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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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  • November 16, 2020

    The Greater Baltimore Regional Integrated Crisis System (GBRICS) Partnership will invest $45 million to minimize 911 calls, emergency department visits, and police interactions.

    Columbia, MD - MedStar Health is pleased to announce its participation in the Greater Baltimore Regional Integrated Crisis System (GBRICS) Partnership. GBRICS is working to expand community-based behavioral health services in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, and Howard County that can serve as an alternative to calling 911, visiting an emergency department, or interacting with police during a behavioral health crisis.

    Over the next five years, GBRICS will award $45 million in funding made available by the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) Regional Partnership Catalyst Grant Program. The partnership aims to create a regional behavioral health hotline to provide real-time care during a crisis, ensure 24/7 access to mobile crisis teams (MCT) capable of in-home crisis response services, and help outpatient providers interested in providing behavioral health services among other expansions of care.

    “Often when someone is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, they end up in the ED, but that isn’t necessarily the best place for them. With GBRICS, we are coming together to reimagine the crisis response system so we can take care of our communities in a better way,” said MedStar Health Vice President of Clinical Care Transformation Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD. “We want to support people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis with streamlined access to quality services – avoiding unnecessary trips to the ED and connecting to the appropriate services in a timely manner. This effort represents an unprecedented partnership between hospitals and numerous other stakeholders across four counties, to improve care for some of our most vulnerable populations.”

    Alongside behavioral health leaders, 17 hospitals are collaborating on the partnership including MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, and MedStar Harbor Hospital. Every year, hospitals in Baltimore and surrounding counties see 58,000 emergency department visits from patients suffering from mental illness or a substance use disorder.

    “GBIRCS is a game changer for how our region seeks to advance health care for the communities we serve. We’ve found that the top patient need across the Baltimore region is access to mental health and substance use services. This work will allow our region to respond to these needs, bringing together collective resources and assets to create more access points and provide better care,” said MedStar Health Director of Community Health Ryan Moran, MHSA.

    “Alternatives to hospital-based services have been evolving for decades as we work to provide comprehensive outpatient behavioral health care,” said MedStar Health Senior Associate Executive Director for Behavioral Health Services Elias Shaya, MD. “Homelessness, unemployment, legal entanglements, and premature deaths caused by mental illness and substance use disorders can be prevented. We at MedStar Health are excited to be partners in GBRICS, working to meet patients where they are with early community-based interventions that help prevent these complications.”

    GBRICS planning and development will begin on January 1, 2021, including the establishment of the GBRICS Council to support implementation and sustainability. The expansion of behavioral health services and crisis response resources in Baltimore and three surrounding counties will start in the third year of the project.

  • November 12, 2020

    MedStar Washington Hospital Center First in D.C. and Central Maryland to Adopt HeartFlow Diagnostic Tool

    Washington D.C., – MedStar Washington Hospital Center became first in Washington, D.C. and central Maryland to adopt the HeartFlow® Analysis, a first-of-its-kind non-invasive technology to help physicians diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease.

    CAD is the leading cause of death for both men and women. It develops when cholesterol builds up in the arteries and blocks blood flow, causing chest pain or heart attacks.

    Many of the non-invasive tests available today have low accuracy rates in detecting CAD and studies have shown there is a need to improve how the disease is evaluated and diagnosed. A recent study found more than half of patients with suspected CAD who underwent an invasive coronary angiogram (ICA) had no need for intervention, since no blood flow-limiting blockage was found during the procedure.

    “Historically, cardiac CT has emerged as a powerful and accurate tool to detect coronary artery disease, but it has a limitation in that it cannot sometimes determine how significant of blockage the cholesterol buildup is causing in the arteries,” said Gaby Weissman, MD, section chief of Clinical Cardiology with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “The HeartFlow Analysis changes this paradigm, allowing us to assess the coronary anatomy, blockages to the coronary arteries, and importantly, the physiological significance of those findings, all with one test. This provides essential information that can help us determine the right approach for a patient through a convenient, non-invasive platform.” 

    The HeartFlow Analysis takes the patient’s CT scans and creates a personalized 3D model of the patient’s coronary arteries. It then uses powerful computer algorithms to simulate blood flow and assess the extent and the impact of blockages on blood flow to the heart. This detailed information helps doctors determine the next steps in treatment for the patient.

    The HeartFlow Analysis has been used for over 60,000 patients with suspected heart disease. In clinical trials, using the HeartFlow Analysis helped identify which patients do and do not need invasive treatment.

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    About MedStar Washington Hospital Center:
    MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The Hospital Center operates the Washington region’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center and the District’s only Cardiac Ventricular Assist Device program, both certified by The Joint Commission. The hospital is also home to MedSTAR, a nationally verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.

