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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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  • September 08, 2021

    CLINTON, Md. – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is pleased to welcome Brian C. Case, MD, FACC, a board-certified and fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist who joined the hospital in August 2021.

    Dr. Case, a Montgomery County native, graduated cum laude from St. George's University School of Medicine in 2012 and then participated in an internship at NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, formerly known as NYU Winthrop Hospital. Dr. Case completed an extensive residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and was selected as the chief medical resident in 2016 for internal medicine. He then obtained fellowship training through a joint program at both MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., where he was honored as a chief cardiology fellow in 2019, followed by two years of combined research and clinical interventional cardiology.

    As part of the specialty care provided at MedStar Southern Maryland in Clinton, Maryland, Dr. Case treats patients with coronary artery disease through modern technological interventions such as intravascular imaging and invasive physiology to help guide stent selection, placement and deployment. His training includes performing intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography for intravascular imaging, as well as fractional flow reserves and instantaneous wave-free ratios for evaluation of physiological cardiac ischemia.

    “My hope and goal is to incorporate my experience in training into the clinical practice and daily decision making for our patients here at MedStar Southern Maryland,” Dr. Case said. “In the world of interventional cardiology, using intervascular imaging and invasive physiology on a daily basis will help guide treatment plans and allow us to provide more individualized, high-quality heart care. It's about having transparency and innovation that leads to the best possible outcomes for our patients. Because how we treat people is the heart of what matters."

    For appointments with Dr. Case, please call 301-877-5677. To learn more, visit MedStarHealth.org/Case.

  • Close-up of a nurse giving a patient wearing a mask a COVID-19 vaccine shot
    September 05, 2021
    COLUMBIA, Md. – Monumental Sports recently announced a $1,000,000 contribution to support MedStar Health’s continued efforts to deliver COVID-19 vaccines within the District of Columbia.
    Throughout the pandemic, MedStar Health has remained at the forefront of care by rapidly implementing necessary changes to meet the demands of the virus and is now focused on efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities in the District.

    “Monumental Sport’s support for our continued vaccination efforts is coming at the perfect time,” said Elizabeth Delasobera, MD, Medical Director of MedStar Health Urgent Care and Team Physician for the Washington Capitals. “As we move our vaccine efforts into our primary care and ambulatory locations, it remains critical that we continue to vaccinate those in our community who still need to be vaccinated. This support will also help vaccinate our pediatric population as vaccinations become available to more age groups. I am grateful and proud of this amazing partnership.”

    “Monumental Sports knows every community member deserves equal access to these life-saving COVID-19 vaccines,” said Monica Dixon, president of External Affairs and chief administrative officer at Monumental Sports. “With this support, we hope to help provide more access to vaccines for our community through MedStar Health’s expansive healthcare network.”

    MedStar Health currently offers COVID-19 vaccines at various sites in the D.C. region. To learn more about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine through MedStar Health, please click here.
  • Nurse wearing a mask giving a thumbs up after receiving a COVID vaccine shot
    August 30, 2021

    Columbia, MD – As a leading healthcare system, MedStar Health is coming together to do our part in the battle against the COVID-19 virus as the Delta variant continues to impact our patients, our work, and our ways of life. Science and medicine, with reinforcement from trusted sources, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate the best defense against COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated.

    With the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on August 23, 2021, MedStar Health will begin to implement our Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. 

    Showcasing our highest commitment to protecting the safety of those we serve, MedStar Health is requiring all associates, physicians, residents/fellows, students, Board members, medical staff members and other non-employed credentialed professionals, contractors, volunteers, agency employees, and vendors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021, as a condition of employment in accordance with our Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Fully vaccinated is defined as receiving both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Johnson & Johnson), and we will offer medical and religious exemptions.

    Vaccinations are provided free of charge.

    Like other healthcare organizations and federal and local institutions, we support the science and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. We are joined by the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA), District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA), and their member healthcare systems and hospitals in endorsing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers. Many have already implemented these requirements as part of local mandates, as have non-healthcare organizations and entities. The goal of protecting and caring for others through vaccination is a common and uniting commitment throughout our community, region, and nation.

    Overall, more than 70% of our associates and 80% of our clinicians are already vaccinated.  Compliance with this requirement from the remainder of our organization will further protect our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. It will move us closer to realizing the normalcy we no longer take for granted. Our commitment requires our shared and united dedication to protect the safety of those we serve.

  • August 24, 2021

    Virtual panel discussion being held on International Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31

    Columbia, MD – Deaths caused by opiate-related drug overdoses are on the rise again in Washington, D.C., and MedStar Health is working to raise awareness of critical tools that can be used to save lives.

