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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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  • June 29, 2018

    Skin cancer doesn’t always look like trouble.

     

    Though most of us would know to seek a medical opinion over a suspicious mole, other patches may not seem questionable at all. That’s why regular skin checks — through self-exams, as well as appointments with your family physician or dermatologist — are important. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, frequently looks like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump, or raised reddish patch that might be itchy. They can also appear to be flat, firm, pale, or yellow areas, similar to a scar, or pink growths with raised edges. These can develop anywhere on the body after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.

    Suspicious areas can also look like dry, rough, scaly patches or spots that may be flesh-colored or pink-red. Known as actinic keratoses, these spots usually appear on areas prone to frequent sun exposure: the neck, head, hands, and forearms, according to the American Cancer Society. People with one actinic keratosis often develop many more. These spots could stay the same, clear up on their own, or develop into squamous cell carcinoma, so seeking a professional opinion is key.

    Red firm bumps, scaly patches, wart-like growths, sores that heal but then come back — these could be indicative of squamous cell carcinoma. The rims of the ears, neck, back, face, arms, and chest are frequently affected by these growths, which can develop deep in the skin and spread to other areas of the body.

    Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, usually develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin. “Most people have moles, and almost all moles are harmless,” states the American Cancer Society. “But it’s important to notice changes in a mole — such as its size, shape, or color — because that may be a sign that melanoma is developing.”

    “Regardless of your skin suspicions, catching them early is very important,” said Temeria Wilcox, CRNP, a board-certified family nurse practitioner at MedStar Health Primary Care at East Run Center in Lexington Park. “Because basal cell carcinoma, in particular, can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, preventing permanent damage starts with doing regular skin checks, keeping appointments for routine physicals, and seeing a doctor right away with any skin concerns.”

    When doing a self-exam, note your standard birthmarks, moles, and other blemishes, and have a partner help inspect hard-to-reach areas like your back and neck. Regular exams are especially important for those at a higher risk of skin cancer: people with reduced immunity; those who have had skin cancer before; and people with a strong family history of the disease.

    “Be aware of your normal pattern of moles, freckles, and blemishes,” Temeria advised. “Checking your own skin frequently can help find many skin cancers early, when they are easier to treat. Your doctor can work with you as a part of your routine physical and overall wellness.”

    Visit MedStarStMarys.org/SkinCheck to learn more about skin health.

    What to Look For:

    The A, B, C, D, Es of Melanoma

    ___________________________

    A- ASYMMETRY

    One half is unlike the other half.

    B - BORDER

    An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.

    C - COLOR

    Varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.

    D - DIAMETER

    Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

    E - EVOLVING

    A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in the size, shape, or color. If a spot changes, itches, bleeds, or is different from others, see your doctor or dermatologist. 

    Source: American Academy of Dermatology

  • June 25, 2018
    The MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Marketing, Public Relations & Philanthropy team, from left: Jeni Irwin, Rachel Lytle, Holly Meyer, Deborah Gross, Megan Johnson, Ruby Hawks, Jennifer Davis, and Sandy Ondrejcak.

    Leonardtown, Maryland – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Marketing, Public Relations & Philanthropy Department was recently honored with 10 awards from the Aster Awards Program and the Healthcare Marketing Report (HMR).

    The Aster Awards Program is an elite competition dedicated to recognizing excellence in medical marketing, while HMR is a publications group focused on marketing news and information from around the nation in the field of higher education and healthcare.

    Aster Awards received this year include:

    • Gold for STRIVE365, Internal Advertising Campaign
    • Gold for Diamonds and Pearls: Gala 2017, Special Events
    • Silver for The Pulse, Internal Newsletter Series
    • Bronze for the Eclipse Facebook Post, Social Media - Single

    HMR Awards received were:

    • Gold for The Pulse, Internal Publication
    • Gold for Diamonds and Pearls: Gala 2017, Special Events
    • Gold for the Opioids Series, a Public Relations Program in Healthy Living
    • Bronze for STRIVE365, a Health Promotion Program
    • Merit for Sports Medicine, an Advertising Series
    • Merit for the Eclipse Facebook Post, Social Media

    The staff includes Holly Meyer, director; Ruby Hawks, assistant director; Sandy Ondrejcak and Jennifer Davis, graphic designers; Jeni Irwin, marketing and philanthropy coordinator; Rachel Lytle, digital marketing coordinator; and Deborah Gross and Megan Johnson, writers.

    “Creativity, communication, and excellent teamwork are the glue that binds our team together,” said Meyer. “We are proud to share news from MedStar St. Mary’s with our community, and honored by these recognitions for the work we love to do.”

    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. 

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  • June 20, 2018

    Leonardtown, Maryland – “Reflections,” an exhibit of historical artifacts related to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, was recently honored by the St. Mary’s County Historic Preservation Commission for its work to preserve and highlight the 106-year history of the nonprofit facility.

    Representatives from the hospital accepted a Preservation Service Award and proclamation at the St. Mary’s County Commissioners’ monthly meeting on May 15. The award was one of three presented in honor of Historic Preservation Month.

    Opened in October 2017, “Reflections” includes historical artifacts collected to celebrate the hospital’s centennial anniversary in 2012. Linda Lagle, Carole Nelson, Nicki Strickland, Dr. John W. Roache, Pat Wilkinson, and the hospital’s Marketing, Public Relations & Philanthropy team collaborated to locate, organize, and display a variety of historical photographs, letters, medical equipment, and other items donated by physicians, past and present, as well as community members.

    “Creating the history room was a labor of love,” said Holly Meyer, director of Marketing, Public Relations & Philanthropy at MedStar St. Mary’s. “The growth of our hospital has always depended upon the support and generosity of our community, and we are proud to reflect so much local history – the history of St. Mary’s County, too – in this exhibit.”

    “Reflections” is dedicated to Dr. Roache, a longtime surgeon and local historian who retired in 2016 after more than 40 years of service to the hospital. The history room is open to all visitors near the Café at Buena Vista on the first floor of the hospital’s main building.

    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.

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