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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 03, 2018

    New Surgical Pavilion Construction to Begin in January

     
    BALTIMORE—(Dec. 3, 2018)—MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center broke ground Dec. 3 on a new $70 million, two-story surgical pavilion, to expand its 13 operating rooms and a hybrid room, equipped for both catheterization and surgical procedures. The new design and expansion will optimize the delivery of patient care, and open space to the latest in technology, equipment, surgical teams and future services.

    Construction for the 80,000 square feet of clinical space will begin on the former site of the Baltimore County Eastern Family Resource Center in January. Substantial completion is expected by June 2020 and occupancy by September 2020. The surgical pavilion will connect to the back of the existing hospital at the ground and first levels. Approximately 1,000 feet of internal finish upgrades shall also be made, where the surgical pavilion will connect to the hospital’s inpatient unit. This connection between the two buildings will provide direct inpatient access from the operating rooms and the post anesthesia care unit, (PACU).

    “This new surgical pavilion is a giant leap forward in the growth of MedStar Franklin Square,” said President of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, and Senior Vice President, MedStar Health, Samuel E. Moskowitz, FACHE. “As we approach our 50th anniversary of providing healthcare to the communities we serve, we are energized.  Our outreach has become more extensive. Our medical care is outstanding. We’ve come a long way since we opened in 1969, and we’re so proud of the strides we’ve made toward providing quality care and a better, safer patient experience. These new operating rooms underscore our commitment to patients. Not only does the expanded space allow for the latest technologies, the new layout and design changes will make moving between the operating rooms, the PACU and the patients’ hospital rooms, convenient and easy to find for family members.”

    “We make investments as a system and the entirety of MedStar Health believes that what MedStar Franklin Square is doing deserved a level of investment to support eastern Baltimore County, Harford County and all the people in these communities,” said MedStar Health President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth A. Samet. “What all of us are a part of is creating a legacy that decades from now, we’ll all be proud of.”

    The new surgical pavilion and adjoining areas feature:

    • 13 flexible and adaptive operating rooms for general surgery and robotics
    • A hybrid operating room with bi-plane imaging equipment
    • 28 fully enclosed private prep and recovery rooms for patient privacy and human-centered care
    • 24 post-anesthesia bays with bay-to-bay separation
    • Centralized sterile core for efficiency of supplies
    • Ancillary support spaces for staff and clinicians
    • Public concourse and waiting areas for families
    • Connector link to the ground, first and second floor of the patient tower
    • Total expansion of 85,000 over three floors to serve the patients, staff and community

     As one of the nation’s top 25 community teaching hospitals, with a large surgical residency program, MedStar Franklin Square offers leading technology in minimally invasive surgery, including the daVinci robotic surgical system, cancer services, Cyberknife,  diagnostic imaging and radiology, obstetrics and neonatology,  women’s services and orthopaedics and joint replacement.

    The hospital’s existing operating rooms will remain in use during construction. The operating rooms are currently split into two areas of the hospital. The new facility will combine the rooms and staff in one area and include a waiting room, pre-operative services, post-operative services and pre-admission testing for patients having surgery in the future.

    #

    About MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is a not-for-profit 353-bed community teaching hospital located in the White Marsh section of eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. MedStar Franklin Square provides many medical and healthcare services, including a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals. The hospital is ranked third in admissions among all Maryland hospitals and our Emergency Department treats more than 80,000 patients annually. MedStar Franklin Square is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has earned some of the nation’s most prestigious quality awards including Magnet Designation for excellence in nursing, the Excellence Award for Quality Improvement from the Delmarva Foundation and inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital specialty ranking for four consecutive years. With more than 3,300 employees, MedStar Franklin Square is one of the largest employers in Baltimore County. Visit medstarfranklin.org for more information.

  • November 30, 2018

    (Washington, D.C.,)  When Melvin Denwiddie, 73 was diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2016 his physicians first told him the “watch and wait” strategy would be sufficient.  But in 2017 further testing showed that his cancer had become more aggressive and it was time to get treated.

    “My prostate cancer was potentially fatal if I didn’t start treatment,” says Denwiddie. “My choices were surgery to remove the prostate, traditional radiation or proton radiation,” says the great-grandfather of three. “I did my research and I wanted proton therapy.  I found that proton therapy would be the most accurate; it would follow the shape of my tumor and would penetrate only the tumor and not any of the tissue outside of the tumor.  That was very important to me.”

    That’s when he found proton therapy at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and his radiation oncologist, Jonathan Lischalk, MD.

