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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 magseed marker, about the size of a grain of rice, on a human hand
    October 29, 2021

    MedStar Montgomery becomes the first hospital in the region helping patients access more accurate and less invasive breast tumor removal with the Magseed® marker.

    Olney, MDMedStar Montgomery Medical Center recently introduced an innovative cancer technology, the Magseed® marker, to improve outcomes and the standard of cancer care in Montgomery County. The Magseed® marker helps women benefit from more accurate marking and removal of breast tumors.

    The Magseed® marker is a tiny seed placed in the tissue to mark tumors before surgery and help the surgeon accurately locate the cancer and remove it in one piece. Once placed, it cannot be dislodged or damaged1. The Magseed® can be placed days, weeks or even months ahead of surgery to mark any cancer site for accurate removal.

    As the first hospital in the region to utilize the Magseed® marker, MedStar Montgomery serves as an innovative local leader in breast health. Oncologists at MedStar Montgomery began using the Magseed® marker in mid-August, and already deem the technology to be a welcome addition for doctors and patients.

    According to Dr. Jennifer D. Son, Breast Surgeon, MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, “When it comes to cancer marking, our surgeons and patients have found the Magseed® marker to be vastly safer, more comfortable, more effective, and more time efficient than traditional guidewires. Our team can place the Magseed marker well in advance of surgery, which means patients don’t have to worry about additional procedures on the day of surgery.”

    The Magseed® marker replaces the traditional guidewire method of cancer marking, which has been shown in numerous studies to carry the risk of migrating before surgery.2 These studies have demonstrated that guidewire migration can cause surgery to be inaccurate, leaving behind cancerous tissue after the first surgery in 20-50% of cases.2 Marking and removing the tumor with a Magseed® marker has been shown to reduce these figures significantly to between 6.5% and 10%.3,4,5

    “We are proud to bring the most innovative and effective treatments to our patients right here in Montgomery County'' said Thomas J. Senker, FACHE, president of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. “The addition of the Magseed marking technology advances our goal to provide the most comprehensive, compassionate and high-quality breast cancer care.”

    About MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and MedStar Health
    MedStar Montgomery Medical Center is a not-for-profit, acute care community hospital serving Montgomery County, Maryland. For 100 years, MedStar Montgomery has served as a medical care provider and community health resource offering high-quality, personalized care. MedStar Montgomery provides a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies, and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals—including cutting-edge care in obstetrics, orthopedics, breast health, and oncology. MedStar Health is the region's largest non-profit and most trusted integrated healthcare delivery system, giving patients access to the latest in modern medicine and medical technology within a community hospital setting.

    About Endomag

    Endomag is a global technology company that believes everyone deserves a better standard of cancer care. Many of the world’s leading physicians and hospitals use the company’s technologies to help women with breast cancer avoid surgery when it isn’t needed, and experience better outcomes when it is.

    Originally founded in 2007 by professors at University College London (UCL) and the University of Houston, Endomag harnesses the power of magnetics to enable a better standard of cancer care.

    The heart of the company’s product platform is the Sentimag® localization system. The Sentimag® system features a probe which works like a metal detector, and when placed near the skin’s surface is used to detect Endomag’s magnetic seed (Magseed®) or liquid tracer (Magtrace®), for tissue localization and sentinel node biopsy procedures. Today, the Sentimag® system has been used in over 130,000 procedures worldwide.

    Endomag is a global company headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with an office in Austin, Texas. To date, the company has helped tens of thousands of women around the world access more precise and less invasive breast cancer care. To learn more visit: https://www.endomag.com/

    References

    Harvey, JR, et al (2018). Safety and Feasibility of Breast Lesion Localization Using Magnetic Seeds (Magseed): a Multi-Centre, open-label cohort study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 169(3):531-536.

    Jeevan, R. et al (2012). Reoperation Rates After Breast Conserving Surgery for Breast Cancer Among Women in England: Retrospective Study of Hospital Episode Statistics. BMJ. [online] 345(Jul12 2),pp.e4505-e4505.

