Maureen McNulty is Awarded MedStar Health Nursing Impact Award

Maureen McNulty, RN, Compliance Assurance Associate was awarded the MedStar Health Nursing Impact Award for MedStar Health for the second quarter of 2020. This award honors nurses who have led efforts at process improvement or practice development through their role as representatives to MedStar Health Nursing committees and councils at each entity.  Maureen was presented with the award at the quarterly nursing leadership meeting on behalf of the MedStar Health Nursing Leadership by Joan K. Bardsley, Assistant Vice President, Research and Nursing Integration, MedStar Health Research Institute.

The Impact Award recognizes a nurse who makes an effort to communicate and implement MedStar Health nursing goals at their entity, including reduction in unit or service line Hospital Acquired Pressure Injuries or Falls, achieving Magnet designation, contributing to or supporting research, focus on quality and safety or improvement in continuity of care index.

Maureen has been an expert resource in assessing and ensuring quality and safety for research and regulatory compliance in all areas of research with audits, trainings, and support of investigator-initiated trials during her time with the Research Institute. Throughout the pandemic, Maureen has volunteered to work with Occupational Health to support the need for screening, disposition of results and plan of care for associates affected by COVID-19. In this role, Maureen has identified areas of process improvement opportunities for Occupational Health and continues to ensure that the voices of the associates are heard, particularly in the area of quality improvement.

Joan Bardsley said, “I strongly believe Maureen has made a local and system wide impact on both quality of research and the health of our associates. Her knowledge, adaptability and approachability are attributes that support her effectiveness and contributions to MedStar Health.”

Congratulations to Maureen on receiving this important award for her continued dedication to MedStar Health, our patients, and our associates.






MedStar Health Proud of SPIRIT Award Recipient Eva Hochberger

For the third quarter of 2020, we awarded two individuals with the SPIRIT Award for the first time in one quarter, Eva Hochberger and Keith Moyer. Eva Hochberger was awarded the SPIRIT of Excellence Award for the third quarter of 2020 during the MHRI Virtual Town Hall. Eva is the Communications & Planning Manager for the Office of Research Development, Planning and Communications at MedStar Health Research Institute. The award was presented by Neil Weissman, President of MedStar Health Research Institute and Chief Science Officer of MedStar Health.

Eva was recognized for how incredibly important her role is to all of us at MedStar Health Research Institute. Becky Montalvo, Executive Director of Scientific Core Services shared how appreciative she is in Eva’s timely follow-up to our MHRI Virtual Town Halls. “I want to compliment you on your organizational style, informational writing, and use of sharp graphics to convey information with clarity. I love the look – how professional it is, and how timely you are providing this important information for MHRI. Kudos!”, said Becky.   Eva ensures that she gathers information that people need, adheres to when you need it and chooses the best way to share it with you.

On a personal note, Neil Weissman shared that Eva is a “warm hearted person who cares about all of you and wants to do what will make your life better. Eva, thank you for everything you do. Congratulations!”

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 are based on submission to the MHRI Kudos program. Each quarter, the MHRI Executive Team will review the KUDOS submissions and select an associate or manager who best exemplifies all our SPIRIT values.





MedStar Health Proud of SPIRIT Award Recipient Keith Moyer

For the third quarter of 2020, we awarded two individuals with the SPIRIT Award for the first time in one quarter, Keith Moyer and Eva Hochberger. Keith Moyer was awarded the SPIRIT of Excellence Award for the third quarter of 2020 during the MHRI Virtual Town Hall. Keith is a regulatory affairs coordinator for the Baltimore Cardiology Research team. Nominated by Colleen Kelly, CCRC, CIM, Clinical Trials Manager and the Baltimore Cardiology Team, the award was presented by Tina Stanger, Assistant Vice President of Research Administration.

Keith was recognized for being selfless and embodying a teamwork spirit. The Baltimore Cardiology team showed their appreciation and are glad to have Keith on their team.