    “It’s important to sit down with patients and discuss their treatment options,” says Dr. Lischalk. “For localized prostate cancer, a variety of treatment options exist including surgery and radiation therapy.  Even within radiation therapy, many options exist including proton therapy, x-ray-based therapy, and brachytherapy.  Helping a patient understand his treatment options, the related side effects, and the clinical outcomes is extremely important.”

    The proton therapy system at MedStar Georgetown is the first and only in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and is the first in the world to offer proton therapy with HYPERSCAN™ technology. HYPERSCAN produces beams that are sharper than other proton systems and treats patients faster.

    Denwiddie received 43 proton treatments over the course of July through September 2018.

    “From my standpoint, proton therapy is a very good treatment process. It was not invasive, it wasn’t painful and I experienced very few side effects,” says Denwiddie.  “Aside from my bladder becoming overactive, it was a pretty easy treatment from beginning to end.  And any side effects I had are getting better.”

    With proton therapy complete, Denwiddie continues with hormone treatments for his prostate cancer under the care of his urology team at MedStar Georgetown.

    Denwiddie with Dr. Lischalk in an exam room
    Melvin Denwiddie (left) and Dr. Lischalk (right)

    “Proton therapy is proving to be an excellent option for prostate cancer treatment,” say Ryan Hankins, MD, a urologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “From a urology standpoint, I am able to use a small needle through the skin to place the needed fiducial markers and gel spacer to help improve patient outcomes and make proton therapy more precise. This is done with no incisions on the skin. Dr. Lischalk and I also coordinate patient visits to help make the patient's visit to MedStar Georgetown as seamless as possible.”

    Denwiddie is a retired accountant for NASA but continues to prepare tax returns and represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service. “It’s a labor of love I’ve been practicing since 1972.  It’s such a pleasure to know that I can continue to help people when they need it in this way.”

    With his wife of more than 50 years newly retired and his prostate cancer treated, Denwiddie looks to the future with optimism and excitement.

    “I feel confident that this prostate cancer is a thing of the past. The rest of my life, I’m looking forward to enjoying the freedom and flexibility to move around and travel with my wife.  That includes visiting family and places I haven’t had the opportunity to see yet. I’m very excited about my future.”

  • November 29, 2018
    On Nov. 29, 2018, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a viewpoint article titled, “Improving Electronic Health Record Usability and Safety Requires Transparency,” by authors from MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, American Medical Association, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
  • November 27, 2018

    System is One of a Kind in the World

    BALTIMORE—MedStar Union Memorial Hospital unveiled this month a custom-built, cutting-edge robotic simulator that replicates musculoskeletal motion, allowing researchers to study the forces on muscles, bones and joints, and improve surgical methods utilized in orthopaedic reconstructive surgery.

    The system, which is the only one like it in the world, will help anchor the MedStar Musculoskeletal Education and Research Institute, a system-wide research initiative in collaboration with the MedStar Health Research Institute, which has expanded and enhanced existing research efforts in the areas of degenerative, deformity, traumatic, and congenital pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. Bryan W. Cunningham, PhD, a seasoned research leader with more than 30 years experience, was hired earlier this year to lead the institute.

    “This device will help us to better understand how certain surgical techniques influence the biomechanics of musculoskeletal motions,” Dr. Cunningham said. “It’s an exciting technological advancement that will help us better understand the dynamics of the musculoskeletal motion and improve upon existing technologies in an effort to enhance the surgical care and quality of life for patients with musculoskeletal pathology. That’s what it’s all about - advancing patient care.”

    The musculoskeletal simulator is known as a six-degree-of-freedom simulator, so called because it’s capable of replicating multidirectional motions: forward, backward, up and down, and side to side.

    The fundamental application of the technology allows for surgeons to perform surgical reconstructions in a laboratory setting to determine how a specific technique (e.g. spinal fusion) affects motions and forces at the operative site and adjacent levels.

    The team at the MedStar Musculoskeletal Education and Research Institute will use the device to establish and maintain a premier musculoskeletal research and teaching center, while developing a collaborative worldwide network of research colleagues dedicated to the treatment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

    #

    About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

    MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

    MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

    MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

    For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

    About MedStar Orthopaedic Institute

    In Central Maryland, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute combines the skill and expertise of more than 80 physicians at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, The Curtis National Hand Center, and more than 20 community locations, giving you convenient access to the area's top orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine care. Our physicians treat the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Baltimore Blast, Baltimore Brigade, US Lacrosse, and the majority of collegiate, high school and recreational teams in the region. Visit MedStarOrtho.org or call 877-34-ORTHO for an appointment.

    About MedStar Health Research Institute

    MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI), founded in 1963, is the research division of MedStar Health. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for clinical research throughout the MedStar Health system. Led by Dr. Neil Weissman, MHRI supports more than 1,000 associates dedicated to advancing health through research.

