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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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  • October 08, 2019
    New centers bring advanced, world-class care and innovation to community hospital
  • October 03, 2019

    The following q & a is with patient Daniel Ford. Daniel came to MedStar NRH this summer for inpatient rehabilitation after he suffered a stroke on a bus. Daniel relives the terrifying incident but also his excellent experience in rehabilitation getting him back to the life he wants to live.


    Q: How did you end up in the hospital?

    I had a stroke August 2nd in the late afternoon. It happened on the circulator bus on the way to the hospital when my left side went out.

    Q: What changes did the stroke cause?

    It caused the whole left side of my body to go out, to be in a vegetable type of state for some time. I couldn’t swallow, could barely breath, could barely see. Thinking was very hard to do, talking was hard. My face was drooping and hanging down. The arm on the left side would pop out. Life changing changes

    Q: What is one of the most beneficial things about therapy?

    Oh, the staff! The getting out of the bed actually standing up and moving about and seeing other people work out in the atrium. Being mobile period, to get up and take a shower, to get up and use the bathroom, to get up and get dressed, to get up and go outside and feel the fresh air and sun on your face. Just moving around, walking and standing. That’s one of the things I loved the most, getting out of bed all day long. It gave me a sense of urgency to recover. I saw others walking about and they did amazing, when I saw that I said, that’s going to be me. Excellent staff, excellent PT, OT, SLP. Seeing them gives you that “you’re going to be ok, we’re going to take care of you”. They push you to stay motivated and to practice the ability, never giving up or never saying you can’t do this. They are always positive, even when they are pushing you.

    Q: What is something challenging about therapy?

    Working on the left side, finger motion and picking up objects. That was the most challenging. I’m still working on it now.

    Q: What would you tell a stroke survivor just starting out in rehab.

    To rest, eat well and prepare yourself to get up and walk. Walk with a conviction, it’s such as awesome team. As soon as you get out of bed you are already feeling motivated like I can’ do this. When you go out to the atrium and see all the equipment and the sun light it motivates you to get it down. You can push yourself by seeing others move. Ask your therapists if there is anything you want to do, and they can work on it with you. All my sessions were amazing. 

    Q: What do you like about group therapy?

    Seeing other people going through the same struggles and overcoming those struggles. Being able to communicate and hear their testimonies as they continue their therapy and recovery. I have seen 2 people I’ve been with from the beginning go home and they are doing so well! Listening to them speak helped me be able to speak more clearly. Group was very therapeutic, I had a lot of fun in group.

    Q: Would you recommend NRH to someone looking for stroke rehab?

    Most definitely!!  Someone told me it was the best and it’s true! I would recommend everything.

    To learn more about the Inpatient Stroke Recovery Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, please call 

    Outpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Services are conveniently located throughout the region. Click here to learn more about the locations of Outpatient Stroke Recovery services

    # # #

    About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

    The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

    The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

    The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

    Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

    For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to

  • October 03, 2019
    The Public is Invited to Attend ‘A Night of Hope and Inspiration’
  • October 01, 2019

    Washington, D.C. – MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute has enrolled its first patient to a clinical trial to determine whether cardiac stem cells reduce inflammation enough to improve heart function in patients with heart failure severe enough to require a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD. STEMVAD is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study that will assess the effects of multiple intravenous administration of CardioCell’s proprietary mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). It is expected to enroll 30 patients.

    The STEMVAD trial is the next step in MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s earlier research that discovered “one of the major problems in heart failure is persistent inflammation," said Stephen Epstein, MD, director of Translational and Vascular Biology Research at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. "And these mesenchymal stem cells control inflammation, leading to improved heart function.”

    Approximately six and a half million adult Americans have heart failure, of whom 200,000 to 250,000 are estimated to have end-stage heart failure and need a heart transplant. However, with the very low supply of donor hearts, LVADs are increasingly used. An LVAD is a small pump that helps circulate the patient’s blood when their heart becomes too weak to pump effectively on its own. Although highly effective in alleviating symptoms and improving longevity, patients with LVAD support have a high incidence of serious complications.

    “Innovative therapies to improve heart function and outcomes of patients with advanced heart failure are sorely needed,” added Selma Mohammed, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the STEMVAD trial and research director of the Advanced Heart Failure Research Program at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute.  

    “If we are successful in showing intravenously delivered stem cells improve outcomes in patients, the results would likely extend to the general population of heart failure patients, and in the process, fundamentally transform current paradigms for treating heart failure,” concluded Ron Waksman, MD, director of Cardiovascular Research and Advanced Education at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute.

    For more information on whether patients may qualify for the trial, call Michelle Deville, research coordinator, at 202-877-2713 or email


    Conflict of Interest Statement: Dr. Stephen Epstein is an equity holder in CardioCell, serves on its Board, and consults for the company.


    About MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
    MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a national leader in the research, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. A network of 10 hospitals and 170 cardiovascular physicians throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute also offers a clinical and research alliance with Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute, the nation’s No. 1 heart program. Together, they have forged a relationship of shared expertise to enhance quality, improve safety and increase access to advanced services. MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute was founded at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, home to the Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital. Opened in July 2016, the hospital ushered in a new era of coordinated, centralized specialty care for patients with even the most complex heart and vascular diagnoses.

  • September 30, 2019

    WASHINGTON – To educate the public on vaccination safety and on the importance of getting an annual flu shot, MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) administered nearly 60 vaccines to participants and attendees of the 2019 National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) Influenza/Pneumococcal News Conference on Thursday, Sept. 26. The annual conference is a key opportunity for NFID to help the public prepare for the upcoming flu season by encouraging individuals throughout the U.S. over the age of six months to get a flu vaccine every single year.

    “When it comes to protecting people from flu, our best preventive tool is an annual flu vaccine,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar, II, who also noted that despite the availability of vaccinations, vaccination rates among adults are “stuck” at around 45%. That means that more than half of adults in the U.S. are unprotected against the flu every year.

    To encourage adults to get vaccinated and ensure their loved ones also receive vaccinations, Secretary Azar lead by example, receiving a live, on-air vaccination from a MedStar VNA nurse.

    Other health officials who spoke during the conference included William B. Borden, MD, associate professor of medicine and health policy at George Washington University, Patricia N. Whitley-Williams, MD, NFID president-elect, and William Schaffner, NFID medical director. Dr. Borden also received a vaccination from MedStar VNA during the event.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of the country receives a flu vaccine annually, which leaves more than half of the U.S. population open to contracting and spreading influenza this year. Due to age and immune system weaknesses, young children and aging adults are most at risk. With MedStar VNA’s patient population being predominately senior citizens, MedStar VNA encourages its patients to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated.

    “As part of the MedStar Health organization, we advocate and encourage influenza vaccination for our patients, community members, and even our own employees,” said Traci Anderson, RN, MedStar Visiting Nurse Association President. “We have required that employees receive vaccinations for a number of years because it’s an important part of our patient safety first culture. That said, we are honored to support NFID and CDC in this important national promotional effort.”

    For more information on influenza recommendations, visit or

    To learn more about MedStar VNA, visit


    About MedStar Visiting Nurse Association
    MedStar VNA provides home healthcare services for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. A nonprofit, Joint Commission-accredited organization, MedStar VNA treats patients through skilled nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapies. MedStar VNA is a proud member of the MedStar Health system. For more information about MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166 or visit

  • September 26, 2019
    More than 900 Flu Shots were Administered Last Year

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