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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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    A Major and Rare Patient Safety Milestone Celebrated

    Washington, D.C., August 3, 2015 – The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at MedStar Washington Hospital Center reached a remarkable safety milestone last Friday, July 31: three years with zero Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) in its tiniest and most vulnerable babies.

    While three years CLABSI-free is extraordinary for any intensive care unit, what makes this accomplishment so remarkable is that these babies “are so small and fragile it makes it easier for infection to spread,” said Zacharia Cherian, MD, chairman of Neonatology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “In addition, their immune systems are still immature, so fighting off infection is much more difficult than for a healthy baby.”

    The NICU team at the Hospital Center spent several years perfecting a sophisticated process for inserting a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) into the tiny patients. These lines are used for continuous infusion of nutrition and medication, and the long-term placement of PICC lines can create opportunities for infections. 

    A dedicated team of specially trained nurses handles all PICC line insertions in the NICU, and all nurses on the unit are trained in the special dressing changes and cleaning process for neonates with a PICC line. Special precautions are taken when placing the line or changing the dressing. One nurse performs the procedure, while the other monitors every step, making certain all sterile processes are followed.

    “This is a team effort. Everyone here is involved in keeping the environment clean and keeping our littlest patients free from infection,” said Nuncia Dimagnaong, RN, one of the PICC line nurses in the NICU. “It takes all of us.”

    “We have a very focused team, says Jacquelyn Bell-Benton, BSN, MSNc, IBCLC, the hospital director of the NICU. “At one point we almost reached two years, but then we had one infection. So, we reevaluated our processes, and aimed for one year, then two years and now three years without a single infection. I am so proud of our entire team.”

    MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s NICU is a 20-bed, Level IIIa neonatology unit that treats approximately 850 patients per year.

    To learn more about the NICU team’s recipe for success, please view video below.

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