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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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  • November 20, 2017

    "MedStar Southern Maryland has evolved to become the ‘go-to’ cardiac and vascular center for the Southern Maryland peninsula."

    Clinton, Md., Nov. 27, 2017 - MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) is proud to announce that it has joined the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute Alliance. Since 2013, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute and MedStar Heart &Vascular Institute (MHVI) have shared best practices related to patient care, outcomes measurement, quality reporting and clinical research. Physician teams from both organizations work together to accelerate improvements in heart care, research and to support even better patient outcomes. MedStar Southern Maryland now joins this collaborative exchange among leading heart care providers. Patients in southern Maryland will benefit from an exceptional and unmatched level of heart and vascular care. 

    “Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, voted the best cardiovascular program in the country and arguably, one of the best programs in the world, has acknowledged the improvements in quality of cardiology care at MedStar Southern Maryland since MedStar Health took over the hospital, by allowing us to join this alliance,” said Mun K. Hong, MD, chairman of cardiology. “Physicians and the southern Maryland community can have confidence in our quality and can trust us with their cardiac care.”

    “MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Alliance brought together outstanding regional and national heart programs to further strengthen each organization,” said Christine R. Wray, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center President. “We are very pleased to join this team and are proud of the innovative program we have developed here, which includes two full-time cardiac interventionalists, an on-site vascular surgeon, vascular access surgeon, two electrophysiologists, and a fully staffed cardiac catheterization laboratory. This process has been years in the making and we are very proud to have accomplished this goal.”

    To become associated with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, a hospital must meet numerous national benchmarks and quality standards in cardiology, such as mortality and the median door-to-balloon time (the time between a heart attack patient’s hospital arrival to treatment with angioplasty to open a clogged artery). Members must commit to maintaining these standards, and Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, in turn, is committed to sharing its experience and expertise to further improve the quality of care and patient safety at these hospitals.

    “This accomplishment is the result of a deliberate and focused journey by the MedStar Southern Maryland team working with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute and Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute leadership to bring the portfolio of their cardiovascular services to the highest levels of quality and service. MedStar Southern Maryland has evolved to become the ‘go-to’ cardiac and vascular center for the Southern Maryland peninsula,” said Stuart F. Seides, MD, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s physician executive director.  

    “Cardiovascular care is constantly advancing, and it’s important to be able to deliver these innovations to patients,” said Jeffrey Rich, MD, chairman of operations and strategy for Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute. “Adding MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center to this alliance will strengthen cardiovascular care in this region and provide patients with high-quality care.”


    About MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute:

    MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a national leader in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons as one of the top cardiovascular programs in the nation. A network of 10 hospitals and 150 cardiovascular physicians throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, MedStar Heart also offers a clinical and research alliance with Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program. Together, they have forged a relationship of shared expertise to enhance quality, improve safety and increase access to advanced services. MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute was founded at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, home to the Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital. Opened in July 2016, the hospital ushered in a new era of coordinated, centralized specialty care for patients with even the most complex heart and vascular diagnoses.

    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.

  • November 20, 2017

     

    Elkridge, MD (November 20, 2017) – MedStar Health Home Care celebrates National Homecare Month by recognizing the home healthcare professionals who help deliver the freedom people need to live safely in their own homes. Through their skilled care and tireless compassion, the homecare community supports individuals recovering from injury and illness, and overcoming disabilities.

    During the month of November, home healthcare companies across the nation honor the millions of nurses, therapists, social workers, homecare aides, and other professionals who make a positive difference for the patients and families they serve. These healthcare and business professionals provide medical treatment, rehabilitation, IV therapy, wound care, self-care education, medication management, activities of daily living support, remote patient monitoring and other critical services to help patients live safely and comfortably in their own homes.

    As one of the founders of home healthcare, MedStar Health Home Care began in 1900 as one of only 20 visiting nurse societies in the United States, seeking to improve health and treat disease in the community. MedStar Health Home Care continues to blaze the trail in home healthcare by creating innovative ways to care for patients in the home, while offering the empathy and compassion many patients need most.

    To further celebrate Home Healthcare Month, MedStar Health Home Care honored all of its employees during an annual celebration event, held on November 7. This year, two outstanding associates celebrated 40 years of service with the MedStar organization. Twenty-two others celebrated 20 or more years of service. According to MedStar Health Home Care President Traci Anderson, “It takes a special person to dedicate their career to the health and well-being of others. Our employees live our mission to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and they deserve to be honored and celebrated.”


    About MedStar Health Home Care
    MedStar Health Home Care is a non-profit, Joint Commission accredited, in-home healthcare provider, that offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in the Maryland, D.C. and the Northern Virginia region. To support good health in the community, MedStar Health Home Care offers vaccination and wellness programs across the region. For more information about MedStar Health Home Care, call 800-862-2166 or visit medstarvna.org.

