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.
April 05, 2018A Comprehensive, Caring Approach to Dealing with a Life-Limiting Illness
Palliative Care is customized, supportive care that takes into account all aspects of who the patient is and what works best for them. It helps people understand their choices about their care and it’s why our new Director of Palliative Care, Dr. Alvin Reaves, III, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, refers to think of what he does as Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care.
“When I began my career as a physician, I began to take care of people with chronic diseases, managing symptoms we could not cure,” said Dr. Reaves. “Uncontrolled symptoms cause fear and anxiety and I wanted to address how to care for people at this time in their lives, providing customized care that recognizes the differing needs of each patient and works in partnership with the medical team, the patient, and the family.”
At MedStar Southern Maryland, the Palliative Care Team includes Dr. Reaves, social worker Zoe Plaugher, and Nurse Practitioner Sherri Hayes. Together, they are responsible for managing the care a patient receives to ensure their case is treated in a unique way determined by each individual patient.
“This means doing different things for different people, said Plaugher. “We consult with the medical team, we make sure the patient and their family understands what is going on and we listen to what they want. We ask what kind of person they were and how we can preserve their dignity.”
The team incorporates multiple disciplines, says Plaugher, as they help review the medical condition of the patient, set treatment goals, provide the family with support and resolve conflicts. The team also works with both in-patient consultants and outside agencies, such as hospice, to coordinate the best care for each patient.
“We treat the whole person, physically, emotionally and spiritually, as well as the family,” said Dr. Reaves. “We find out their understanding of what is going on and what is important to them.”
The MedStar system believes putting a palliative care team in place is very important for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families, so they have assembled teams at each MedStar hospital.
Please visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Palliative for more information about Palliative Care at MSMHC.
April 03, 2018
April is Donate Life Month
For Renee Sicheri, a registered nurse at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC), organ donation is very personal. Indeed, it is a solemn occasion for everyone at the hospital. We know it means one family is dealing with a devastating loss and a sad time, but we also know another family will be able to celebrate a second chance for their ailing loved one.
Sicheri has been on both sides of this equation. She suffered the loss of a beloved family member whose organs lived on and saved lives in the bodies of others, and she is part of the team at MSMHC who works with Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) to coordinate this process to save numerous others. WRTC is the organization responsible for the delicate and complicated process of finding donor organs for recipients on donor lists and coordinating the transfer of the organs to recipients.
The way the organ donation process works is this: First, every effort to save the patient’s life is expended, provided this is what the patient would want. After extensive testing, once it is determined the patient will not make it, but whose organs may be able to function and save a life in the body of another person, WRTC is notified. They will come to MSMHC, review the patient’s chart, and check their database for matches. Then, the family of the patient is consulted, but it is always the wishes of the patient that overrides anyone else. Once the organ is harvested, it is put on a medivac helicopter for rapid transit to its recipient.
After the process is complete, the donor’s family receives recognition from WRTC for the generous gift of life from their loved one in the form of a thank you certificate that includes how many people were potentially saved through each person’s organ donation and how long they were on a recipient list.
At MSMHC, we are proud to be a part of this process and proud to support WRTC by promoting their Donate Life campaign and the process of becoming a donor. We promote this message in various ways, including through education to both our associates and our community, through hosting a WRTC representative for an organ donation sign-up day in our hospital’s cafeteria, and by participating in Blue
and Green Friday on April 13th, to increase awareness of the Donate Life campaign.
Late last year, WRTC awarded the entire MSMHC perioperative team for being champions of the organ donation process, and for being among the Top 50 hospitals for notification and procurement. It also awarded Dr. Katharine Modisett, MD, for facilitating the organ donation process at MSMHC.
Please visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/DonateLife for more information about organ donation.
April 02, 2018
A Life-Changing Outcome
For 42-year-old Mara Cutchember of Lexington Park, having her menstrual cycle every month was excruciating. With heavy bleeding and excessive pain, she often found herself bedridden due to symptoms caused by fibroids. “I felt like I was in labor for three to four days a month,” Mara said. “It had gotten worse, so that’s when I said, ‘I really need to do something about this.’ ”
After years of suffering, Mara began conversations with her gynecologist about what she could do to alleviate her pain. She had discussed a hysterectomy with her doctor, but, luckily, she had also read about uterine fibroid embolization and her gynecologist recommended the procedure.
Scott Kuo, MD, of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Interventional Radiology team performed Mara’s surgery in December 2016.