    3  Singh 2019 – Effectiveness and Safety of Magseed-localization for Excision of Breast Lesions. MD Anderson Cancer Center. SSO 2019, San Diego.

    4  Miller 2019 – Hospital system rollout and initial experience with stainless steel magnetized seeds for breast and lymph node localization. University Hospitals, Cleveland. ASBrS 2019, Dallas.

    5  Alvarado 2019 – Lesion localization and targeted axillary dissection with one platform. German Senology Congress 2019, Berlin.

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  • Two female medical professionals look at diagnostic imaging of the brain
    October 29, 2021

    The Primary Stroke Center’s use of advanced therapies promotes high performance, better outcomes

    Olney, MDMedStar Montgomery Medical Center’s multidisciplinary stroke program was recently named a High Performing Program by U.S. News & World Report in its annual Best Hospitals Rankings 2021-22. Additionally, the Primary Stroke Center was recognized on the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines-Stroke GOLD PLUS with Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll and was re-certified by The Joint Commission. MedStar Montgomery’s stroke program received the distinctions for its high-performance ratings, patient-centered care, and the use of advanced therapies to achieve positive outcomes.

    MedStar Montgomery’s Stroke Center earned top rankings, High Performance, from U.S. News & World Report, in several categories including survival rates (30 days after hospitalization for stroke), percentage of stroke patients treated with time-sensitive medical interventions, the nurse/patient ratio, and total number of patients treated (which is associated with better outcomes). These quality indicators are ranked based on national averages. MedStar Montgomery was among 6,000 hospitals evaluated in the Best Hospitals Rankings 2021-22.

    “I am incredibly proud of the multidisciplinary team of skilled, expert care providers within our Primary Stroke Center at MedStar Montgomery. This team deserves recognition for their incredible hard work in treating these patients and mitigating the long-term effects of the condition,” said Thomas J. Senker, FACHE, president of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. “This distinction underscores our commitment to providing high-quality care, combined with the latest in advance therapies and a patient-first approach.”

    Positive patient outcomes during a stroke are largely attributed to the use of Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA), an intravenous intervention that is given to individuals within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. This time-sensitive medical intervention works to dissolve the stroke-causing clot, overall supporting better and more complete recoveries, including higher levels of functional mobility and resolution of presenting symptoms.

    MedStar Montgomery’s tPA administration rate is currently 15.7%, above the national average of under 10%. From January 1 through July 31, 2021, 75% of eligible patients were able to receive tPA within 60 minutes of the onset of symptoms.

    “Because time is so critical in treating strokes, our emergency department teams are trained to provide rapid, excellent care by prioritizing stroke treatments. In addition, we have an acute stroke team that evaluates patients and sets in motion specific procedures to diagnose the cause of the stroke,” said Nickie Miskell, RN, Stroke Coordinator, MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. “For our team this is more than just recognition of hard work and positive outcomes, this distinction represents those patients’ lives we were able to impact. We’re very proud of that.”

    MedStar Montgomery was also jointly recognized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, earning a “Get with the Guidelines-Stroke GOLD PLUS Honor Roll and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Achievement Award” and The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit national body overseeing the quality of healthcare, awarded an Advanced Certification to the Primary Stroke Center.

    For information about the Primary Stroke Center at MedStar Montgomery, visit: https://www.medstarhealth.org/services/neurology-and-neurosurgery. If you or anyone exhibits signs of stroke, you’re urged to contact 911 immediately.

    About MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and MedStar Health
    MedStar Montgomery Medical Center is a not-for-profit, acute care community hospital serving Montgomery County, Maryland. For 100 years, MedStar Montgomery has served as a medical care provider and community health resource offering high-quality, personalized care. MedStar Montgomery provides a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies, and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals—including cutting-edge care in obstetrics, orthopedics, breast health, and oncology. MedStar Health is the region's largest non-profit and most trusted integrated healthcare delivery system, giving patients access to the latest in modern medicine and medical technology within a community hospital setting.

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  • October 29, 2021
    WASHINGTON – Monumental Sports & Entertainment and MedStar Health, the official medical provider of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment teams since 2014, have enhanced their partnership with the renaming of the shared team practice facility as the MedStar Health Performance Center.

