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.
June 24, 2020
Philanthropic investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to support building a holistic and integrated care model for D.C. mothers and young childrenWASHINGTON—MedStar Health is grateful to announce a transformative philanthropic partnership with the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to establish the D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative in the Washington, D.C., region. This milestone philanthropic partnership brings together nationally recognized experts and care in the fields of women’s health, family medicine, behavioral health, and pediatrics at both MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
“We are thrilled to have received such a generous philanthropic commitment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. Their support, combined with the incredible capabilities of our world-class clinicians and caregivers will have a significant impact on improving and enhancing care for moms and babies in the D.C. area,” said Kenneth A. Samet, President and Chief Executive Officer of MedStar Health. “There is no way this program could have been initiated without their generous investment, and we are exceptionally grateful for their partnership with us.”
“We are proud to announce this investment in MedStar as a major part of our commitment to improving maternal and child health outcomes in Washington, D.C., A child’s early years are a springboard to opportunity and a healthy, thriving future,” said Joe Del Guercio, Clark Foundation President and CEO.
“The Clark Foundation’s goal for our investments is to make an impact not only at a family level, but at a community level and beyond. Because MedStar is already a trusted health provider for so many moms and babies in Washington, D.C., this initiative is uniquely positioned to have a broad impact with its focus on social determinants of health, its innovative service delivery, and its partnerships with community-based providers.”
This collaborative vision is fulfilling an essential need to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in the nation’s capital, an area that currently ranks among the worst in the United States.
“As important as addressing these critical needs is how MedStar Health will approach them,” said Angela Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA, assistant vice president, Healthcare Delivery Research, MedStar Health Research Institute. “With an established presence and deep expertise in treating an incredibly diverse set of patients, developing culturally competent and appropriate forms of testing and treatment is a central focus of this new initiative.”
Janine A. Rethy, MD, MPH, division chief, Community Pediatrics, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital explained the importance of this partnership and initiative. “We need to be doing more for families and communities that are most vulnerable so that we can meet our mission of every child and mother having the opportunity to be healthy and to thrive.”
Building a System of Collaboration
This new initiative is a collaboration among four MedStar Health clinical programs that will come together to create a variety of services and programs that address the needs facing pregnant women, as well as their infants and toddlers. Services include everything from diabetes control and mental health services for mothers as well as prenatal and postpartum care, breast feeding, health screenings, and nutrition. The care network team at MedStar Health will include:
- Women and Infants’ Services, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
- Community Pediatrics, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
- Family Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
The Women and Infants’ Services patient population is composed predominantly of African American residents of Wards 5, 7, and 8. The prevalence of stillborn deliveries and infant mortality overall is almost four times higher for African American mothers than white mothers for those treated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Based on projections, the D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative will serve approximately 3,600 pregnant women each year.
“The Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative brings something powerful to mothers and infants by integrating services critical for achieving optimal birth outcomes, but are not traditionally provided within the healthcare system,” Loral Patchen, PhD, vice chair, Innovation and Community Programs, Obstetrics and Gynecology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said. “These services directly address social determinants, such as food insecurity and transportation. And perhaps more importantly, our approach of offering an environment where women feel safe interacting with the healthcare system and are able to build trusting relationships with their health care team is more likely.”
Matthew Biel, MD, chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital said, “At the heart of this incredible initiative is the opportunity to create patient experiences that feel coherent, cohesive, and integrated. We can achieve true, long-lasting positive health outcomes through holistic and multi-generational approaches for our patients and their families. This means also focusing our work to support the mental health of children and parents, particularly in the context of adversity and trauma. Our focus is on caring for the whole person, including attention to their physical, emotional, and behavioral well-being, and promoting a sense of security and stability.”
“Providing comprehensive patient-centered care for every family has always been our goal,” said Michelle Roett, MD, MPH, FAAFP, CPE, professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine, director of the DC Area Health Education Center (AHEC), co-medical director, HOYA Clinic, and clinical chief of Family Medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms is a tremendous opportunity to achieve highly coordinated care for mothers and children where they seek care, and integrate behavioral health, maternity care, and primary care to improve outcomes for families in need. Immediate access to expert primary care physicians, psychologists, maternal fetal medicine and more, will have an extremely positive impact for our patients’ well-being and overall health.”
Supporting Communities of Today and Tomorrow
A critical aspect of the D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative is the proposed use of algorithmic screening of electronic medical records to identify high-risk patients. Throughout the program, a team of scientists from the MedStar Health Research Institute will help with evidence-based design, analysis of health economics, implementation and data science, and health equity research.
Neil Weissman, MD, chief scientific officer, MedStar Health, and president, MedStar Health Research Institute said, “Through this partnership with the Clark Foundation, we’re able to create positive and sustainable change that will improve the health of mothers and children in D.C. This partnership allows us to bring together the best of academics and medical care to advance health today and discover ways for future generations to have a healthy life tomorrow.”
The $27 million philanthropic investment by the Clark Foundation is the largest philanthropic gift ever made to MedStar Health. To further support this mission, MedStar Health has committed to raising an additional $3 million for the D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative. This leadership gift is helping to build momentum for the D.C. Safe Moms Safe Babies initiative which has already secured multiple, strong community partners who also are contributing in transformative ways.
Since its founding in 1987, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the D.C. area. With a mission to expand opportunities for those who demonstrate the drive and determination to better themselves and their communities, the foundation focuses on nonprofit organizations that have a strong infrastructure and programmatic vision that will succeed for generations to come.
