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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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  • May 30, 2018

    Drs. Leigh Matlaga and Nicola London to Lead OB-GYN Department

    BALTIMORE, Md.—(May 30, 2018)—MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center has named two OB-GYN physicians to leadership roles where they will help guide the department’s operational efforts and ensure the highest quality of safe patient care.

    Drs. Leigh Matlaga and Nicola London will each assume the role of associate chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, under the leadership of chairwoman Kathryn Elgin, MD. Dr. London and Dr. Matlaga will also serve as medical director of the Bel Air and Dundalk women’s practices, and the White Square OB-GYN practice, respectively.

    “Dr. Matlaga and Dr. London have demonstrated enthusiasm and leadership in our efforts to continually improve the OB-GYN department,” said Mimi Novello, MD, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. “Their expertise, passion and commitment to patients sets a high bar for the program as we continue to provide the best care possible for women in the Baltimore area.”

    Dr. Matlaga will manage quality and safety for the department while Dr. London oversees operations.

    Dr. Matlaga joined the MFSMC in 2006 as an attending physician after practicing at Indiana University School of Medicine.  She earned her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed her OB-GYN residency training at Duke University.  She has practiced in several locations affiliated with MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, including Bel Air, Dundalk and Timonium. She earned a Baltimore magazine Top Doctors award in 2012.

    Dr. London launched her career at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in 1993 as a resident. She has served as a practicing OB-GYN and had a managing role in the Dundalk and Bel Air practices.  She received her medical degree from University of Maryland, graduating Alpha Omega Alpha.  She has a reoccurring place in the annual Baltimore magazine Top Doc edition. Dr. London has served as a peer reviewer on the Maryland Medical Board of Physician Quality Assurance, as well as on several hospital committees.

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    About MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is a not-for-profit 378-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 is first in Emergency Department visits with more than 108,000 visits 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.

  • May 30, 2018

    (Washington, D.C.,) The far-reaching possibilities of 3D printers are building better, stronger futures for spinal fusion patients at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

    U.S. Capitol Police officer Craig Galope, 45, now lives with three futuristic-looking, 3D printed titanium implants in his neck. Before his operation, a spine injury left him suffering from bulged discs, several pinched nerves, numbness and pain down his right arm.

    “One day I woke up and couldn’t lift a backpack over my head,” Galope says. “It looked like someone stuck a needle into a balloon and deflated the right side of my body.”

    Galope had heard negative stories about spinal fusions using metal rods and was nervous about permanently losing mobility as a result. He saw MedStar Georgetown Orthopedic Spine Surgeon S. Babak Kalantar, MD, who recommended anterior cervical fusion of the spine using 3D printed interbody spacers placed in between discs. No metal rod necessary.

    “This kind of device is the next level in the evolution of the procedure. It’s used in instances where we’re looking for higher fusion rates and doing multiple levels of fusion,” says Kalantar.

    According to Kalantar, fusing a spine with titanium helps bone grow back more quickly than other types of implants, like those made of plastic. However, even older titanium implants come with challenges. Kalantar describes them as “really dense, just like a big fat piece of metal.” The new 3D printed pieces (developed by 4WEB) change all of that.

    “We really had to wait until 3D printing became available so that these devices can be made in three dimensional ways that we never could have done before,” says Kalantar.

    Their hollowed core leaves only roughly textured trestles. All of that open space allows doctors to use more sterilized cadaver bone to help vertebrae to heal and eventually fuse together on their own.

    “This device stimulates the person’s own bone to grow across it, like your own body will grow across a broken bone to fix it,” says Kalantar.

    With no contraindications – like allergies or reactions to the metal – almost anyone suffering from similar spinal injuries can be a candidate for the procedure. Galope elected to have it done and is still “blown away” by his own recovery.

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    “I’m at 100% movement. I would have been happy with 85%, but to get 100% back – that’s Dr. Kalantar’s work.”

    According to Kalantar, the pain & weakness from the bulged discs went away less than 24 hours after surgery. Three months later, Galope was back to full duty at U.S. Capitol Police.

    “I think it worked incredibly well, especially with someone going back into a very intense field of work where he’s going to be performing very physical work,” Kalantar says. “It’s not a very painful recovery and is often very quick.”

    It’s a victory for 3D printing that Kalantar predicts will continue to make an impact on the medical world, allowing for more customized implants and easier recoveries in the years ahead.

  • May 30, 2018

    When a Career and a Passion Come Together

    Leonardtown, Maryland – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital recently awarded seven local students with scholarships totaling approximately $168,000 to pursue careers in nursing and allied health.