“Keith is the true definition of team player. He makes selfless contributions to the team. Helping other people without asking in return is a special quality that Keith consistently demonstrates, and I am sincerely grateful to have him on our Baltimore Cardiology team”, said Collen Kelly.

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 are based on submission to the MHRI Kudos program. Each quarter, the MHRI Executive Team will review the KUDOS submissions and select an associate or manager who best exemplifies all our SPIRIT values.





The Time is Now. Enroll in Your Benefits.

Annual Enrollment is the time to assess your healthcare options for next year and select the coverage that best meets your needs. You have until Nov. 16 to make your selections during 2021 Annual Enrollment. Visit myHR from StarPort or myHRMedStar.net from any computer or mobile device.

If you wish to keep your current benefits coverage for 2021, you do not need to enroll online. Your 2020 benefit selections and eligible dependents will roll over to 2021, except for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)—you must enroll each year to participate.

FSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars from your paycheck to use for out-of-pocket expenses, such as eligible medical, dental and vision costs, as well as child care and adult day care services.

Contact the HR Solution Center at 855-674-myHR (6947), select option 4, for questions about your benefits offerings.


Save $360 on your medical premium

Complete the MyHealth Questionnaire at MedStarMyHealth.org by Nov. 30 and save approximately $360 a year on your MedStar Select or CareFirst medical premium for 2021.

Honoring SPIRIT at MHRI

Grant Gonzalez was awarded the SPIRIT of Excellence Award during the MHRI Virtual Town Hall.  Grant is the Director of Finance Operations for the Office of Financial Management. Nominated by Ron Migues, Executive Director, MedStar Health Research Institute, the award was presented by Tina Stanger, Assistant Vice President of Research Administration.

Grant was recognized for his willingness to work with anyone and his infectious smile.  Grant is a problem solver and is dedicated to gather all the necessary components to make something more efficient.

“Wanted to give you a huge thank you for taking the time to work with me and my team to ensure our finances are up to date and as accurate as possible,” said Ron Migues. “Given we encompass so many areas and have the most diverse areas of research, it usually takes a small village to accomplish anything, but you have stepped forward and are leading us to become financially sound.  We really see all you do and are extremely appreciative for the support!”

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 are based on submission to the MHRI Kudos program. Each quarter, the MHRI Executive Team will review the KUDOS submissions and select an associate or manager who best exemplifies all our SPIRIT values.

MedStar Health 2020-2021 Mandatory Influenza Vaccinations

The 2020-2021 influenza season will coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. This inevitable combination will present unique challenges affecting MedStar Health associates and physicians, as well as the communities we serve. This year, more than ever, compliance with our mandatory influenza (flu) vaccination program is essential to achieving our patient and associate safety priorities.

As a reminder, all MedStar Health associates, physicians, residents, students, volunteers, contracted staff, and vendors are required to receive the influenza (flu) vaccination. The vaccination period is Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 through Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. While flu vaccine clinics will be scheduled at a variety of locations across the system, eligible associates and physicians may also receive their vaccination at Occupational Health offices, unit rounds in high-volume patient care areas, and from peer immunizers. New infection prevention protocols, including appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), frequent disinfection of clipboards, pens and other tools, and physical distancing, will be in place in all flu vaccine clinic locations.

We will continue to provide the vaccine at MedStar Health entities free of cost for associates, physicians, residents, and volunteers. Locations, dates and times for entity clinics will be posted on StarPort (starport.medstar.net/go/EveryoneCounts) by Sept. 14, 2020. If individuals choose to be vaccinated at non-MedStar facilities or a MedStar Health Urgent Care location, they must complete and submit official documentation to Occupational Health (letterhead, prescription form, printed receipt, etc.) from the provider administering the vaccine. Documentation must include:

  • Associate's name
  • Date of vaccination
  • Name, dose and lot number of vaccine
  • Name, address and phone number of provider

We recognize that a small percentage of individuals may not be able to receive the flu vaccination due to medical contra-indications and/or religious exemptions. The Influenza Vaccine Exemption Form will need to be obtained from, completed and returned to Occupational Health by Oct. 31, 2020.

