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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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  • December 26, 2018

    WASHINGTON, D.C., —Recently, the National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital was paid a special visit by DC United staff including goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

    The pediatric patients welcomed the United staff and Hamid with signs saluting our local men’s professional soccer squad and Hamid returned the favor with some greeting and fun with our pediatrics patients and a little game of soccer.

    Thanks to Hamid and the United for brightening our pediatric patients’ days! Check out these great photos here.

    For additional information about the MedStar NRH pediatric program, click here.

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    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, D.C., 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 MedStarNRH.org.

  • December 25, 2018

    Leonardtown, Maryland MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has been awarded an “A in The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade, recognizing the hospital’s superior efforts in protecting patients from harm and meeting the highest safety standards in the United States.

    The Leapfrog Group is a national organization committed to improving health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. The Safety Grade assigns an A, B, C, D or F grade to hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections, and other harms among those they are treating.

    “Patient safety is our top priority. Our associates work tirelessly to create a safe environment for those trusted in our care,” said Christine R. Wray, president of MedStar St. Mary’s.

    “Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades recognize hospitals like MedStar St. Mary’s that focus on advancing patient safety,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “This ranking provides an important resource for patients, and a benchmark for hospitals, to determine how care at one hospital compares to others in a region. Hospitals that earn an A Hospital Safety Grade deserve to be recognized for their efforts in preventing medical harm and errors.”

    Developed under the guidance of a National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

    MedStar St. Mary’s was one of 855 facilities across the U.S. awarded an A in the Fall 2018 update of grades. Visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org to learn more.

    About The Leapfrog Group
    Founded in 2000, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

    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.

  • December 20, 2018

    Advanced Technology Offers Hope to Qualified Patients Needing Replacement 

    BALTIMORE— Dr. John Wang, chief of the cardiac catheterization lab, and his team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, used a revolutionary new self-expanding aortic replacement valve in the hearts of two women, each suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis. The women became the first in the Maryland to receive the Centera transcatheter aortic valve which only became available in the United States for the treatment of intermediate surgical-risk patients through the EXCEED clinical trial in October. The Centera valve was approved in Europe last February.

    MedStar Washington Hospital Center in DC, a sister hospital of MedStar Union Memorial, has successfully implanted eight of the new valves. Combined with today’s two implants, MedStar Health can account for nearly a third of the total implants of this new technology in the U.S.

    “We are extremely excited to be able to offer this novel technology to our patients,” said Dr. Wang, an industry leader in cardiac catheterizations. “It is yet another example of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital being on the cutting edge of cardiac care and offering tomorrow’s technology today.”

    The Edwards Centera valve is a novel repositionable and retrievable self-expanding valve that is deployed with a motorized handle. It comes packaged with the valve fully pre-attached to the delivery system, which simplifies and expedites device preparation.

    Aortic stenosis is one of the most common valve problems and severe cases can be life threatening. The result of it causes a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, restricting blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. Valve replacement surgery has been the standard of care for patients with symptoms that include breathlessness, chest pain, pressure, fainting, palpitations, lethargy and a heart murmur.

    Patients with aortic stenosis should discuss with their doctor whether they qualify for the Centera valve as part of the EXCEED clinical trial.

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    About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

    MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

    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 30,000 associates, 6,000 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 MedStarHealth.org.

  • December 20, 2018

    (Washington, D.C.,) - The Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals lifted holiday spirits during the team’s annual December visit to patients at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

    The team, alongside mascot Slapshot, arrived by bus to meet children and families, including those spending the holidays in the hospital’s pediatric inpatient units. The Caps also played games, signed autographs and created artwork with families gathered inside the Lombardi Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

    “Days like today, when you can have the entire Washington Capitals hockey team visit, provide such an incredible and necessary distraction from illness,” said Laurie Strongin, CEO of the Hope for Henry Foundation.

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    Strongin started the foundation 15 years ago after her son, Henry, was treated at MedStar Georgetown. This year, Hope for Henry provided Stanley Cup Championship gear like tote bags, pennants, apparel and more to make sure no child left the party empty handed.

    Elsewhere in the clinic, players went from the ice to the icing while helping children decorate a colorful gingerbread house. It was just one of the art projects organized by Tracy’s Kids, a non-profit art therapy program for children suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses.

    Families also enjoyed cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake and participated with Caps players in Flashes of Hope, a photography project that honors patients and raises money for pediatric cancer research.

    MedStar Health serves as the Official Medical Provider of the Washington Capitals.

