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  • January 06, 2022

    Christine R. Wray announces Jan. 2022 retirement after 42 years of service in healthcare

    CLINTON, Md.Christine R. Wray, FACHE, president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital who also serves as a senior vice president for MedStar Health, announced that she will be retiring on January 28, 2022.

    Wray was named president of MedStar Southern Maryland in September 2014, two years after MedStar Health acquired the hospital located in the Clinton area of Prince George’s County. With Wray at the helm, MedStar Southern Maryland saw the development and growth of several new service lines.

    In 2016, the hospital received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, having ranked among the top 50 of best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery. In 2017, MedStar Southern Maryland joined the prestigious MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Alliance. Wray also helped facilitate the opening of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in February 2020. This 25,000 square foot facility offers unmatched medical expertise, leading-edge therapies, and access to robust clinical research, all under the same roof.

    Moreover, the construction of MedStar Southern Maryland’s new Emergency Department (ED) expansion project took place under Wray’s leadership, and remained on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The $43 million ED expansion project has been deemed the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The new emergency department opened its doors in April 2021 to provide local residents with seamless access to the most advanced care.

    Wray’s focus on providing quality care has helped MedStar Southern Maryland build a foundation of excellence that will serve local communities for decades to come. MedStar Southern Maryland is grateful for the innumerable and lasting contributions that Wray made throughout her 42-year healthcare career.

    “I have so cherished working with all of you in our commitment and service to our wonderful communities. It has truly been an honor and a privilege,” Wray said in an announcement that was emailed to hospital associates. “Please always be proud of the work you do and how you care for each other as you care for our patients. It is incredibly important work and you are the best of the best!

    Dr. Stephen Michaels, who currently serves as the chief operating and medical officer for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, will take over as president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

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  • January 02, 2017
    At CROI2017, MedStar Health Research Institute researchers presented new data on hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive non-baby boomers.
  • January 02, 2017
    Neil Weissman, MD, commented on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of an important label update for an echocardiogram contrast agent.
  • January 01, 2017

    COLUMBIA, Maryland (November 1, 2017)—MedStar Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, has elected William J. Oetgen, MD, to a two-year term as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Oetgen has served on the MedStar Health Board since 2005, including as Chair of the Finance Committee and Vice Chair of the Audit and Compliance, and Executive Compensation committees. Since 2013, he has been the Vice Chair of the Board.

     “MedStar Health and the communities we serve are fortunate to have such distinguished and respected individuals serving on our Board of Directors,” said MedStar President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth A. Samet, FACHE. “Dr. Oetgen continues this tradition, bringing valuable insights as a physician and clinical leader, along with his knowledge of MedStar and his service in healthcare governance,” he said. 

    Dr. Oetgen commented, “MedStar Health has a noble mission to serve patients, those who care for them and the community that surrounds us. I am honored to be elected to this position and to have the opportunity to work with MedStar and the other distinguished members of the board in furthering that mission.”

    A cardiologist by training, Dr. Oetgen currently is Executive Vice President for Science & Quality, Education, and Publications at the American College of Cardiology.  He also is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

    Dr. Oetgen succeeds William R. Roberts, who served as Board Chairman from 2013 to 2017. “MedStar is truly grateful for Bill Roberts’ service and leadership for the past four years, and looks forward to his continued service and guidance as the Past Chair of the Board,” Samet added.

    About MedStar Health

     MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit

  • December 22, 2016

    Seven-Year old Gains Hand and Arm Function with Limb Lengthening Technique Using Toe Bone

    Ryan Katz, MD with Lal Ding
    Ryan Katz, MD with Lal Ding

    Baltimore — (December 21, 2016) — With a complex microsurgery that has never before been performed in the United States, surgeons Ryan Katz, MD, and James Higgins MD, from the Curtis National Hand Center (CNHC) at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital have advanced the treatment of congenital radial dysplasia, known as “radial club hand.” The groundbreaking approach uses bones, a joint, and growth plates from the patient's foot. The boy, Lal Ding, who will turn eight on New Year’s Day, now stands on the threshold of his new life with a functioning right arm and hand.