MedStar Health is grateful to forge this collaboration among the philanthropy team, clinical partners, and visionaries at the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. Through the foundation’s vision, coupled with the vast capabilities and expertise at MedStar Health, vital treatments and services will advance to new heights and expand to a patient population that is in critical need.
Through a patient’s participation in the continuum of care offered by D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms, MedStar Health providers will be able to promote social equality and health equity, advance efforts to promote health, and ensure high quality care for all women and infants. Successful implementation of this initiative may become a model for the city on how to improve maternal and infant health.
Stephen Evans, MD, executive vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, MedStar Health said, “Our cross-disciplinary, integrated care team of not just the best and brightest minds in MedStar Health but also those within our community partners, will provide real-life solutions to moms, babies, and families that address not only their medical needs, but also their social needs, access needs, and more. Couple this dynamic care team with nationally recognized data scientists, analysts, health economists, and implementation scientists and we have an innovative model of care delivery for maternal and infant care that redefines how we teach, how we learn, and how we treat people. None of this would have been possible without this transformative philanthropic support from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. Thank you to their team and Board members for choosing to become our lead philanthropic partner in this incredibly important initiative.”
May 01, 2020
LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has been awarded an “A” in the spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing achievements of facilities in providing safer health care. This is the fourth consecutive time MedStar St. Mary’s has earned this honor.
The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns letter grades to more than 2,000 U.S. acute-care hospitals in six-month cycles. Leapfrog assesses how well facilities prevent medical errors, injuries, accidents, and other harm through up to 28 measures of publicly-available safety data. Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, with results free to the public at HospitalSafetyGrade.org.
“The credit for this distinction continues to go to our hardworking staff. Now more than ever, we are so impressed with the work they are doing each day to ensure patient safety remains our top priority,” said Christine Wray, president of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.
“As the nation copes with a challenging pandemic, our gratitude extends to hospital leadership and healthcare workers everywhere for their tremendous dedication,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We hope this ‘A’ helps to thank the people who work and volunteer for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. They are role models in putting patients first, and their service has been extraordinary in our country’s time of need.”
May 01, 2020MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and United Spinal DC Announce COVID-19 Emergency Support ProgramProgram is for people who are living with spinal cord injuries or disease
March 11, 2020
Clinton, MD — On Thursday, February 27, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center celebrated the opening of its new cancer center, MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new cancer center combines unmatched medical expertise, leading-edge therapies, and robust clinical research to provide the best possible care to people who live and work in Prince George’s County and the Southern Maryland region.
“The cancer center we are formally opening today is a beautiful new facility that combines state-of-the-art technology with a peaceful and healing environment. Our multidisciplinary team of dedicated cancer experts works together to provide the latest, evidence-based therapies to treat cancer,” said Christine Wray, president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and MedStar Health senior vice president.
Hospital officials were joined by many state and local leaders, including Senator Thomas V. Miller, Jr., Maryland senate president emeritus; Dr. Ernest Carter, health officer of the Prince George’s County Health Department; Dr. Louis M. Weiner, director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute; and Dr. Stephen “Eric” Rubenstein, medical director of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. The ceremony also included remarks from cancer survivors Nomoya Malcolm and Bruce Rowe, both of whom received treatment at the center.
“I am so excited about this cancer center opening up in Prince George’s County, and it’s just so incredible that MedStar had the vision to allow our residents to stay here in the county to get their services done,” Dr. Carter said of the cancer center.
The new facility offers 25,000 square feet of treatment space. Notable capabilities include a state-of-the-art infusion center with eight treatment bays and a brand-new women’s imaging suite, with on-site DEXA bone density scans, ultrasound, and 3D mammography.
The center’s robust radiation therapy includes technologies that are not available anywhere else nearby. They include Zap-X®, the first radiosurgery system of its kind on the East Coast, which is dedicated to the treatment of brain, head and neck cancers. The facility also offers Halcyon™, a new kind of radiotherapy offering faster, more accurate treatment. The cancer program’s goal is to provide full-service cancer care, from screening and diagnosis all the way through to survivorship.
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s cancer program recently received full, three-year accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). This designation recognizes the hospital for providing quality, comprehensive care using a multidisciplinary approach. Fewer than one-third of cancer programs in the country are CoC accredited.
Because the center is part of MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute, patients also have access to clinical trials offered through the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only institution in the Washington, DC metropolitan region designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
“This is what happens when dreams come true,” said Dr. Weiner. “We can do what’s really important: we can deliver tomorrow’s treatments today, delivering what I believe is research-inspired cancer care. And instead of people having to get that care by coming into the city, wherever that city is, they can get it close to home.”
March 02, 2020COPIC Medical Foundation Awards Grant to MedStar Health for Resident Training Program in Patient SafetyThe MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety has been awarded a grant by the COPIC Medical Foundation to provide scholarships to resident physicians to attend the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety summer program.
February 26, 2020MedStar Health is launching the first patient-facing, interactive heart risk calculator that will be integrated in its patients’ electronic health records (EHRs). An estimated 575 cardiologists and other doctors across the system will be able to more easily show patients their personal risk for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases over time using easy-to-read graphics. This assessment will help doctors recommend lifestyle choices to improve patients’ heart health, a topic that is top of mind each February during American Heart Month.