“It is life-changing,” said Mara, who no longer struggles with monthly pain. “Sometimes I forget I am having my menstrual cycle now.”
Uterine fibroid embolization is typically a quick, procedure - 60 to 90 minutes - performed with minimal sedation. The minimally invasive, image-guided procedure allows patients to recover more rapidly than if they had to undergo a full hysterectomy. Mara’s recovery was four to five days versus six weeks for a more extensive surgery.
The procedure Dr. Kuo performed is called Uterine Artery Embolization, which allows embolic agents to be delivered to the uterus and fibroids. The arteries providing blood to the fibroids are blocked causing the fibroids to shrink, thus eliminating the painful monthly symptoms.
“Many people do not realize that MedStar St Mary’s has an interventional radiology department that is ready to serve the community with different types of procedures and treatment options,” said Dr. Kuo. “Mara’s story is a great example of how we are using state-of-the-art technology to give patients faster recovery times and better outcomes through less invasive procedures.”
What is Interventional Radiology (IR)?
Advanced imaging such as ultrasound, X-rays, CAT scans, MRI scans and other methods, allow interventional radiologists to see inside a patient’s body in order to treat complex conditions with minimally invasive procedures. IR can reduce hospital stays, lessen the chance of complications and save lives.
IR Procedures Performed at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
- Dialysis interventions
- Line placement (ports, dialysis catheters)
- IVC filter placement/removal
- Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty
- Percutaneous image-guided biopsy
- Uterine artery
- Varicose vein ablation
- Feeding tube placement
- Biliary and nephrostomy tube placement
Visit MedStarStMarys.org/IR to learn more about Interventional Radiology.
April 02, 2018MedStar Georgetown First Hospital in Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area to Use New Deep Brain Stimulation System for Parkinson’s DiseaseVercise™ DBS More Convenient for Patients than Traditional DBS
March 29, 2018
New, $1.75 Million Center Will Include New Infusion Center with 22 Chairs
BALTIMORE, Md.—(March 29, 2018)—Sixteen oncology experts from the MedStar Health Cancer Network will be under the same roof, expanding patient access to oncology care, with the opening of the MedStar Franklin Square Cancer Center at Loch Raven Campus, April 9th.
Located in the Russell Morgan building of MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, the 7,800-square-foot, $1.75 million renovated space will include a state-of-the-art infusion center with 22 treatment chairs, providing IV therapy of all types including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and iron infusions.
The new location will include a pharmacy, a clinical trials program, screening programs including 3-D mammograms and lung CT scans, an on-site MRI machine, ultrasounds, mammography, and radiation therapy including a Linear Accelerator machine.
A multi-disciplinary team of cancer specialists will include breast surgeons, medical oncologists, a genetic counselor, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiologists, a surgical oncologist, and an oncology-trained team of nurses, nurse practitioners, and other clinicians.
“Having all of these services together will make for a much more robust patient experience,” said Linda Rogers, RN, CPA, MBA, vice president of oncology and related services for the MedStar Health Baltimore region. “Our clinicians will be able to better communicate patient cases with each other face to face, quickly order medications from the on-site pharmacy, and benefit from ongoing clinical research. Our patients will benefit from having their entire medical team, testing, medications and infusion therapies under one roof.”
Patients will also have access to support services including financial counseling, flexible scheduling, free community education including smoking cessation, free parking and a free shuttle service to and from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.
To make an appointment, call 443-444-3991.
About the MedStar Health Cancer Network
The MedStar Health Cancer Network, comprised of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor, and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals, represents a true collaboration in oncology care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses, and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced-based, quality care with a focus on service and easy access.
The Cancer Network has recently been granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The Cancer Network is committed to delivering the highest standards of care—this national endorsement further validates the quality of care its experts provide to cancer patients in the Baltimore community.
Our oncology experts provide all the cancer treatments you expect, plus some you might not. Treatments are always supported or driven by the latest research, including such sophisticated offerings as CyberKnife radiation, leading clinical trials, targeted therapies, and minimally invasive surgery—endoscopic, laparoscopic, or robotic-assisted. Our physicians, including a dedicated orthopaedic oncology team, are specially trained to treat complex cancers. Our seamless oncology care is backed by electronic medical records and top support services like genetic counseling and cancer rehab.
March 29, 2018"It is a great honor to be elected President of the NFLPS, and I am looking forward to working with the medical staffs from every team as we work to provide the best possible care to our patients - the NFL players," says Dr. Curl.