    As in most cases of radial club hand, Lal was born without a thumb, a significantly shortened forearm, and a hand that was bent dramatically toward the thumb-side of his wrist. Traditionally, this problem would have been treated by surgically centralizing the hand on the wrist and fixing it in a straighter position.  Though such a classic approach temporarily improves the overall hand aesthetic, it does not improve function, it impairs future forearm growth, and does not stand the test of time – often resulting in deformity recurrence.

    Helping Lal achieve the best functional and aesthetic result was a three-stage process that began with a pollicization procedure that had successfully repositioned his index finger to serve as a thumb. The next step involved using a distraction device to extend the length of the forearm, straighten the wrist and create a space in which the joint and growth plates from the child’s second toe can be transplanted.

    In September, Simo Vilkke, MD, a Finnish microsurgeon and architect of the new technique, travelled to Baltimore to collaborate with the CNHC surgical team for the third and most complex stage – the toe transfer.  At that time, the child’s second toe with its vascular supply, was removed and transferred to the arm to definitively straighten the wrist and provide new growth plates and a joint to allow for balanced longitudinal growth and wrist motion.  This case is unique in that the vascularized toe was used to construct a full length radius - restoring for the child a two-bone forearm.

    Lal’s arm has gained nearly two inches in length; is now straighter, balanced, healed and growing as he grows. This New Year’s Day, as Lal celebrates his birthday, he and his family can look forward to a future bright with new potential, opportunity, and hope. 

    For more information on the Curtis National Hand Center or the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, please visit

    About The Curtis National Hand Center

    Since 1975, people all over the world have placed their hands in ours – The Curtis National Hand Center. From repairing traumatic injuries to treating repetitive motion injuries, arthritic conditions and congenital differences, our goal is to restore the patient's use of the hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder to the greatest degree possible. Our long history of experience, outstanding medical staff, and state-of-the-art facilities combine to create a treatment center that is the first choice in caring for the hand or arm, no matter how common or complex.

    Today, The Curtis National Hand Center is recognized as the largest, most experienced hand center in the nation. In fact, the hand center was designated by Congress as the National Center for the Treatment of the Hand and Upper Extremity.

    About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

    MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the only hand center designated by Congress as The National Center for the Treatment of Hand and Upper Extremity; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the oldest hospital based Sports Medicine Program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

    MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and CARF-accredited in Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

    MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

    For more information, visit

  • December 22, 2016

    Washington Capitals Bring Holiday Cheer to Pediatric Patients

    “It’s the best day on earth!” said Joe Miller, a 6-year-old battling a rare blood disorder, who says he is a huge fan of the Washington Capitals.

    It was a sea of red in the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic as Caps players visited with patients and their families. The Players autographed jerseys and hats and helped with various art projects. The young patients, parents and siblings were excited to see their favorite players take time off the ice for the visit.

    The Capitals teamed up with Hope for Henry and its founder Laurie Strongin whose son was treated at MedStar Georgetown 14 years ago. Addressing the team she said, “My son Henry was a total Caps fan. You guys made so many people happy today. It’s so hard to be in the hospital during the holiday season.” 

    Many kids enjoyed playing with Play-Doh, including 4-year-old Brock Ludwigson who was diagnosed with a rare cancer when he was 12 months old. Defensemen #88, Nate Schmidt was helping him make planets with the Play-Doh. “We’re all having a great time. I haven’t played with Play-Doh in awhile. The kids have been through so much, yet they still are smiling and having a good time. It’s an enlightening experience for me,” said Schmidt.

    Players handed out hats and caps through Ellie’s Hats and everyone enjoyed treats from Georgetown Cupcake.syringe-painting

    The Caps invited the children to create portraits of the players for a fundraising project for Tracy’s Kids, which helps young patients cope with cancer through art. Kids completed the portraits at the party by squirting paint through a syringe onto the white spaces of the canvas.

    19-year-old Charlotte Hay, who was treated for leukemia at MedStar Georgetown, drew a portrait of T.J. Oshie. “I’m a hardcore Caps fan. Not just a little fan. They’re such nice players, such great guys.”

    -Shannon McCarthy


  • December 21, 2016
    Curtis National Hand Surgeon is First in State to Earn Specialty Certification

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