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.
December 05, 2017
Dina Mallis Klicos Brings Twenty Years Experience to Leadership Role
BALTIMORE, (December 5, 2017) - MedStar Health has named Dina Mallis Klicos to its leadership team at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center as Vice President of Philanthropy, as of October 30.
Dina will work with physicians and clinicians to build the “Gratitude Matters” grateful patient philanthropy program, which promotes an understanding of how expressing gratitude can play a role in healing and a positive patient experience. She will also drive major philanthropic investments in the hospital’s capital and clinical priorities, and build a major gifts program that will sustain MedStar Franklin Square’s service to the community for years to come.
These philanthropic investments will have a lasting impact on the hospital’s campus and facilities and patient care programs.
“Dina’s experience and record of accomplishments will help guide MedStar Franklin Square into a new era of philanthropic investment,” said Sarah Fawcett-Lee, MedStar Health’s Regional Vice President for Philanthropy. “We are thrilled to welcome her to MedStar’s philanthropy team.”
Prior to coming to MedStar, Dina was Chief Development Officer for the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical System and Director of Principal and Major Gifts for the for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Dina has served on a variety of boards in the region and has extensive community service experience. She currently volunteers at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, The Junior League of Baltimore, Inc., Gilchrist Care Holly Ball, and Our Daily Bread.
She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.
For information on the philanthropy program at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, visit www.medstarfranklin.org/philanthropy or call 443-777-7935.
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.
December 04, 2017
Local Woman and Newborn Saved After Sudden Potentially-Fatal Pregnancy Complications
Our story begins on a chilly night in late December 2016. Excited, soon-to-be parents, LaWan Sypert-Mujiheed, an accountant, and her doting husband, Dawud, arrived at our doors ready to welcome their daughter.
OB/GYN Dr. Michael Hotchkiss was ready for this moment, as well. “They’re a wonderful couple,” he said. “Dawud would come to every single visit with LaWan. We were following her carefully throughout her pregnancy, as it was a high-risk case, being IVF with advanced maternal age. At her last appointment, Dawud asked, ‘Doc, are we doing okay?’ I said, ’we’re doing just great.’”
Dr. Hotchkiss knew LaWan was on her way to the hospital that evening. The plan was for the OB/GYN on duty to begin induction of labor. Dr. Hotchkiss planned to see LaWan by morning when she was ready to deliver. Soon after arrival at our doors, though, LaWan began contracting on her own. This baby was ready to meet her parents. And the OB/GYN team was prepared.
But it quickly became frighteningly apparent that something was very wrong. LaWan, who was in active labor, let out a noise, a whoosh of air, and collapsed, passing out completely. The baby’s heartbeat slowed.
Nurses sprung into action, activating the hospital code for Rapid Response. The mother's condition continued to deteriorate. An anesthesiologist was paged. The baby needed to come out, now. The OB/GYN on duty performed an emergency c-section and baby Laila was delivered around 1:40 a.m. Both mother and baby needed immediate attention. Both were in grave danger.
Dr. Brook Gebeyehu, the anesthesiologist on duty, intubated and oxygenated LaWan. She was rushed into the Intensive Care Unit as the doctors worked in concert to try to save her life. LaWan was comatose and experiencing a blood clotting disorder that caused her to begin to bleed out of every orifice of her body.
Across town, the Chair of our hospital’s OB/GYN Department, Dr. Nahid Mazarei, received a phone call. It was 2:30 a.m.
“I’m so glad the nurses didn’t hesitate to call,” said Dr. Mazarei. “They called at 2:30 a.m. with no reservations and that accelerated what we were able to do. They’re empowered to go above and beyond. I tell every patient, you’ll get everything I have and that’s how the whole system operates. We work collaboratively and it’s seamless the way we work with one another and communicate with patients and their families.”
Dr. Mazarei thought carefully about what was being described to her. It sounded like a case of an amniotic embolism, which was a scary proposition. She knew these cases are around 80 percent fatal and that fatality comes so quickly these cases are typically only diagnosed during an autopsy after the mother passed away. She also remembered, with the remaining 20 percent who survive, the majority experience the tragedy of permanent brain damage. Dr. Mazarei sprung into action, jumping in her car and calling another of our hospital’s experts, Dr. Sara Parker.
Around 3 a.m. the piercing ring of her phone awoke Dr. Parker. She bolted out of bed, raced to her car and discussed the facts of the case en route. They concurred: it was an amniotic fluid embolism, wherein the amniotic fluid and fetal cells flood a mother’s body, disrupting every system, causing LaWan’s heart and lungs to collapse and her body to have a seizure. She was dying and they had to hurry.
“I’m one of the luckiest OB/GYN Chairs around,” said Dr. Mazarei. “To have Dr. Parker, who is trained in both critical care and obstetrics, it’s rare across the nation. It takes us to a whole different level. What is great about this place is that with the MedStar network, you get layer after layer of support.”