  • November 02, 2020

    Washington, D.C., – MedStar Health is honored to announce a generous gift of $4 million from local philanthropists Amy and Alan Meltzer. Mr. Meltzer is CEO and Founder of the NFP | The Meltzer Group, a Bethesda, Md.-based insurance brokerage firm. The gift will support research, training and new technology acquisition for the Comprehensive Stroke Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

    “My wife and I are making this gift in gratitude for the exceptional care I received from the stroke team of doctors and nurses at MedStar Washington Hospital Center,” said Mr. Meltzer. “The treatment they provided helped me to resume a relatively normal life within days of my stroke.”

    Mr. Meltzer was transferred to MedStar Washington Hospital Center after being hospitalized for a stroke in April 2018. Remarkably, only four days after having a stroke, he returned home to his family fully recovered. His lifesaving care experience with the Comprehensive Stroke Center team motivated him to help others who may be afflicted by a stroke. 

    “We are very proud of the amazing care given to all patients by our Comprehensive Stroke Center team,” said MedStar Washington Hospital Center President Gregory J. Argyros, MD. “With vascular disease on the rise, especially with young adults, the generous gift provided by Mr. and Mrs. Meltzer will definitely be put to good use and help us continue to provide the highest quality stroke care to everyone.”

    The Meltzers’ gift will be allocated into three areas: 

    • $1.5 million to support training, education, and certification for nurses
    • $1.25 million to support the acquisition of advanced stroke, neuroscience, and vascular surgery equipment and technology
    • $1.25 million to support neuroscience research

    “We are humbled by this generous gift from Amy and Alan Meltzer in support of MedStar Health and the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Stroke Team that has saved countless lives,” added Kenneth A. Samet, President and Chief Executive Officer of MedStar Health. “Even with today’s advancements in stroke care, this gift allows for the discovery of new diagnostic techniques and treatment options and ultimately, helps stroke survivors thrive.”   

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    About MedStar Washington Hospital Center:
    MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The Hospital Center operates the Washington region’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center and the District’s only Cardiac Ventricular Assist Device program, both certified by The Joint Commission. The hospital is also home to MedSTAR, a nationally verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.

  • October 26, 2020
    As Emergency Departments (EDs) work to best address unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, a study recently published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine by a multidisciplinary MedStar Health team details how integrating telehealth into the ED workflow can reduce healthcare provider infection risk, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and ED length of stay (LOS), among other benefits.
  • October 13, 2020
    MedStar Washington Hospital Center is First in the U.S. to Use Cirq Technology
  • September 16, 2020

    Hyattsville, MD — MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare will be developing computational algorithms and software tools to make the reporting and analysis of patient safety event reports easier in order to improve patient safety. This work is funded through an R01 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The four-year, $1.5 million award is led by principal investigator Raj Ratwani, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, MedStar Health Research Institute and Director, MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare.

    The research will focus on developing artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to classify medication related safety event reports into actionable medication error categories and creating prototype software that will help safety analysts more easily identify meaningful safety patterns. The team will pilot test the software with safety analysts from hospitals and patient safety organizations.

    “Our goal is to apply powerful computational approaches and intuitively designed software tools to tens of thousands of patients safety event reports to make healthcare safer for all patients,” said Dr. Ratwani. “Through this grant we will have the opportunity to make it easier to report on safety hazards and easier to analyze those reports so patterns can be identified and effective interventions can be developed to reduce risks to patients.”

    The multi-disciplinary research team has experience in computer science, safety science, user-centered design, and human factors. As part of the academic healthcare system approach at MedStar Health, the team will be collaborating with the computer science department at Georgetown University. In addition, two patient safety organizations are part of the team to support data analysis and software tool development and testing.

    This work builds on previous efforts of Dr. Ratwani and the Center, including a past AHRQ R03, and an R01 from the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with Virginia Tech. Awarded in 2019, the R01 work is focused on developing novel statistical methods to analyze unstructured text in patient safety event reports and to identify temporal trends and patterns in the data. Additionally, this work builds on the Center’s contract with the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority to conduct clinical analysis of safety reports.

    R01 awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are among the most prestigious grant mechanisms. The Center has been awarded 6 multi-year R01 awards, which are all focused on improving patient safety.

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    About MedStar Human Factors
    The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The Center is part of the MedStar Health Research Institute and is also affiliated with the MedStar Institute for Innovation and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.

    About MedStar Health Research Institute
    MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit www.MedStarResearch.org.

    About MedStar Health
    At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

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