MHRI…Step Right Up!

In December, MHRI associates took some time out of their busy schedules to celebrate the successes of 2019 with their fellow associates. These events are also our opportunity to recognize associates with milestone years of service with MedStar Health.

Through feedback and collaboration with our Associate Engagement Committee, we moved to two parties for this year. Both celebrations brought together leadership and associates to embrace our circus/carnival theme, “Step Right Up!”. This year we recognized excellence as we acknowledged our High Recruitment Studies that have reached their goals.  We also recognized our 2019 SPIRIT Award Recipients: the Ryan White Team, Allison Selman-Lovell and Surafel Zenebe.  Our associate recognition program, KUDOS was highlighted as we congratulated individuals for sending and receiving Kudos from one another.  We played a competitive game of trivia that challenged our knowledge of carnivals, state fairs and the circus. The events also featured our service award presentations and our wonderful raffle and associate gifts!  

Thank you to all of our MHRI performers and ringleaders, who achieve great things through the year on a daily basis and help make a difference in the lives of our patients and the organization they represent.

Many thanks to all the associates who assisted with planning, set-up, and clean up at each location. Your efforts made the events a success! Thank you to all the associates who brought a donation for Dr. Bear’s Closest at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. We’d also like to thank Amy Avergas and Karen Vaughan for organizing donations from the Greater Baltimore Oncology Nurse Society. More than 60 toys were donated to help children and their siblings celebrate this season.

Congratulations to our service award recipients for your years of dedicated service to MedStar. Your work and support allow us to continue our commitment to advancing health in our community.

25 Years of Service
Barbara Rector

20 Years of Service
Grace Nasrallah
Petros Okubagzi
Mary Park
Jianhui Zhu

15 Years of Service
Lin Han
Suman Singh

10 Years of Service
Rachel Campbell
Brandon Clark
Teshome Deksissa
Stephen Fernandez
Xia Liu
Theresa Moriarty
Patricia Tanjutco

5 Years of Service
Abdul Naser Alkhalil
Susan Cranford
Abera Dengezo
Preethy Feit
David Gaviria-Munoz
Daniel Hoffman
Matthew Hoffman
Audrey Jenkins
Ji Jin
Chad League
Florence Mwicigi
Sarah Null
Shreejana Pokharel
Kevin Reeves
Timothy Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez-Weisson
Christina Stanger
Sharon Taho
Surafel Zenebe
Amir Ali Zohdi­­­­­

You may view and download photos here, along with the slide presentations:

Coming Together: MHRI Fall Town Halls

At the recent MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI) Fall Town Halls, associates gathered at three of our locations to be informed and engaged with what’s taking place across the MedStar Health System. Thank you to all the Research Institute associates that joined us at University Town Center, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center to connect with other associates and learn about the latest endeavors at the Research Institute.

Dr. Neil Wesissman opened the town hall with a safety moment. In the last few months, there have been two reported shootings on site of two of our MedStar locations, MedStar Harbor Hospital (Baltimore, MD) and University Town Center (Hyattsville, MD). Dr. Weissman discussed the importance of being prepared for workplace violence or an active shooter situation. He encouraged associates to watch the “Run, Hide, Fight” video created by MedStar associates which demonstrates what to do in the event of an active shooter situation in the healthcare setting. The RUN, HIDE, FIGHT video and other tools and resources are available on StarPort at

Jim Boscoe, our new Director of the Office of Research Integrity provided updates to associates regarding the IRB and IACUC committees. The Georgetown-MedStar eIRB system, Huron, implemented a recent update to the application system to include minor modifications and a more stable environment for users to experience. The Office of Research Integrity has an open position in their department and are exploring opportunities to make improvements with operations. The IACUC committee recently implemented a new electronic application system, Streamlyne, to manage and review animal research studies. The system went live on October 17th.

The operating goals and initiatives for FY20 were discussed. Associates should have been provided with the MHRI “Plan-on-a-Page” which highlights the goals for the Research Institute for FY20 and provides a clear line-of-sight for associates to support their engagement with the organization. A fun game of Jeopardy was played which covered the FY20 Plan-on-a-page and celebrated the winning team at each town hall. If you did not receive a copy of the Plan-on-a-Page, please contact [email protected]. Congratulations to all our winning Jeopardy teams! Thank you all for playing!


The Power to Heal campaign begins November 1 and runs through November 30. Associates are invited to join the gratitude movement by participating and making a Gift of Gratitude in honor of a colleague, friend or caregiver. Since 2016, 21 new investigators have been supported by MedStar associates. This year’s Power to Heal Campaign at MedStar Health Research Institute will benefit the New Investigator Fund. To learn about the projects that were funded by the 2018 campaign, view the press release here.

Research would not be possible without our associates and without the patients who participate. Thank you for being a part of our vision to advance health through research.

