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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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  • February 13, 2019

    The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), through the Compass Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network (HIIN), has released a new change package “Reducing Diagnostic Error-Related to the Laboratory Testing Process.”  MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety leaders including Christine Goeschel, ScD, MPA, MPS, RN, FAAN and David Mayer, MD contributed to the package which is intended to assist hospitals in reducing diagnostic error related to the laboratory testing process through laboratory-driven systems change.  Download the Change Package now at https://www.ihconline.org/compass-hiin/hiin-resources.

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  • February 11, 2019

    Leonardtown, Maryland  – Cardiac rehabilitation can reduce the potentially devastating effects of heart disease and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. During the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation’s (AACVPR) National Cardiac Rehabilitation week, Feb. 10-16, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation Center (GADC) would like patients who suffer a cardiac event to know there is help available. 

    “Cardiac rehabilitation can help reduce the potentially devastating effects of heart disease,” said Pam Laigle, MSN, RN, PCCN, of MedStar St. Mary’s GADC. “Programs such as ours can greatly improve the quality of life for patients and their families.”

    Cardiac Rehabilitation Week coincides with Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month to draw greater national attention to heart health. This year’s theme, “Making Positive Changes, One Beat at a Time,” honors the patients, families, and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to cardiac rehabilitation as a vehicle for a healthy lifestyle.

    A recent report by the American Heart Association shows that nearly half of all adults in the United States have some form of heart disease. The report is based on data from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources. This year's report said 121.5 million adults in the U.S. – 48 percent based on 2016 figures – have cardiovascular disease. Heart disease was the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.

    “Returning to activity following a heart attack can be scary to many,” said Pam. “Programs such as those offered at the Grace Anne Dorney Center not only help patients live longer and lessen chances for another heart attack, they also improve confidence and strength and help get patients back to their usual activities.”

    In addition to cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, GADC also offers a MedFit program. Directed by the center’s team of nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, registered respiratory therapists, and health educators, participants are given a complete medical history assessment and physical fitness evaluation prior to enrolling. The program includes a personalized plan incorporating cardiovascular exercise, muscular strength, and endurance, and flexibility exercises while monitoring participants blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, and oxygen saturation.

    If you or someone you know has had a cardiac event or has a cardiac history and would like to begin an exercise program in a medically monitored gym, contact the Grace Anne Dorney Center at 240-434-7143. The GAD center is certified through the American Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

     

    About MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
    MedStar St. Mary's Hospital (MSMH) is a full-service community hospital, delivering state-of-the-art emergency, acute inpatient and outpatient care in Leonardtown, Maryland. Nestled in a waterside community, MedStar St. Mary's provides advanced technology with a dedication to excellence in all services provided. The not-for-profit hospital has been named among the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals™ and is an eight time recipient of the prestigious Delmarva Medicare Excellence Award. In addition, MSMH received the Maryland Performance Excellence award at the Platinum level in 2014 – the highest in the state. Our staff is committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for all patients by coupling innovation with our outstanding team of Medical Staff members, associates and volunteers. Visit MedStarStMarys.org to learn more.

     

  • February 08, 2019

    WASHINGTON –– A large, national study examining a radiation treatment for prostate cancer––popular because it delivers a high dose of therapy in a very short time frame––supports its routine use. 

    The study, conducted at cancer centers around the United States including at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, looks at long term follow up data for stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) used to treat more than 2,100 men with prostate cancer that had a low or intermediate risk of recurring.

    The results were published Feb. 8 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

    At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the therapy is delivered by a system called CyberKnife, which delivers high doses of radiation precisely aimed to minimize the involvement of healthy surrounding tissue.

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    Radiation oncologist Sean P. Collins, MD, PhD, says curative treatment is a shared goal along with maintaining a person’s quality of life.  Side effects, including impotence, can occur with all treatments for prostate cancer and can happen years after treatment.

    “While it is necessary to observe these men for decades, our interim seven-year data show that survival and side effects are comparable to other forms of radiotherapy,” says Collins, director of the CyberKnife Prostate Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and an associate professor of radiation medicine at Georgetown University. 