While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will not require the typical vaccine compliance data reporting this year, MedStar Health will continue to require all associates, physicians, residents/fellows, volunteers, students, contracted staff, and vendors to receive a flu vaccine before the end of the vaccination period or document exemption by the deadline.

Please share this information with your appropriate stakeholders as a priority topic at town hall meetings, staff meetings, rounds, and other communication touch points.

By collectively vaccinating ourselves against influenza, we enhance patient and associate safety across our organization and communities. Remember, an individual with no flu symptoms may still be a carrier and unknowingly spread it to patients, coworkers, visitors, and family members.

Thank you for your commitment to patient and associate safety through flu vaccination.

Ongoing Cybersecurity Risks – Phishing

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, criminals have used the crisis as a basis for increased attacks on computer systems, including phishing campaigns. These attacks are organized and often specifically target healthcare systems or individuals to collect sensitive business or personal information.  

Phishing is a constant threat, but there is also a seasonality to cyberattacks, with more coming during traditional vacation times, when criminals assume defenses are lowered and staffing may vary due to time off. As organizations, including MedStar Health, navigate a new normal, experts anticipate new email phishing attacks attempting to exploit changes, such as adjustments to revised workflows and remote working arrangements.

Associate vigilance is among our best defense strategies for savvy attackers who prompt associates to provide personal information or passwords, click on or open malicious links or attachments, or transfer money. Attacks can come through phishing emails, texts or voice calls to a workstation, smartphone or other device.

Malicious senders may spoof a known source for COVID-19 information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MedStar Human Resources, or a local school district or government office. Phishing attempts may also come from from vendors purporting to have or sell Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

To avoid these risks, always follow these important recommendations: 

  • Take your time when reviewing email or text messages. Use caution before you click!
  • Be alert for phishing messages in your email inbox. Since phishing emails arrive from outside of the network, determine whether the email is legitimate. All external emails include a tag of [EXTERNAL] in the email subject line and a banner:

** ATTENTION: This email originated from outside the MedStar network.
** DO NOT CLICK links or attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

  • If you don’t know the sender and it looks suspicious, delete the email. Do not click on any attachments or links within the body of the email.
  • Look for spoofed addresses. For example, if an email appears to come from an associate and the sender’s address is not @medstar.net, it is not a legitmate email.
  • If you receive a text message from a number you do not know, delete the text message. Do not click on any links within the text message.
  • Report suspicious emails to [email protected]. Call the IS Service Desk at 877-777-8787 with any questions.

Thank you for your efforts to protect our network, data, systems, and organization.

Increased Cybersecurity Risks Related to COVID-19

Since March, organized crime and other threat actors have used the COVID-19 crisis as a basis for increased attacks on computer systems and phishing campaigns designed to obtain sensitive or personal information. 

Through social engineering, these threat actors attempt to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by prompting associates to provide personal information or passwords, click on or open malicious links or attachments, or transfer money. These attacks can come through phishing emails, texts or voice calls to a workstation, smartphone, or other devices.

The threat actor may spoof a known source for COVID-19 information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), MedStar Human Resources, or a local school district. Phishing attempts may also come from vendors purporting to have or sell Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other supplies. 

To avoid these risks, follow these important recommendations: 

  • Take your time when reviewing email or text messages. Be careful before you click!
  • Be alert for phishing messages in your email inbox. Since phishing emails arrive from outside of the network, determine whether the email is legitimate. All external emails include a tag of [EXTERNAL] in the email subject line and a banner:

** ATTENTION: This email originated from outside the MedStar network.
** DO NOT CLICK links or attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

  • If you don’t know the sender and it looks suspicious, delete the email. Do not click on any attachments or links within the body of the email. 
  • Look for spoofed addresses. For example, if an email appears to come from an associate and the sender’s address is not @medstar.net, it is not a legitimate email.
  • If you receive a text message from a number you do not know, delete the text message. Do not click on any links within the text message. 
  • Report suspicious emails to [email protected] or [email protected]. Call the IS Service Desk at 877-777-8787 with any questions.