Choose Your Benefits for 2019

Annual Enrollment is underway and myHR is your one-stop for all the information you need to choose the right benefits plan for 2019. Before enrolling, take time to visit myHR to compare plans and explore all of the options available to you. Take time to review your enrollment packet and determine the right options for you and your family.

The 2020 Annual Enrollment period (Oct. 29-Nov. 18) is your opportunity to review and make changes to your benefits plan for the upcoming year. You must enroll online through myHR from StarPort (see HR Information section) or to make changes to your benefits coverage and enroll in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). If you wish to keep your current benefits for 2020 (medical, dental, vision, life insurance, long-term disability, additional coverage, legal resources, and other voluntary benefits), you do not need to enroll online. Your 2019 benefits elections and dependents will roll over to 2020, except for FSA.

Discover More MedStar Total Rewards

Your benefits options encompass much more than your healthcare coverage. With voluntary benefits, you can purchase more coverage to ensure you and your family are protected—no matter what life throws your way.

Voluntary benefits provide additional value to your MedStar Total Rewards package, giving you more choices to tailor your benefits plan to best fit your needs.

The voluntary benefits for 2020 Annual Enrollment include:

  • Universal Life Insurance: Provides permanent death benefits, including a long-term care rider
  • Critical Illness Insurance: Offers affordable, flexible coverage for a variety of serious illnesses
  • Accident Insurance: Assists you financially in the event of an injury
  • Legal Resources: Comprehensive coverage for a wide range of legal services for an affordable monthly rate, with no copays and yearly usage limitations
  • Pet Insurance: Medical coverage for dogs and cats of all ages and breeds, provided by PetFirst; MedStar associates receive a 10% discount on all plans

Voluntary benefits coverage is available at discounted group rates, meaning you pay a lower monthly rate. Learn more and enroll online at myHR from StarPort (see HR Information section) or from any computer or mobile device.

Invest in Your Health with MedStar MyHealth

MedStar Associate Survey results continue to demonstrate associates value their benefits, specifically identifying healthcare coverage and wellness programs as important. MedStar prioritizes offering associates quality benefit programs, including MedStar MyHealth.

To support your health and wellness, you may take advantage of MyHealth programs, including:                           

  • MyHealth Questionnaire: Complete your 2020 MyHealth questionnaire by Nov. 30, 2019 and save approximately $360 next year on your MedStar Select or CareFirst medical premium. The questionnaire assesses your health information, such as blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, as well as lifestyle habits, to determine your overall health status and lifestyle risks. No one from MedStar will see your personalized results and they do not affect your health coverage.
  • MyHealth Care Advising: If you have a chronic health condition, a health advisor can help coordinate care and develop a plan to achieve your health goals.
  • MyHealth Maternity: Throughout your pregnancy, a personal health advisor is available to work with you.

MedStar is committed to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals. Get started today at No one from MedStar will see your personalized results and they do not affect your health coverage.

If have questions about your benefits or how to enroll, contact the HR Solution Center at 855.674.6947.

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 Health Urgent Care 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).

Recognizing Allison Selman-Lovell for Her MedStar SPIRIT

Allison Selman-Lovell was awarded the SPIRIT of Excellence Award for the second quarter of 2019 at a presentation at University Town Center (UTC) offices. Allison is the Program Lead for Research & Education Initiatives for MedStar Health Research Institute. Nominated by Eva Hochberger, Manager, Research Development, Planning and Communications, the award was presented by Neil Weissman, Chief Science Officer, MedStar Health and President, MedStar Health Research Institute.

Jamie Padmore, Vice President Academic Affairs, MedStar Health, has been working with Allison for years and said, “I knew right away I needed to latch on to her.  It’s not about what you do but who you are.” Allison was recognized for her outstanding spirit to her colleagues and anyone she comes across at MedStar and Georgetown.  Everyone had such wonderful remarks to say about Allison:

  • She’s such a great team player and treats everyone, from medical students to PIs to senior leadership, with natural integrity that is focused on solving problems.”
  • Allison is one of MHRI’s greatest assets”
  • Allison works so hard for our faculty and learners to make sure that their educational programs are of the highest quality, thus contributing to the ongoing education of our superb faculty.”
  • She provides exceptional service, ensuring each interaction with faculty, scholars, and collaborators is positive and effective.”

Allison’s dedication and reliability are unmatched. We’re so fortunate to celebrate Allison for this award.  She’s more than deserving!

The SPIRIT Award is given to recognize and reward one associate (management or non-management) each quarter, who excels in Service, Patient First, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork. Nomination submissions for the third quarter of 2017 are due by August 15. Learn more on the SPIRIT StarPort page or contact [email protected].

Walking & Running Forward for Research

Mark your calendars now to connect with other MHRI and MedStar associates by participating in one of these upcoming events to support the health of our communities.