    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which establishes cancer treatment guidelines, classified SBRT as an alternative to conventional therapy, but had noted a lack of long term follow up data. There is much more experience with conventionally fractionated radiation therapy, delivered five times a week for up to nine weeks, and brachytherapy, in which radioactive seeds are implanted in the prostate.

    “Our findings give us great confidence that CyberKnife should become a standard option for some men who want to avoid the hassle and inconvenience of standard therapy,” Collins says.

     

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    Collins reports receiving grants from and being a paid consultant for Accuray Inc., the maker of CyberKnife.

     

  • February 05, 2019

    An international group of experts, led by MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Karen Anderson, MD, recently published new clinical guidelines focusing on the treatment of behavioral symptoms seen in patients with Huntington’s disease.

    Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that impairs physical and mental abilities as movement-controlling cells die in the brain. It’s estimated that 70% of American patients with the disease do not receive specialist care; instead seeking treatment from general practitioners, general neurologists, and psychiatrists.

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    “These guidelines convey the important message that we have treatments available now for many neuropsychiatric symptoms of HD. This should encourage patients to seek care. They also help non-specialist clinicians understand that HD is a not a hopeless condition,” explains Dr. Anderson, director of the Huntington’s Disease Care, Education, and Research Center (HDCERC), a joint program between MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center.

    The guidelines, published in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease, provide primary caregivers with a stronger set of tools and specialist-led strategies to treat five behavioral symptoms of the disease: agitation, anxiety, apathy, psychosis, and sleep disorders.

    Before publication, Dr. Anderson and the panel of nine others submitted ideas to Huntington’s disease experts around the world to reach consensus. Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) like these can be relied on in the absence of randomized clinical trial evidence, which is harder to obtain when studying rarer diseases.

    “We encourage patients and families to use these guidelines to partner with their clinicians when seeking care since these symptoms often have a huge impact on patients’ wellbeing and their relationships with individuals close to them,” advised Dr. Anderson.

    Currently, there is no treatment available to slow, stop, or reverse the course of Huntington’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    For more on the newly published guidelines, visit: https://www.iospress.nl/ios_news/expert-based-clinical-guidelines-focus-on-behavioral-symptoms-in-huntingtons-disease/

     

     

     

     

  • February 04, 2019
    On Feb. 4, 2019, the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare launched EHRSeeWhatWeMean.org and a related campaign, presenting compelling evidence for the need to address the known risks to patient safety and clinician burnout that stem from poor electronic health record (EHR) usability—and calling for action.
  • January 30, 2019

     

    Hyattsville, MD (January 31, 2019) — Three research projects at MedStar Health Research Institute were awarded grant funding through the Charles and Mary Latham Fund. The Fund was established by Ella O. Latham, to support medical research in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

    Three MedStar Health physician-investigators were awarded funding for their research projects:

    • Jessica Galarraga, MD, MPH: An Evaluation of Hospital Readmissions in the District of Columbia
    • Suhasini Kaushal, MD: Identifying Early Neuroimaging Biomarkers using Diffusivity Measures and Functional Connectivity to Predict Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Neonates with Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury
    • Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA: Measuring, Assessing, and Understanding Race Differences in Adverse Patient Safety Events in an Urban, Teaching Hospital in Washington, D.C., using the IHI Global Trigger Tool

    “These research projects exemplify MedStar’s commitment to advancing health through research throughout the Washington, D.C., metro community,” said Neil J. Weissman, MD, president of MedStar Health Research Institute and chief scientific officer for MedStar Health. “As an academic health system, we are extremely appreciative for the support we have received from the Charles and Mary Latham Fund to improve health outcomes for everyone in our community.”

    The Charles and Mary Latham Fund was established by Ella O. Latham in memory of her parents. Founded in 1972, the Fund has supported a myriad of worthwhile projects relating to medical research for the cure of diseases in the human body with a preference for clinical applications and medical, nursing, and hospital care for persons suffering from such diseases who are financially unable to provide their own care. SunTrust Bank is the Fund’s trustee. The relationship is managed by the SunTrust Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice.

     


    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. Visit us at www.MedStarResearch.org

    About MedStar Health
    MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 31,000 associates, 6,500 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care, and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit www.MedStarHealth.org.

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