    “We were very impressed by all of this year’s applicants,” said Rick Tepel, chair of the scholarship committee. “It is inspiring to meet all of the candidates and learn about their plans. We look forward to the great work they’ll be doing here in our community after graduation.”

    This year’s scholarship recipients with their fields of study are:

    • Tucker Arvin of St. Inigoes, nursing
    • Amaya Butler of Waldorf, nursing
    • Kimberly Campbell of Lusby, medical laboratory science
    • Angela Cox of California, nursing
    • Sydney Marshall of Port Tobacco, radiology
    • Alexandra Myers of Great Mills, nursing
    • Madison Richards of Clements, nursing

    At a May 24 reception, speaker Christine Taylor discussed how the hospital scholarship helped her to begin a nursing program at age 33.

    “I was terrified, but I knew this would be the best move for my family,” said Taylor, who was encouraged to enroll by the doctors with whom she was then working as a medical assistant. “So with a five-year-old, a 15-month-old, a husband on shift work and a full-time job myself, I enrolled in my very first college class. Often I spent my nights with my son in one arm and a nursing book in the other.”

    Taylor went on to graduate with honors from the College of Southern Maryland in 2010. She became an operating room nurse before transitioning to work as an outpatient care coordinator and breast navigator at MedStar St. Mary’s.

    Taylor found renewed purpose in working directly with patients to navigate life beyond a breast cancer diagnosis — a cause close to her heart, as she herself is a survivor. Taylor became the Susan G. Komen grant facilitator in 2016 and also organizes the hospital’s monthly Breast Cancer Support Group.

    “None of this would have been possible without the support of the hospital,” she continued. “This scholarship is what put me on the path to achieve my goals and be successful. It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”

    The Philanthropy Committee, formerly the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, is a subset of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Board of Directors. Including the 2018 recipients, 149 students have received tuition support to help ensure the future of quality local healthcare. Applications are due each spring. Visit MedStarStMarys.org/Scholarships to learn more.

    Funds for the scholarship program are raised through the hospital’s annual Gala. This year’s event, A Mad Adventure, will be held Friday, Nov. 16, at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department’s Social Hall. Visit MedStarStMarys.org/MadAdventure to become a sponsor.

  • May 24, 2018

    Earlier this month, Prince George’s County, along with partners MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) and the University of Maryland Capital Region Health, which are the two entities delivering babies in Prince George’s County, the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services and the Prince George’s County School and Library Systems, hosted a press conference announcing a new Healthy Baby Initiative.

    The Healthy Baby Initiative provides several items to new parents to help after the birth of a new baby.  First, it provides a Graco Pack ‘N Play, which functions as a portable bed and playpen for babies.

    Second, the Healthy Baby Initiative provides a bag with literature that helps educate and provide resources to parents.

    Third, the Healthy Baby Initiative provides a set of soft-cover, washable books in this branded bag.  The bag also contains information on how to sign your baby up to receive additional books, totaling around 60, by the time the child is five years old and ready for school

    Representing MSMHC at this press conference was Dr. Nahid Mazarei, Director of MSMHC’s OB/GYN Department.  Last year, said Mazarei, MSMHC delivered around 1,200 babies, 65-percent of which were classified as high-risk births.

    “What we’re doing today is elevating the level of awareness for what we can do,” said Dr. Mazarei. “What we have learned as individuals, we can take this today and expand it to the community and raise awareness of how to best promote healthy babies.”

    The Press Conference took place at the Prince George’s County Health Department.  Dominique Stuckey, Nursing Director of MSMHC’s Women and Newborns Center, and Cody Legler, MSMHC’s Senior Director of Nursing, were also in attendance. 

    “We’re so proud to be a part of this great initiative,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray.  “We love bringing babies into the world here in Prince George’s County, and we want to do all we can to promote healthy pregnancies, healthy births and a healthy start to life.  Providing this Pack ‘N Play and all the books and resources that come with it, will really help families in Prince George’s County, and we’re excited to help distribute these items to our new babies.” 

    To learn more about MSMHC’s Women and Newborns Center, or to sign up for a tour of our facility, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Baby.


    About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient-centered services that connect us to the community we serve.

  • May 22, 2018
    Celebrates Launch of its Largest Innovative Sim Center Near MedStar Harbor Hospital
  • May 22, 2018
    Patients Experience Improved Quality of Life and Fewer Trips to the Emergency Department

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