    MHRI’s core services include a biostatistics and epidemiological center, clinical research centers, a research pharmacy, two accredited pre-clinical laboratories, biochemistry and biomarker core laboratories, a core platelet center, a cardiac and vascular pathology center, a genetics/genomics/proteomics research core, a cardiovascular core imaging center, an institutional review board, and an office of research integrity. In the last year, more than 1,000 active studies, involving thousands of patients, resulted in nearly 1,000 peer-reviewed publications. MHRI is in the top 20% of U.S. institutions receiving funds from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, with approximately 60% of its studies being federally funded.

  • November 26, 2018
    Photo courtesy of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
    Members of the Philanthropy Committee of the hospital’s Board of Directors at the 2018 Gala: Beverly Wood, left; Vince Whittles; Lea Weaver; Karen Garner; Rick Tepel; and Christine Wray, hospital president.

    Leonardtown, Maryland – Attendees enjoyed a magical night down the rabbit hole at the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital 2018 Gala, held Nov. 16 at the Hollywood Social Hall.

    Sponsored by the hospital and the Family of Francis Taylor, Sr., the annual black-tie affair featured a gourmet dinner and dessert by Ken’s Creative Kitchen of Annapolis with live entertainment by Paradigm. The hall was transformed into a whimsical experience for more than 500 guests.

    Nearly $135,000 was raised in net proceeds to help fund scholarships through MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. To date, 149 scholarships have been awarded to local students pursuing healthcare careers in return for their commitment to bringing their expertise back to our facility.

    Chances were sold to win one of two necklaces and an accompanying gentleman’s gift, courtesy of G&H Jewelers. Micheline Lopez-Estrada held the winning number and selected a stunning gemstone and diamond pendant as her prize.

    MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital would like to acknowledge this year’s contributors, especially the Family of Francis Taylor, Sr., this year’s Presenting Sponsor ($25,000).

    The hospital also thanks and acknowledges:

    Premiere Sponsors ($15,000):

    • Associates in Radiation Medicine
    • G&H Jewelers
    • Pam & Dave Jamieson
    • MedStar Shah Medical Group
    • The Cherry Cove Group
    • Christine Wray & John Felicitas

    Diamond Sponsors ($10,000):

    • AMEWAS, Inc.
    • Servpro of St. Mary's & Calvert
    • Mary's Academy Class of '72
    • US Acute Care Solutions

     Platinum Sponsors ($6,000):

    • Anna Choi, MD & Richard Ferraro
    • Jayaraman Medical Associates, LLC
    • Karen & Stephen Michaels
    • ManTech International Corporation

    Gold Sponsors ($4,000):

    • KBRwyle
    • Parlett Affiliated Companies
    • Printing Press, Inc.
    • Raley Watts & O'Neill
    • Something Special by Tracy
    • M. Davis, Inc. General Contractors

    Silver Sponsors ($2,500):

    • ASEC, Inc.
    • C3 Innovations, Inc.
    • Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant
    • CMI General Contractors
    • College of Southern Maryland
    • CRGA Design
    • DCS Corporation
    • Fotheringill & Wade, LLC
    • Carrie Jennison & John Stenson
    • Old Line Bank
    • Sabre Systems, Inc.
    • Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
    • Mary's College of Maryland
    • Taylor Gas Company, Inc.

    Bronze Sponsors ($850):

    • Bank of America
    • Community Bank of the Chesapeake
    • John P. Crine, In Memory of Thelma Jean Crine
    • Dean Lumber Supply
    • Edward Jones
    • Kristine & John Greely
    • F. Taylor, Inc.
    • KIWI-TECH
    • Joan & Alfred Mattingly, Sr.
    • Midoula & Axis Healthcare Groups
    • Carol & Bill Moody
    • PAE Applied Technologies, LLC
    • Parran's Flooring Center
    • Kathy & Chris Perlick
    • Phocus Video
    • PNC Bank
    • & Mrs. Yahia Tagouri
    • Dawn & Nick Yeitrakis

    Save the date for next year’s gala on Nov. 15, 2019! Visit Facebook.com/MedStarStMarys to view more event photos.

     

    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.

    An “Alice in Wonderland”-style mural, illustrated by graphic arts students at Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, completed the Rabbit Hole Lounge motif at this year’s Gala.
    Photo courtesy of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
    An “Alice in Wonderland”-style mural, illustrated by graphic arts students at Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, completed the Rabbit Hole Lounge motif at this year’s Gala.
  • November 19, 2018
    American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program® is an Indicator for Excellence in Patient Care

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