    The MedStar Health Performance Center is the hub for Monumental Basketball, serving as the training facility for the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and Capital City Go-Go. The state-of-the-art complex, designed with innovative technology such as Kinexon positioning and performance system (indoor GPS system) and Polar Team System (Heart Rate Monitoring) was opened in 2018 and includes two full courts with eight total baskets, a recently renovated training/treatment room and an expanded 1,500-square foot weight room, which includes equipment such as Keiser functional trainers, AlterG antigravity treadmills and Woodway treadmills. The MedStar Health Performance Center is the only facility to house an NBA, WNBA, and G-League franchise under one roof.

    “During the facility renovation, Monumental Basketball and MedStar Health took the opportunity to revisit the name of the facility and chose MedStar Health Performance Center to reflect the commitment we both have to helping all of the athletes within Monumental Basketball reach their potential,” said Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer for MedStar Health, Dr. Stephen Evans. “There are three teams training at this facility, which is unique within professional sports, and this new name reflects both how the center is truly used by them and how we view our role as long-term medical partners with Monumental Basketball."

    MedStar Health’s sports medicine program is the premier sports medicine program in the region, which is reflected in their partnership with Monumental Basketball. MedStar Health has more than 16 physicians and clinicians dedicated to the three Monumental Basketball teams, providing world-class primary care, orthopedics, physical therapy and more.

    “We were excited to finalize the much-needed programming and design of our training facility for the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go,” said Monumental Basketball Chief Planning & Operations Officer Sashi Brown. “MedStar Health Performance Center is the foundation of our athletic care and performance program. We are fortunate to have a global leader such MedStar Health as a partner in our training center. We are able to provide our athletes a basketball performance, designed to support to drive excellence through our nutrition, strength and training and other programs, all of which are supported by innovative technologies that allows them to refine their skills.”

    There are designs celebrating the teams’ connection to the Washington, D.C. community throughout the MedStar Health Performance Center, including the D.C. map highlighting Ward 8 mounted on the ceiling. Digital displays telling the Monumental Basketball story are exhibited throughout the facility, while the main practice court features the 1978 NBA Championship banner of the Washington Bullets and the 2019 WNBA Championship banner of the Washington Mystics. As an homage to the athletes who have helped build the Monumental Basketball franchises, a new Legends Wall stands near the practice court to honor exceptional performances by Wes Unseld, Earl Monroe, Chamique Holdsclaw, Alana Beard and others as a trophy case recognizing the achievements of cornerstone athletes is exhibited in the foyer. The retired jerseys of Bullets players Unseld, Monroe, Phil Chenier, Elvin Hayes, and Gus Johnson also proudly hang in the practice court area.

    The adjacent Entertainment and Sports Arena serves as the home arena for the Mystics and Go-Go. Opened in 2018 with the inaugural season of the Go-Go, the Entertainment and Sports Arena saw the Mystics christen their new home with the 2019 WNBA championship. Located in the heart of Ward 8, ESA can hold up to 4,200 fans for basketball games and 5,000 for concerts and other events, bringing new entertainment options to Congress Heights residents and the capability of hosting 350,000 visitors per year. To further solidify their commitment to the Congress Heights community, Monumental Sports & Entertainment has made a $10 million community investment towards community and economic revitalization of the St. Elizabeth's East campus and surrounding community over its lease term.

    About MedStar Health
    MedStar Health uses the best of their minds and the best of their hearts to serve their patients, those who care for them, and their communities. Their 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through their core SPIRIT values – Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork – across their 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 their telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, MedStar Health is committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for their patients. At MedStar Health, it’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.
  • October 26, 2021

    Board-certified, fellowship-trained physician joins hospital as member of Gastroenterology team

    CLINTON, Md. – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is pleased to welcome its newest board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologist, Tilak Baba, MD. Dr. Baba attended medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, prior to completing an Internal Medicine residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., He then obtained fellowship training in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology at MedStar Georgetown.