In Labor & Delivery, baby Laila was struggling. After birth, she was experiencing a drastically fluctuating heart rate. Her lungs were also compromised. Then, baby Laila coded, her tiny body going into cardiac arrest, three times. She was intubated with an unstable heart rate and was readied to be flown to Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Parker arrived. She saw LaWan had lost way too much blood. She ran down to the blood bank, to the lone associate working this normally quiet shift before dawn. Dr. Parker counted units of blood herself, determined the amount of platelets LaWan needed and made the call that the Red Cross must bring extra units to save LaWan’s life. The Red Cross’s truck departed Baltimore for Clinton.
The skies outside turned from mist to rain. It would be unsafe for baby Laila to fly by helicopter to Children’s Hospital. It would take longer, but they must drive, with paramedics performing CPR for an hour on the road, not knowing how fortuitous it was that the weather prevented their flight. They did not know until later, when the x-ray came through after they were already on their way, but during the event of her birth, Baby Laila had developed a lung condition called bilateral pneumothorax. The pockets of air that were present in her walnut-sized lungs meant the pressure changes that would have occurred during a helicopter flight would have been fatal.
Laila arrived in dire condition, but alive, at Children’s Hospital. It was now after 10 a.m. To stabilize the baby, physicians there put her into a hypothermic state, where her delicate body was cooled down, slowing her metabolism and hopefully, they fervently wished, sparing her from brain damage.
Back at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, steroid treatments and units of blood had been administered to LaWan, and the medication began to help her blood coagulate again. After all the units of blood and platelets she received, it looked like there was a sliver of possibility she might live. She was in a coma, but was as stable as possible under the circumstances. Would she come out of her coma? Would she live long enough to meet her baby? If so, would she ever wake up and be able to hold her?
Exhausted, Dr. Parker and Dr. Mazarei could finally breathe again. For now, though they would stay at the hospital for countless hours ahead, as would the entire team, they could rest. And wait.
LaWan lay in her bed, barely responsive, for days. ICU nurses were losing hope for recovery because their patient just wasn’t responding. But Dominique Stuckey, Director of the Women and Newborn’s Center, would bring her fellow Labor & Delivery nurses in numerous times per day, believing LaWan could hear and understand them. Slowly, she began to respond to simple commands.
Baby Laila gained weight. Her daddy came to see her every day. Her doctors waited nervously for the results of her EEG tests measuring brain activity. To their delight, the tests came back with normal results. Laila was bright-eyed, and incredibly, she was perfect. After just over a week at Children’s Hospital, she was ready for discharge and was finally brought to the bedside of her mom.
From MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, LaWan would transition to the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (MNRH), thanks to the help Dr. Parker and hospital administration provided to secure transition to this top-tier facility.
It would take her months in rehab at the MNRH for LaWan to recover. There, she learned how to eat, swallow and speak again. She grew stronger by the week.
Miraculously, ten months have passed and LaWan and Laila are doing well. Laila is a happy baby who likes to make her voice heard. She has two teeth and is mere weeks from crawling.
“You are never prepared to hear your wife is dying and your baby is too,” he said. “But God had a plan. I thought of that every time I would drive to the hospital to see my baby. I knew she would pull through, just like her mother. They are strong women. And I think about Dr. Mazarei. I’ve never seen a woman as strong as my wife, but she is.”
As his anxiety has faded with time, the overwhelming feelings of love and gratitude remain with Dawud. He calls Laila the apple of his eye and a gift from God. He also continues to marvel at LaWan powering through her recovery. She still goes to therapy three times per week, but they are healthy, they are alive and they are a happy family.
For the doctors, nurses and all MedStar associates who played a part in this story, the experience has not left their minds, either. What remains with the team is an inspiring, touching memory of being a part of something that can truly be called a miracle.
“The whole team functioned extremely well,” said Dr. Hotchkiss. “Every time we’d say ‘you’ve got to do more!’ they did more. It was an amazing response and a great outcome.”
Visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Family for more information about our Women and Newborns Center.
November 29, 2017
Leonardtown, Maryland (Nov. 29, 2017) – The St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation recently celebrated three decades of fun and philanthropy at “Diamonds and Pearls,” the 30th Annual Gala, held Nov. 17 at the Hollywood Social Hall.
Sponsored by the Foundation and the Tarleton Family, the annual black-tie affair featured a gourmet dinner and dessert by Ken’s Creative Kitchen of Annapolis with live entertainment by Nocturne. The Hollywood Social Hall was transformed into a soft, cream-and-blush landscape accented by pearls and diamonds with more than 500 guests in attendance.
John and Michelle Flatley held the winning chance for the Galaxy Necklace: a black Tahitian pearl and diamond pendant with pearl earrings, courtesy of G&H Jewelers.
