valid MedStar ID must be presented in order to receive a free flu vaccination.
PromptCare offices will submit documentation to Occupational Health.

 For more information about obtaining a flu vaccination, visit an Occupational Health office or go to

MedStar Health and Georgetown University Partnership Brings New Educational Opportunities for Associates

MedStar Health strives to provide associates with the tools and learning opportunities to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare industry. To accomplish this, associates are encouraged to take advantage of MedStar’s Educational Assistance program and unique partnerships with local universities and colleges, including Georgetown University. 

The Georgetown University’s Executive Masters and Certificate programs address the growing need for sustainable improvements in patient safety and quality education. Through these valuable opportunities, students learn from national experts who have shaped the patient safety and quality landscape, and collaborate with other learners within the healthcare industry.

Executive Masters Program in Clinical Quality, Safety and Leadership

  • Immerse yourself in advanced theory and concepts of healthcare quality, patient safety science, and organizational leadership
  • 16-month online program, with a four-day onsite networking opportunity held at Georgetown University in D.C.
  • Full-time or part-time enrollment available

Executive Certificate in Patient Safety and Quality

  • Practice fundamental concepts of systems-thinking, improvement science, and data collection, organization, and analyses
  • Six-month online certificate

Executive Certificate in Healthcare Safety and Leadership

  • Gain insight on how to become a leader in an ever-changing healthcare system
  • Six-month online certificate 

Learn more about the programs and apply online

Note: Participation in Georgetown University’s Executive Masters and Certificate programs may be eligible for Educational Assistance. Refer to your entity’s policy for more information.

New myHR Login Process

We heard your feedback! Committed to ensuring an optimal user experience, myHR is revising its external login process. Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, associates who visit will login using their MedStar Network Credentials, eliminating the New User Registration process and separately managed passwords.

When visiting, associates will note a new login screen.

  1. Select “Current Associate”
  2. When prompted, enter your MedStar Network Credentials
  3. Click “Sign In”

As a reminder, your MedStar Network Credentials are the same as those you use daily to log into your work computer, access PeopleSoft, and/or clock in through MedStar MyTime. Previously registered myHR passwords are no longer valid. Please note, access from StarPort is not affected.

For detailed login instructions, please click here. Associates requiring assistance with their MedStar Network Credentials, including password resets, should contact the IS Help Desk at 877-777-8787. For navigation and additional myHR support, the HR Solution Center is available to assist at 855-674-myHR (6947).

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: More Than Just Your Institution

Sometimes it can feel that you are asked to do conflict of interest disclosures everywhere you turn. Whether it’s research related, required by your entity, or part of a relationship with an outside company, everyone asks for different information in different formats and for different timeframes. We know it can be frustrating! Recent news has reminded us how important it is to accurately disclose all financial relationships and interests in all of the places you are required to do so.

It is imperative that you keep your MedStar conflict of interest disclosures up to date. Additionally, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have accurately and consistently disclosed financial interests when you publish or present research. Individuals who completed the FY19 disclosure before July 1, 2019 must now go into the system to certify that the information entered previously is accurate for the entire fiscal year, or update as needed. The instructions for certifying your disclosure or revising the disclosure as needed are available here. As a researcher, the FY 2020 questionnaire is available for you to complete between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Do you have a question about your conflict of interest obligations at MedStar? We can help! Questions about the conflict of interest process, disclosures, and requirements for research can be addressed by the Research Compliance Director, Kate Cohen, [email protected], 301-560-7396. Questions about the MedStar conflict of interest process outside of the research context can be addressed by your entity compliance officer.

Research Grand Rounds: Urinary Incontinence: a Symptom, a Disease, and a Geriatric Syndrome — October 11, 2019

Research Grand Rounds are sponsored by MedStar Health Research Institute and Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) and bring together the MedStar Health community for a learning experience focusing on a different topic each month.

On behalf of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and MedStar Health Research Institute, you are invited to Clinical and Translational Research Grand Rounds on Friday, October 11, 2019 from 12:00 Noon pm to 1:00pm. The speaker will be Tatiana V.D. Sanses, MD. The Talk is titled, “Urinary Incontinence: a symptom, a disease, and a geriatric syndrome”.

Dr. Tatiana Sanses is Associate Professor and chief of the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Urogynecology, at Howard University. She was recruited to Howard from the University of Maryland in 2017, where she had held a faculty appointment and launched her independently-funded research following completion of her clinical training at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, then at Greater Baltimore Medical Center/University of Maryland Medical Center.

Her research, which exemplifies our discipline-spanning interest in novel approaches to understudied disorders with protean manifestations, has focused importantly on urinary incontinence and on pelvic organ prolapse, particularly their intersection with functional and symptomatic outcomes. Her ongoing National Institute on Aging-supported research seeks to elucidate common mechanisms linking urinary incontinence and mobility limitation in older women to develop novel rehabilitation strategies and improve quality of life. Please join us for her research presentation, entitled “Urinary Incontinence: a symptom, a disease, and a geriatric syndrome”

Urinary Incontinence: a Symptom, a Disease, and a Geriatric Syndrome
Tatiana V.D. Sanses, MD
Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Urogynecology—Howard University

October 11, 2019
12 Noon to 1 PM – Presentation
1 PM to 1:30 PM – Lunch
MedStar Washington Hospital Center, True Auditorium (East Building, 1st Floor)

For those located at remote sites and unable to attend in-person, log on to: on October 11, 2019 at 12:00 Noon to hear Dr. Sanses’ presentation.

If you have any questions regarding the Research Grand Rounds program, please contact [email protected]