    Dr. Baba is a certified member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the American Association of Study of Liver Diseases. He will be taking a certification exam for Transplant Hepatology in 2022. As a gastroenterologist at MedStar Southern Maryland, he will offer care and treatment for a variety of conditions including liver disease, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, alcohol liver disease, liver lesions, acute liver failure, liver cancer and many others, in addition to certain esophageal diseases.


    Dr. Baba believes in prolonging the life of patients by providing healing through a continuity of compassionate care. From colon cancer screening to treating esophageal disorders, liver disease and other intestine issues, Dr. Baba is very intentional about creating positive outcomes when it comes to changing and saving lives.


    “For me, the most important thing is putting patients first when it comes to listening to their needs, understanding their concerns and working together to come up with a treatment plan on how to manage their disease,” Dr. Baba said. “The multidisciplinary approach to care at MedStar Southern Maryland is so unique because everyone here works closely together and is all about providing the best care for patients, which helps

  • October 22, 2021

    Researchers target social determinants of health to decrease racial disparities in cancer outcomes in Washington, D.C.,

    COLUMBIA, Md. — MedStar Health is leading a $5 million cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at improving quality of life for recent cancer patients in Washington, D.C., The project aims to make advances by addressing social needs that disproportionally affect minority communities. Previous research shows that social factors like food insecurity, housing instability, transportation access, financial needs, and racial bias drive up to 80 percent of patient outcomes.

    Over the next five years, the study will focus on breast and prostate cancer patients finishing treatment at three Washington, D.C.,-based cancer clinics, using strategies to reduce health inequities and improve their outcomes. These strategies include screening patients for social needs ahead of graduation from treatment, engaging with community health workers to connect patients directly to local resources, and holding anti-discrimination training sessions for staff and clinicians.

    Researchers hope the project will eventually lead to a permanent and sustainable process for addressing social determinants of health and enhancing cancer care for minoritized communities.

    Hannah Arem, Ph.D., is the study’s corresponding principal investigator.

    “Despite improvements in cancer outcomes over time, significant disparities remain between Black and white cancer survivors,” said Arem, scientific director at MedStar Health Research Institute. “We believe the results of this research will play a major role in improving the survivorship of D.C. cancer patients over time as we better understand the burden of social needs in our community and how to support cancer survivors in addressing those needs.”

    “Once cancer patients finish active treatment, the transition to survivorship can have its own challenges,” said Christopher Gallagher, MD, co-investigator on the study and hematologist oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “While new treatments and screenings lead to better outcomes, so does access to long-term social services. This study aims to connect patients to the right community resources at the right time to build a successful transition.”

    MedStar Health is partnering with co-principal investigator Mandi Pratt-Chapman, Ph.D., of George Washington University Cancer Center in addition to researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center and Howard University.

    “I am most excited about identifying and changing structural biases across three cancer care centers in the nation’s capital,” said Pratt-Chapman. “Through our anti-racism task forces, we hope to help reverse entrenched and growing disparities experienced by communities historically excluded from the healthcare system. We will work to resolve root causes of inequity while providing immediate relief to patients and families with significant social needs.”

    The research also builds on MedStar Health’s continued investment into community health, which includes the utilization of the Aunt Bertha Social Care Services Platform. In August, MedStar announced a new software integration that embeds the social needs screening tool directly into patient Electronic Health Records (EHRs). MedStar Health patients enrolled in this study will take advantage of the Aunt Bertha platform to quickly connect with thousands of nearby food banks, rent assistance programs, diaper banks, and more.

    “What’s so exciting about the community health and Aunt Bertha collaboration is that it enables us to identify community resources more easily for our clients and patients,” said Diana Quinn, senior director of Community Health for MedStar Health.  “This one-stop shopping approach within the electronic health record is designed such that we simply input a zip code, and it provides us with the names of the resources available in that area. This project will help us better understand which resources are needed for cancer patients specifically.”

    The study was awarded at the end of Sept. 2021 and will continue through Sept. 2026.