    In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, MedStar Health experts will host a virtual panel discussion focused on quickly detecting and preventing overdose deaths. Representatives from emergency medicine, pharmacy, peer coaching, behavioral health, research, as well as patients in recovery will explore the current gravity of the problem, efforts by MedStar Health to address drug addiction and overdoses, and important resources available in the Washington, D.C., area.

    The virtual panel is being coordinated alongside the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), which is promoting several local events highlighting the preventability of drug overdoses on International Overdose Awareness Day.

    Title: A multi-layered approach to substance use disorder and overdose prevention: A perspective from MedStar Health

    When: August 31st, 2021 at noon

    Where: Virtual panel discussion hosted through Zoom

    Panel:

    • Sadaf Kazi, PhD, is Research Scientist at National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, MedStar Health Research Institute, and Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She conducts research on improving screening and treatment practices for substance use disorder in pregnant and postpartum women, tapering opioid medication for chronic pain, and safe medication administration. Detailed bio link
    • Diana Quinn is Senior Director of Community Health at MedStar Health. Ms. Quinn is dedicated to ensuring community members have access to healthcare and opportunities to participate in engaging health promotion activities.  She has been instrumental in implementing the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in the emergency department, Women’s Health and Outpatient centers support by Peer Recovery Coaches. Detailed bio link
    • Ean Bond is a Peer Recovery Coach at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. He is passionate about helping people with substance use disorder since he is in recovery himself. In this role he feels that it allows him to give back what was so freely given to him. He believes it is never too late to recover from substance use disorder and that there is always hope. Ean is married and has three children and a dog.
    • Maryann Amirshahi, PharmD, MD, MPH, PhD, is Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. In addition to implementing the SBIRT protocol at MedStar Washington Hospital Center as a practicing physician in the Emergency Department (ED), Dr. Amirshahi conducts research on prescription drug abuse, opioid stewardship, and addiction treatment in the ED. Detailed bio link
    • Bonnie Levin, PharmD, MBA, is Assistant Vice President for Pharmacy Services for MedStar Health.  She leads the pharmacy enterprise across MedStar’s ten hospitals, ten outpatient pharmacies, and ambulatory practices. Detailed bio link
    • Mihriye Mete, PhD, is Director of Behavioral Health Research at the MedStar Health Research Institute and Associate Professor in Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She conducts research in using the SBIRT model to address increasing rates of opioid-related overdose and mortality among DC’s vulnerable and underserved populations. Detailed bio link
  • August 13, 2021

    Baltimore, MD - Brian T. Bethea, MD, a widely published leader in cardio-thoracic health, has been named Chief of Cardiac Surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, where he oversees management of the heart surgery program and quality initiatives, effective July 1.

    Dr. Brian Bethea

    Dr. Bethea, who served as vice chief of Cardiac Surgery at MedStar Union Memorial, and the regional chief of Outreach for the Baltimore region, receives the baton from Dr. Michael Fiocco, who is stepping aside from the leadership role after 18 years of service. Among his achievements, under his leadership, the cardiac surgery program earned a coveted three-star rating for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the highest achievable metric in the United States for the procedure. This put the team in the top seven percent of high-performing hospitals nationwide.

    Dr. Bethea has participated in nearly all major U.S. clinical trials for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, (TAVR), and has been involved in early feasibility trials for transcatheter mitral valve repair and replacement. He was selected to participate in past trials for the mitral and tricuspid valves, including Tendyne™, MitraClip™, ENCIRCLE, and TRILUMINATE.

    He is the only surgeon in Maryland to offer patients the latter two options. He travels the world teaching valve repair and replacement techniques to other surgeons and is widely published in all the major cardiothoracic medical journals. Dr. Bethea was among the first authors to be published on the topic of transcatheter mitral valve replacement–a rapidly evolving and expanding field.

    “Dr. Bethea’s clinical interests involve minimally invasive approaches to valvular and structural heart disease,” said Dr. Stuart Bell, vice president of medical affairs chief medical officer at MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals. “This includes procedures such as TAVR, transcatheter mitral valve repair and replacement, transcatheter tricuspid valve repair and replacement, and multi-arterial coronary revascularization, so his level of expertise in the most advanced technology available for cardiac surgery bring an already quality program to another level. We are very proud of the work he’s heading up here, and excited about what that means for our patients.”