More than $165,000 was raised in net proceeds to help fund healthcare scholarships through MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. To date, 142 scholarships have been awarded to local students.
“The gala is always a special evening, but this event — our thirtieth — was especially memorable,” said Jennifer Blake Meyer, head of the 2017 gala committee and chair of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Board of Directors. “From the generous community support to the high energy on the evening itself, this year’s gala was an exciting time for a great cause.”
Many local businesses, medical professionals, and organizations sponsored the evening’s festivities. The Foundation and MedStar St. Mary’s would like to thank and acknowledge this year’s contributors, especially the Tarleton Family “Precious Memories,” the Presenting Sponsor ($25,000).
Thank you to the Premiere Sponsors ($15,000): Associates in Radiation Medicine, MedStar Shah Medical Group, US Acute Care Solutions, and Christine Wray & John Felicitas. The Foundation also extends their gratitude to the Diamond Sponsors ($10,000): AMEWAS, Inc., The Cherry Cove Group, G&H Jewelers, MedStar Health and the Meyer Family, as well as the 42 businesses and community members who generously sponsored the event at Platinum ($6,000), Gold ($4,000), Silver ($2,500) and Bronze ($850) levels.
Visit MedStarStMarys.org/30 to view the event gallery.
November 29, 2017
This fall, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Director of Security, Christopher Wade, attended an informative program presented by the Maryland Hospital Association and the Maryland Nurses Association, which outlined positive steps associates can take to prevent hostile exchanges before they start, ways to identify and monitor potentially difficult situations and steps MedStar Southern Maryland can take to prevent workplace violence.
“We’re committed to keeping our staff safe,” says Wade. “With early intervention, and employing techniques that de-escalate situations, we can prevent workplace violence. We also rely on training and working together because it takes a collaborative effort.”
Wade urges associates to be proactive. An example of this occurred when he saw a frazzled mother of a three-year-old waiting in the ED. After asking her to have her son not run across the row of chairs, Wade went to the front desk for a coloring book and crayons for the little boy, giving them to his grateful mother, helping them both better endure waiting for service.
“I look at it this way: we have an opportunity to help,” said Wade. “In healthcare, this job gives you the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way.’”
In 2018, Wade will be implementing additional ways for the hospital to create a safer environment, including installing panic buttons, additional cameras, a visitor management system in the main lobby and emergency call towers. He says all MedStar Southern Maryland Security associates have participated in a verbal de-escalation training and he plans to present the information he learned at this forum at the next quarterly in-service day. Wade is a member of the MedStar Corporate Workplace Violence Committee, which is finalizing a MedStar Health system-wide plan to combat workplace violence.
November 29, 2017
As the number of people living well into their 80’s has risen, so have the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, more than five million Americans are living with the disease. Awareness of Alzheimer’s disease has also increased over the years, though caring for people who have dementia remains difficult.
“Families today are typically smaller, more spread out and more dependent on wage earners working outside the home,” says MedStar internal medicine and geriatric physician Helen Norwood, MD, MedStar Medical Group. “This means there is an increasing necessity for resources for families who have an elderly family member experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which is the leading form of dementia.”
Dementia is a neurocognitive (mental processing) disorder affecting perception, memory, judgment or reasoning. Impairment areas include learning, memory, language, executive function, motor function and social cognition, and often become apparent when family members observe behavioral changes and incidences of poor judgment, says Dr. Norwood.
As your loved one ages, Norwood recommends families come up with care plans, and urges individuals to plan ahead to designate a power of attorney. This process should be done sooner rather than later, she says, when the elderly family member can still express their wishes and values.
When Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, patients and their families should seek out reputable and helpful organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association or a local Center for Aging to assist with information and resources, or finding social workers. Since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, having resources families can rely on for assistance and information is important.
November 20, 2017
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center will be hosting a job fair to recruit nurses, allied health professionals, and support staff.
The job fair will be held in the hospital’s Multipurpose Room on the gorund floor on the following dates and times:
- Dec.5, 2017, 4- 7 p.m.
- Dec. 6, 2017, 1- 8 p.m.
Job fair attendees are asked to bring a resume, copies of applicable licenses and certificates and contact information for at least two professional references. The job fair will offer on-the-spot interviews and conditional offers will be extended at this event.
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is asking nurses, allied health professionals, and support staff candidates to join our talented team of associates in our award-winning hospital. Recent awards include mention among the top hospitals in Maryland in the Best Hospitals edition of U.S. News & World Report, Gold Status in stroke care from the American Heart Association, Level 4 of 4 in care of elderly patients from the NICHE initiative and environmental steward recognition from Project Greenhealth.
A complete list of open positions can be found at MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Careers. If interested candidates are unable to attend the Job Fair, they can apply online or call Human Resources department at 301-877-4567.