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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 20, 2020
    UMBC President Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, to be Guest Speaker
  • January 19, 2020

    Hyattsville, MD -Researchers from MedStar Health are partnering with IBM (Global Business Services and Watson Health) to develop a program for post-market safety and effectiveness surveillance for biologic adverse events. At MedStar Health, the work will be led by Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD, MS, and Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, and will leverage the informatics capabilities of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare to support patient outcomes through safety surveillance for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Biologics Effectiveness and Safety initiative is led by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) as part of the overarching Sentinel initiative across the US FDA.

    Leveraging machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing, among other methods, the team will work on developing and automating post-market safety reports for CBER-regulated products which include blood transfusion products and vaccines. The work will integrate an expanding pool of data sources, including 10 million or more electronic health records, in order to define adverse events. The work will also include development to provide a tool for semi-automated patient chart review to conduct validation studies for product safety and effectiveness. The long-term vision of the project is to produce a system capable of robust automated reporting that can scale across provider networks and biologic product areas. MedStar Health’s research efforts leverage real-world prototyping to efficiently identify and assess the challenges and feasibility of constructing such a complex system.

    “This collaboration highlights both the feasibility and challenges involved in automating the reporting of biologic adverse events. Our goal is to produce health information technology tools to reduce the reporting burden on healthcare providers and make it more likely that the FDA will receive accurate and timely adverse event reports,” said Dr. Miller “The information collected in this process will support improved analytics and research and help the FDA to protect biologic product safety and improve patient outcomes.”

    Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD MS, is the medical director and director of cognitive informatics at the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, is the scientific director of the center, which is the largest human factors engineering program embedded within a healthcare system in the United States.

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    About the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
    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 Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute 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
    The 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.

  • January 17, 2020
    (Columbia, MD) MedStar Health is committed to delivering the highest levels of quality, safe care for our patients throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Equally important is the safety of our physicians, nurses and associates. The community spread of COVID-19 requires that we take unprecedented measures to ensure these goals. With these important priorities in mind, starting Thursday, March 19 we are postponing all elective procedures and surgeries across MedStar Health. This decision was made after thoughtful consideration and planning, including how we best use our resources to meet the needs of our patients balanced against mitigating risk to our patients, associates and families. Our department leaders and our physicians will make case-by-case decisions using the specific clinical circumstances of each of our patients. We will be reaching out to our patients in the event their care will be affected.
  • January 13, 2020

    The Office of Research Integrity has been actively supporting research teams regarding the possible need for changes to research activities during COVID-19.

    MedStar Health Research Institute has been working with MedStar Health Corporate Compliance and the Georgetown HRPP team to develop joint guidance for the MedStar Health Research Institute, Georgetown University Medical Center, and Georgetown University Main Campus.

    This guidance will require revision as conditions change. We will keep you informed of any updates to this guidance as they are available. 

    As always, if you have any questions or concerns with this guidance, please contact ORI for clarification or additional guidance.

    MHRI Office of Research Integrity
    301-560-2912
    MHRI-ORIHelpDesk@medstar.net
    Jim Boscoe
    Director, Office of Research Integrity, MHRI
    James.H.Boscoe@MedStar.net
    301-821-1530

    Guidance for COVID-19’s Possible Effects on Research Involving Human Subjects (updated March 19, 2020)

    In light of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to sustain our research activities as efficiently as possible, the following guidelines are issued jointly by the Medstar Health Research Institute, and the Georgetown University Medical Center and Main Campus, for the benefit of investigators and associated staff in both institutions. Specific questions relating to IRB practices and procedures should be directed to your home institution's IRB office.

    The guidance/FAQ document can be viewed here.

     

    Guidance for COVID-19 and Emergency Use (updated March 19, 2020)

    We have a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 and want to pursue an Emergency Use of a Test Article. What do we do?  The guidance/FAQ document can be viewed here.

  • January 11, 2020

    Columbia, Maryland – Working in coordination with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the D.C. Department of Health, MedStar Health announced today that it will provide medical and nursing leadership and medical, nursing and clinical staffing for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to serve as an alternate care site to support the District’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Led by John Rockwood, Senior Vice President, MedStar Health, and President, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, the medical team will include physicians, nurses, advanced practice clinicians, lab technicians, pharmacy, and others who will be ready to offer comprehensive care for patients.

    “To ensure we deliver the most medically appropriate and compassionate care at this facility, we have engaged a team from important disciplines across our system who have experience with COVID-19, including pulmonology, nursing, and patient safety,” said Rockwood. “Since MedStar Health serves one in five residents of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., region, it makes sense that we would be part of planning and staffing this large and critical effort.”

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    Once District hospitals reach capacity, adult patients who are mildly ill with COVID-19 but still need a moderate level of care will be admitted to the D.C. Convention Center site. Each patient will receive treatment in a private room with a bed, toiletries, and access to hot showers. Oxygen is available in each of the rooms, if needed.  Six larger “Rapid Response Rooms” with resuscitation equipment are available for patients whose symptoms worsen and need stabilization before returning to the hospital.