  • October 18, 2021

    Multi-million expansion addresses the complex health care management of the region’s aging population

    OLNEY, Md. – MedStar Health announces the opening of the Center for Successful Aging at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center  which delivers a new model of specialized care for older adults. The first-in-the-region center is designed to address the complex needs of older adults through integrated care coordination, a patient-centered approach, and highly skilled medical and psychosocial care. The new center was modeled after the very successful, innovative program at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore.

    The growth of the geriatric population continues to rise at epic levels, as the population of Marylanders 60 years and over is expected to reach more than 25 percent by the year 2030 according to the state's Department of Aging.

    "Through the Center for Successful Aging, we want to radically transform healthcare delivery and support a thriving community of older adults across the continuum of care," said Thomas J. Senker, FACHE, president of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. "With a growing elderly population and a shortage of geriatricians, it is increasingly important to evolve the geriatrics practice and extend the reach of high-quality clinical care for seniors in our region."

    The CSA will be led by Chief of Geriatrics and Center Director, George Hennawi, MD, FACP. Dr. Hennawi was recognized as one of the region's best and most respected physicians as chosen by his peers. He specializes in geriatric medicine, as well as palliative care and hospice.

    Patient-Centered Care Emphasizes An Individual's Own Preferences

    The CSA takes a holistic approach to care starting with a thorough health assessment to identify cognitive, functional and medical risks. Patients are then provided with an individualized "Life Plan" and a specialized care team to manage their physical, mental and emotional health, often in partnership with the patient's primary care physician, specialist provider, family and caregivers, and resident skilled nursing provider.

    The care team, led by a geriatrician, is comprised of care coordinators, social workers, therapists and pharmacists who collectively ensure that patients receive the necessary care while providing education, support, and encouragement for both patients and caregivers.

    "We understand the unique medical, social and emotional health challenges facing older adults today. Seniors and their caregivers want to return home as quickly and safely as possible. Our teams provide an elevated level of care and support to equip patients to manage even complex conditions in an outpatient setting, decreasing the number of unnecessary ER visits," said Dr. Rezanne Khalil, MD. "We've created a space to empower older adults and their caregivers to be engaged in the activities and services that accomplish individual health goals."

    A high-intensity outpatient center allows individuals to remain at home when possible and prevent hospitalization or readmission. Primary and consultative outpatient care will also address complex medical and psychosocial needs. Inpatient services include a geriatrics consult service, and a specialized Acute Care program, which focuses on helping patients admitted from private homes to return to a skilled-nursing setting.

    In addition, partnerships with skilled nursing facilities across Montgomery County allow for the provision of expertise and oversight of clinical operations. It will also support transition of care as patients move from the hospital to inpatient care or back into their private homes.

    Through these services, the hospital aims to retain patients' pre-hospital levels of function, reduce length of stay, reduce the need for sub-acute placement and reduce 30-day readmissions.

    $2 Million Grant Supports Center's Expansion

    The CSA was made possible in part by a $2 million grant from the Edward N. & Dell L. Thome Memorial Foundation, which was created in 2002 to advance the health of older adults through the support of direct service programs and medical research. The grant supported the renovation and outfitting of the outpatient center and other healthcare locations to provide coordinated care of other essential services.

    "On behalf of everyone at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, we are grateful for the generous grant and continued support from the Thome Foundation, which allows us to expand care for such an important population," continued Senker. "Our shared mission with the Thome Foundation is to advance the health of older citizens and promote aging with dignity. We're excited to bring The Center for Successful Aging model to Montgomery County and deliver important, comprehensive services across the care continuum."

    For more information or to request a consultation with a geriatric specialist, visit https://www.medstarhealth.org/ads/mmmc-csa/ or call 240-817-1411 to request an appointment.


    About MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and MedStar Health
    MedStar Montgomery Medical Center is a not-for-profit, acute care community hospital serving Montgomery County, Maryland. For 100 years, MedStar Montgomery has served as a medical care provider and community health resource offering high-quality, personalized care. MedStar Montgomery provides a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies, and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals—including cutting-edge care in obstetrics, orthopedics, breast health, and oncology. MedStar Health is the region's largest non-profit and most trusted integrated healthcare delivery system, giving patients access to the latest in modern medicine and medical technology within a community hospital setting.

     

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