    After earning his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma, he completed his residency in general surgery, followed by a fellowship in cardiac surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    “I believe in providing personalized, tailored care to each of my patients. Whether it’s a minimally invasive procedure, an open procedure, or a hybrid approach, my goal is to find the method that will best fit the person, rather than the other way around. Since I have been involved in the development of so many new technologies, I can provide patients with all their options, so we can make an informed decision together. I wholeheartedly believe in a team approach to providing care, and view patients, their families, and their referring physicians as integral members of the care team.”

    Dr. Bethea is board certified in thoracic surgery and is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.


    About MedStar Health
    At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

  • A team of MedStar Health associates wearing masks standing next to shelves of food inside a food distribution center.
    August 13, 2021

    Healthy Food, Nutritional Counseling Provided Through Collaborative Care Program

    Baltimore, MD - In a collaborative program unique to the state, MedStar Health will premiere Food Rx, an evidence-based medically tailored food and nutritional support program for patients with multiple complex chronic conditions, and/or food insecurity, who are referred through the Collaborative Care Program at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. The program is supported by a grant awarded earlier this year by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC).

    Teaming with Maryland Food Bank, Hungry Harvest, Sodexo, and the American Heart Association, the program is designed to improve clinical outcomes for chronic disease, eliminate food barriers for vulnerable populations, and decrease racial and socioeconomic health disparities.

    “The Community Health Resources Commission is thrilled to support this innovative program,” commented Mark Luckner, CHRC Executive Director. “This community-based program will help bring much needed services and support to vulnerable residents impacted by food insecurity and will help support the state’s overall goal of addressing diabetes.” 

    “We know that food plays a huge role in one’s overall health,” said Lucas Carlson, MD, MPH, regional medical director for Care Transformation at MedStar Health. “For instance, if the patient with diabetes or heart failure is discharged from the hospital but does not have the ability to maintain a diet appropriate for their condition, they’re at high risk of ending up back in the emergency department. Ultimately, food is medicine and is a necessary component of chronic disease management.”

    Located in 16,000-square-feet of newly renovated space on the hospital’s second floor, the Collaborative Care Program (CCP) is an innovative new approach to coordinate primary and specialty care for patients living with multiple complex conditions. In the CCP, patients are evaluated and treated by an intensive core medical team meant to complement their longitudinal primary care. There, they are seen by the program Community Health Advocate and Dietician, who determines the patient’s eligibility for Food Rx.

    Once enrolled, patients will receive weekly shipments of fresh produce, including bread and eggs, through program partners, Hungry Harvest. Produce shipments will be titrated based on household size, ranging from 10 to 22 pounds of fresh produce per week.

    "The MedStar Health FoodRx program perfectly marries near term compassionate care with long term strategies for sustained wellness,” said Evan Lutz, of Hungry Harvest. “By supplying the fresh fruits and veggies patients need to create a healthy eating routine, they are not only providing exceptional care today, but also seeding healthier habits for positive, sustainable health outcomes for the future.”

    “Ensuring all Marylanders have access to healthy foods, regardless of income level, is a priority for us,” said Nekeisia Booyer, the Maryland Food Bank’s senior vice president of Programs. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on this program to help improve health outcomes for MedStar Health patients while bringing even more high-quality food into the hands and homes of those who need it most.”

    The Maryland Food Bank has partnered to help stock the program’s on-site food pantry, which is embedded within the CCP clinic. Here the Food Rx dietician works with the patient to provide nutrition education and assists the patient in selecting non-perishable goods and frozen proteins, which are provided by Sodexo.

    The Food Rx program will include direct education from the program dietician with support from the American Heart Association. This will include access to evidence-based seminar series, nutritional guidelines, and education events in partnership with the American Heart Association and it’s Simple Cooking with Heart Kitchen, such as cooking classes/demonstrations and education for participants.


    About MedStar Health
    At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

    About the Maryland Food Bank
    The Maryland Food Bank (MFB) is a nonprofit hunger-relief organization dedicated to feeding people, strengthening communities, and ending hunger for more Marylanders. Since March 2020, the food bank’s statewide food assistance network distributed the equivalent of 66 million meals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. MFB will continue to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable communities while collaborating with partners to provide resources beyond food and address root causes of hunger so that more Marylanders can become financially stable and thrive. To learn more about the Maryland Food Bank, visit www.mdfoodbank.org.

    About Maryland Community Health Resource Commission
    The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) was created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2005 to expand access to health care services in underserved communities in Maryland. The CHRC is an independent commission operating within the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), whose 11 members are appointed by the Governor. Since its inception, the CHRC has awarded 347 grants totaling $85.9 million, supporting programs in every jurisdiction of the state. These programs have collectively served more than 504,000 Marylanders, and grants awarded by the CHRC have enabled grantees to leverage $31.8 million in additional federal and private/non-profit resources.

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