Thank you for your efforts to protect our network, important data, systems, and organization.

Honoring SPIRIT at MHRI: First Quarter 2020

Theresa Moriarty was awarded the SPIRIT of Excellence Award for the first quarter of 2020 during MHRI's April virtual town hall meeting.

Theresa, known as Terry, is a Research Nurse Coordinator for MedStar Clinical Research Center at MedStar Health Research Institute. She was selected by our Executive Committee, based on KUDOS submissions during the first quarter (January through March) of 2020. 

Ron Migues, Executive Director for MedStar Medical and Surgical Research Network said “Terry knows the protocols inside and out, back and forth. You truly are a role model associate and are someone any member of the team can look up to and for guidance.” 

Terry was recognized for her excellent work in support of the many clinical trials she puts her all into and for always being a true team player and making herself available to assist where needed.  There were a number of KUDOS submitted that spoke highly of Terry and make this award well deserved:

  • “Terry, I truly want to thank you for all the time and work spent on teaching me to become a research nurse. There is not a better mentor/ teacher/ preceptor that I could have worked with.”
  • “Terry I cannot thank you enough for your dedication and guidance during this very difficult time.  I really don't know how we could have pulled it off without you.”
  • “Terry, you are a great help, and prompt to reply back. You are an awesome team player. I can always count on you. MHRI should be very proud of you.”
  • "Terry, you deserve all the kudos for leading the charge getting the Regeneron-sponsored COVID-19 clinical trial going, on the ground. You have made MedStar proud being counted amongst the top enrolling sites for the study, all because of your tireless commitment to seeing to the success of this study at MWHC/MHRI. This has been an example for the rest of us on the team to follow, and we will work as diligently as you have shown to make sure your outstanding contribution is not in vain."
  • “Theresa, thank you for all of your assistance with pre-screening patients for SELECT. You are appreciated”
  • “Thanks, Terry, for your continued excellent work in support of the Sarilumab study and your consideration for co-workers and patients.  You consistently display the highest level of compassion and professionalism in all that you do.  Your willingness to do whatever is required to ensure that studies you are involved with are conducted in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards is a model for us all.”

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. 

Terry, thank you for your dedication  to advancing health and your commitment to MedStar Health's SPIRIT values. You are part of what makes MedStar Health great!

 

Celebrating Nurses at MedStar Health and the Research Institute

Join MedStar Health in recognizing the work of our nurses during National Nurses Week, from May 6 to 12, 2020. As our nurses continue to care for patients in the new world with COVID-19, MedStar Health will be featuring some of our nurses’ stories on our social media accounts, as a way to highlight their above-and-beyond care and show our gratitude. Stories will be shared from all over the MedStar Health system.

Because one week is not enough, the American Nurses Association will celebrate nurses for the entire month of May. In honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, commonly considered the founder of modern nursing research, the World Health Organization has declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. We want to celebrate and thank nurses throughout our system for their commitment to patient and associate care and wellness.

Joan K. Bardsley, MBA, RN, assistant vice president at MHRI, serves as MHRI’s representative to MedStar’s Chief Nursing Council and the Nursing Research Council. Ms. Bardsley says, “Nursing needs are met from multiple perspectives. Our MHRI nurses have shown incredible flexibility and tenacity to ensure our research participants are safe. Our nurses are supporting COVID-19 projects that will help us learn more about this pandemic in the future. In addition, many have volunteered for projects to call associates with testing results and advising on follow up. It is gratifying that so many are having the opportunity to learn about what our nurses do in general and how they contribute to research.”

During National Nurses Week, we would like to extend a special thanks to all our clinical research nurses, and all nurses in the MedStar Health system, as they continue to provide the highest level of quality care to our patients. They are critical in helping provide the best care to our community and are dedicated to advancing health. We appreciate you for what you do.