Race to Beat Cancer

Saturday, September 14

Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, is proud to host the 39th annual Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, Race to Beat Cancer 5K. This charitable event is one of the premier 5K races in Washington, DC. All of the proceeds from this event are donated to the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and cancer research.

Money raised from last year’s race helped fund these research projects:

  • An algorithm for physicians to better follow cancer survivors, with the goal of both predicting and preventing cardiac complications after cancer treatment
  • Evaluating markers in the blood that could predict the development of secondary cancers, coronary artery disease, and dementia in cancer survivors
  • Improving supportive care in preventing hair loss in black women undergoing chemotherapy
  • Supporting other ongoing clinical trials in early-stage breast cancer, advanced colorectal cancer, advanced prostate cancer, and early stage bladder cancer 

Race packet pick-up will ONLY be Friday, September 13, 2019 from 1PM - 7PM at Pacers Running 14th St and from 1PM - 7PM at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC located at 2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW.

Where: Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
Check-In: 7:00 am
Starts: 8:00 am
Length of Walk/Run: 5K

To learn more and register, visit


2019 Step Out: Washington, DC

Saturday, September 21

Participating in the Step Out Walk is an experience you will never forget. You will be joining your community members along the beautiful route who share your passion to fight diabetes. You will be helping people in your own community who live with this disease every day. Bring your friends, family, and co-workers to walk with thousands of people from across the country and help us change the future of diabetes. This walk is hosted by the American Diabetes Association

The MedStar Diabetes Institute has formed a walk team which can be joined here.

Where: Washington Monument Grounds, Washington, DC
Check-In: 8:00 am
Event starts: 9:30 am
Learn more about the walk here.


Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel

Sunday, September 22

Help support the Adaptive Sports Programs at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and participate in the Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel in Tysons Corner, VA. This race is open to all able-bodied and disabled athletes who can run, walk or roll through the course. All proceeds benefit Adaptive Sports Programs at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, which helps children and adults with physical disabilities to pursue healthy, active lifestyles through recreational and competitive sports.

Where: Tysons Sport & Health
Check-In: 7:00 am
Event starts: 9:00 am
Length of Walk: 5K
Learn more and register at


2019 Step Out: Baltimore, MD

Sunday, October 6

The Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes gives everyone in our community a chance to gather together to raise funds for diabetes research, advocacy, and education. Dollars raised through Step Out help to support those affected by diabetes in Maryland, and beyond. When you register for the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes, you become a part of the American Diabetes Association’s team. Joining you will be thousands of participants from around the country who come together and directly impact the lives of people facing the daily challenges of diabetes. This walk is hosted by the American Diabetes Association

Where: Canton Waterfront, Baltimore, MD
Event starts: TBD
Length of Walk 3.15 mile walk
Learn more here.


2019 Greater Washington Heart Walk

Saturday, November 2

Hosted by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, this event includes 1- and 3-mile routes. Join walkers from across our community as they step out to have fun, get inspired and support a meaningful cause.

Where: The National Mall, Washington, DC
Check-In: 8:30 am
Event starts: 10:00 am
Length of Walk: 1-mile or 3-mile walk
Learn more on the website.

Honoring SPIRIT at MHRI: The Ryan White Team

The Ryan White Team was awarded the SPIRIT of Excellence Award for the first quarter of 2019 during a presentation at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The Ryan White Team includes David Gaviria, Chizoba Anako, Allison Daly, Antonio Pineda, Edith Sowe, and Corten Yarbrough. Nominated by Ron Migues, MD, Executive Director, MedStar Medical and Surgical Research Network, the award was presented by Dr. Weissman, Chief Scientific Officer of MedStar Health, President of MedStar Health Research Institute.

The Ryan White Team was recognized for their outstanding medical care, case management, social work and peer navigator services to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. This team may encounter several issues and roadblocks daily, but their Patient First mindset ensures that patients are cared for in the way they are accustomed.

This is the first time that the SPIRIT Award was presented to a team of MHRI associates. “When I went to fill out the nomination,” said Migues, “I couldn’t imagine picking one associate from the team. They work so cohesively and effectively together.”

At the presentation, other colleagues spoke up on the SPIRIT that the team embodies:

  • “Their efforts don’t go unnoticed, patients remember them at the end of the day.”
  • “Each has their own strengths and add to the team to be able to work together”
  • “These patients rely on their physicians to take care of them medically, but they could not make it happen without the support and dedication of this team”

There are many great things that can be said about the Ryan White Team. We’re lucky to have such a wonderful group of associates that work well together and continuously advance health through research.

The SPIRIT Award is given to recognize and reward one associate (management or non-management) each quarter, who excels in Service, Patient First, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork. Nominations for the third quarter of 2019 are due by August 15. Learn more on the SPIRIT StarPort page or contact [email protected].