    “We hope we never need this facility, but if we do, we’re ready to offer the highest quality care possible to COVID-19 patients,” said Jack Sava, MD, FACS, Chair of Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar’s medical team lead on the alternate care site. “This alternate care facility can serve a key role in treating COVID-19 patients who are mildly ill with the virus. This will free up space in our hospitals to care for the most critically sick patients. We are proud to be a part of this historic public health effort, and we are proud of all the MedStar Health doctors, nurses and others who have been at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”Dr. Jack Sava

    “COVID-19 has been the biggest health care challenge our community has seen in many years,” said Karol Edwards, RN, MHA, Chief Nursing Officer and Assistant Vice President of Operations for MedStar Ambulatory Services and nursing lead for the alternate care site. “However, we have worked hard to assemble a team that is up to meeting this challenge and helping patients transition from the hospital to home as quickly and safely as possible.”

    Following best practices from other COVID-19 alternate care sites, operations will follow a standardized protocol for admitting patients. All staff will be equipped with personal protective equipment and have received additional training on ensuring the health and safety of colleagues and patients.

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    “Our hope is that as Washingtonians continue working together to blunt the spread of COVID-19, we never get to the point of needing to use this site,” said Mayor Bowser. “But if we end up needing additional hospital capacity, these beds are here and ready for patients. We are very grateful for all our federal and local partners, including MedStar Health, who worked to get this site ready to go in just a few weeks.  And we are very grateful for all the people in the community who are making sacrifices and doing their part to save lives and keep our city safe and healthy.”

    “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Mayor Bowser and the incredible work of the Army Corp of Engineers, federal and local partners to build and prepare this alternate care site in such a short amount of time,” said Rockwood.  “This is a historic moment for us to be ready to help our community.”

    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.

  • January 08, 2020

    The way to receive the proper care when you’re ill is to go to the correct doctor who can best address your health care needs.  Developing a long-term relationship with your primary care doctor is very important, but when you are unable to see them, we present a guide that shows when to use our MedStar Health Urgent Care facilities or our Emergency Department.

    When to Go to Your Primary Care Doctor

    Unless you are experiencing a traumatic injury, this should be your first choice.  It is important to have a primary doctor and to schedule regular visits, so that physician gets to know you well and can proactively deal with any health problems before those problems advance.  Not only does regularly visiting your primary care doctor keep you healthier, which proves to be more cost-effective over the long-run, your primary care doctor can be a great resource to help you when you are having trouble.

    “As primary care doctors, we like to monitor your health, and to guide and steer you in the right direction,” says internist Tara Saggar, MD.  “We always want to know first what is going on, and we can help guide patients and get you the level of care you need.  We’re the goal keepers who know when we can help you, or where we should send you if, for example, you need imaging or certain tests better suited to a PromptCare facility or to the ED.”

    When to Visit a PromptCare Facility

    MedStar Health Urgent Care is ideal for a range of illnesses that arise outside of your primary care doctor’s office hours, but are not serious enough for an ED visit.  Some examples of PromptCare-treated issues are sports injuries, sprains, cuts and scrapes, and most facilities provide basic lab and X-ray service. 

    “We can treat simple colds and sore throats, as well as simple infections, like ear infections,” explains Nosheen Azam, MD, who is stationed at MedStar Health Urgent Care Waldorf.  “When a patient can’t get into their doctor or doesn’t want to wait at an ER, we can treat them for issues like strep, flu and urinary tract infections.  We can also provide urine pregnancy tests and basic blood work to determine whether a patient is low on electrolytes or is anemic.  PromptCare can also treat patients with IV fluids for mild to moderate dehydration.” 

    When to Rush to an Emergency Room

    For trauma involving your face or head, for open fractures, big lacerations, injuries you believe may require a CAT scan and for any life-threatening emergencies, head straight to the ER.  There, physicians like Michael S. Antonis, MD, can work on the most complex emergency cases, order more sophisticated lab procedures and tests than PromptCare facilities and treat serious injuries 24-hours a day.

    “We really want you to be proactive about your health because a primary care physician establishes a relationship with you and gets to know you, your health and your medications,” says Antonis, echoing the message of Dr. Saggar.  “They can always help coordinate care for you, especially when they’re in the MedStar Network.  If you do need to come to the ER, it’s easy for us to call and talk to them and consult with them when they know your history.”  As a safety measure, Antonis also recommends everyone type in a list of all medications and dosages into their cell phones, or to take a photo of the labels on your medications and keep that on your phone in case of an emergency.

    Antonis estimates around 250 cases per month that come into the MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center  ED who should have gone to either the patient’s primary care physician or a PromptCare facility.  He estimates that within the next few years, MedStar will be on a completely integrated system which will give ED, MedStar Health Urgent Care, and MedStar physicians instant access to the complete medical records of patients, which enables seamless and accurate ordering, documentation and billing. 

    MedStar is proud to provide PromptCare facilities throughout the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area, including the newest locations in nearby Waldorf and Charlotte Hall. 

    MedStar Health Urgent Care Waldorf
    3064 Waldorf Market Place
    Waldorf, MD 20603

    MedStar Health Urgent Care Waldorf hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.  You can call 301-932-5960 or visit MedStarPromptCare.org/Waldorf for more information.

    MedStar Health Urgent Care Charlotte Hall
    37767 Market Drive
     Charlotte Hall, MD 20622

    MedStar Health Urgent Care Charlotte Hall hours are 3 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.  Call 301-290-1499 or visit MedStarPromptCare.org/CharlotteHall for more information. 

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