  • December 17, 2018

    Columbia, MD (December 17, 2018) Diagnosis-related events are the single largest root cause of medical professional liability claims, according to the Coverys report, Dose of Insight: Diagnostic Accuracy – Room for Improvement.  The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) put out a call to action and distributed a request for proposals for projects focused on improving diagnostic accuracy. The Foundation put aside $3 million in funding for approved projects.  Through this process, the Foundation hoped to stimulate projects that demonstrate new approaches and have the greatest potential to produce replicable processes for achieving prompt and accurate diagnosis.

    The Foundation received an overwhelming response to the request for proposals and MedStar Health’s proposal, titled “Improving diagnostic accuracy for Hepatitis C with a validated teach/improve model” was one of the 11 grant recipients selected for funding. 

    Chronic hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) has been dubbed the ‘silent killer’ due to its largely asymptomatic nature until progression results in noticeable, often irreversible impact on the patient’s health.  The MedStar project seeks to improve accurate and timely diagnosis of HCV and facilitation of comprehensive treatment within the primary care setting.  The work aligns with goals contained in the Maryland Department of Health Hepatitis C Strategic Plan, which includes a 4-pronged approach that encompasses prevention and education, testing, treatment and strengthening the disease surveillance system.

    The project will be led by Dr. Christine Goeschel, assistant vice president for quality at MedStar Health and director, Center for Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety and Dr. Dawn Fishbein, scientific director, Viral Hepatitis Research, MedStar Health Research Institute.

    A list of the 11 grant recipients and their projects can be found here.

    For more information on the Foundation, visit www.coverys.com.

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    About MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety
    The mission of the Medstar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS) is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by Medstar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MIQS provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line care givers, patients and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit www.medstariqs.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 30,000 associates, 6,000 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 MedStarHealth.org.

    About the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc.
    The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc. provides grant funding and donations to organizations and innovative programs that improve patient care and safety, promote healthy lifestyles, and support individuals and organizations providing healthcare services. The development of the Foundation exemplifies Coverys’ dedication to being an affirmative and active corporate citizen in the healthcare community and the communities in which it operates.

  • December 06, 2018

    Study of Stroke Prevention Device Which May Give Physicians More Flexibility in Optimal Cardiac Positioning

     

    Washington, D.C., June 12, 2018 – MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute physicians participating in a clinical trial have become the first in the Mid-Atlantic region to implant the next generation of a potentially life-changing device proven to reduce the risk of stroke in certain patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib). 

    The next-generation device, called the WATCHMAN FLX™, is being studied for its ability to provide doctors with greater flexibility and safety while positioning the device in the left atrial appendage, a sub-chamber of the heart where blood can pool and form clots. Those clots may then escape into the circulatory system and block blood flow to brain tissue.

    “Our participation in this clinical trial is an example of how the comprehensive AFib program at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is providing patients with access to cutting-edge devices and treatments before they are widely available,” said Manish Shah, MD, director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Training Program at the Hospital Center and principal investigator for the new trial.

    MedStar Heart &Vascular Institute is one of approximately 40 sites in the U.S. selected for WATCHMAN FLX implantation, and Dr. Shah is currently the leading implanter of devices nationwide.

    AFib is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in adults, affecting more than five million Americans, and is expected to become even more common as the population ages. AFib causes about 20 percent of all strokes, and strokes from AFib are particularly severe and twice as likely to cause death or incapacitation compared to strokes from other causes.

    Blood thinners are commonly prescribed to patients with AFib to reduce their risk of stroke, but patients and their physicians often have reservations about these types of drugs because of bleeding risks, especially in those patients with an increased risk of falls, along with the potential for medication interactions. As a result, up to 45 percent of patients with AFib may go untreated and unprotected from stroke.

    WATCHMAN FLX is designed to prevent the movement of blood clots formed within the left atrial appendage into the bloodstream, thereby protecting patients from AFib-related strokes.

    “Atrial fibrillation and its consequences are a growing epidemic, especially as our population ages,” said Stuart F. Seides, MD, physician executive director, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. “The refinement of a tool that may prevent strokes more securely in more patients is welcome.”

    The first version of WATCHMAN™ became available internationally in 2009, and since then various generations of the device have been implanted more than 50,000 times.

    Patients or physicians interested in learning more about this study and possible participation, please contact clinical study coordinator, Roshila Mohammed, at 202-877-0805.

     


    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 150 cardiovascular physicians throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, MedStar Heart also offers a clinical and research alliance with Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute, the nation’s #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.

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