  • November 20, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- MedStar Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system across Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, has named Louis M. Weiner, MD, as director of its MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute.  Weiner will serve in this capacity while also remaining director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the research engine of the institute.

    Dr. Louis M. WeinerAs director of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute, Weiner will lead the development and coordination of clinical care and research programs spanning prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship and end-of-life care across the MedStar Health system.

    "I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this effort,” says Weiner. “This is an exciting time for the field of cancer therapy, as new treatments are transforming the outlook for patients with this dreaded set of diseases. The MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute links our nationally renowned cancer specialists across the Washington metropolitan region to offer the highest possible level of research-inspired cancer care, always maintaining the focus on the well-being of the patient. The Institute's alignment with the Georgetown Lombardi, one of the nation's National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, assures that our patients will always receive tomorrow's treatments today."

    An internationally recognized medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, Weiner is an accomplished researcher who focuses on monoclonal antibody research and other immunotherapy treatments. He serves as chair of the NCI’s Board of Scientific Counselors and as a member of its Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. In addition, Weiner recently concluded service as a member of the Advisory Panel of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Scientific Research, which administers NIH research grants. Lou earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine. Prior to his appointment as Georgetown Lombardi director in 2007, Weiner held several leadership positions at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

    The integration of MedStar Health’s clinical care and Georgetown Lombardi’s robust research platform will bring advanced cancer care, greater access to clinical trials and state-of-the-art technologies to patients at more convenient locations.  It is a direct outgrowth of the continuing collaborations of Georgetown University and MedStar Health, reflected by a recent agreement to extend and enrich existing interactions between the two enterprises.

    “Weiner is uniquely qualified to lead this effort with expertise as a clinician, clinical researcher, laboratory scientist, director of a large research operation and experience in service delivery,” says M. Joy Drass, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of MedStar Health.

    “This important collaboration amplifies our shared commitment to the health and wellness of the communities we serve by further elevating the level of cancer services and research-inspired cancer care now available to all of our patients,” says Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, executive vice president for health sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center and executive dean of the Georgetown School of Medicine.

  • November 16, 2017

    (Washington, D.C.,) – CVS Health and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are joining forces to improve the health and well-being of District children served by the Kids Mobile Medical Clinic Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

    CVS Health today presented the Hospital with a check for $75,000 as part of a two-year commitment to provide $150,000 in support of the important services provided by the mobile care clinic which serves the city’s most vulnerable children in wards  6, 7 and 8.

    The focus of the two-year grant has three parts: improving the health of children with chronic asthma, addressing food insecurity by helping families to access resources to prepare healthy meals, and providing mental health assessments to screen children for ADHD and depression.

    “As a pharmacy innovation company, we are committed to helping people on their path to better health. We are proud to support organizations that increase access to quality health care because we know their efforts are critical to delivering better community health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. “We are pleased to support the work that MedStar Georgetown University Hospital does in the community and we look forward to working with them to fulfill their program’s mission.”

    Improving Asthma Outcomes

    Those involved with treating children with chronic asthma will create a questionnaire for asthmatic patients so the care team can better understand their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to asthma management. The goal is to better understand the environmental and social factors that impede a child’s ability to control his or her asthma and to improve compliance with an asthma plan.

    Addressing Nutrition, Hunger and Food Insecurity

    Clinicians will integrate a validated list of questions during well-child visits up to age 18 to identify families who do not have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food.  The objective is to connect people to benefits to buy food and provide education about healthy food choices.

    Improving Mental Health

    Patients referred for mental health services will be given validated screenings for ADHD and depression and then monitored for improvement once they’ve received appropriate treatment.

    CVS Health will provide the funds for services like evaluation, social work and case management that are not covered by insurance, but are necessary to ensure the most favorable outcomes.

    For more than 20 years, the Kids Mobile Medical Clinic Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has worked to improve access to healthcare for underserved children by providing them with a comprehensive medical home and other services necessary to achieve positive health outcomes.  The program removes barriers to healthcare for children of the District of Columbia living in poverty by delivering primary medical care directly in their neighborhoods at no direct cost to their parents or caregivers. Services offered in addition to primary care include mental health, adolescent medicine, child advocacy, social service, education and outreach.

  • November 15, 2017
    Injured Former College Football Player Speaks About His Goal of Finding A Cure For Paralysis.
  • November 14, 2017

    WASHINGTON  — Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found distinct molecular signatures in two brain disorders long thought to be psychological in origin — chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Gulf War Illness (GWI).

    In addition, the work supports a previous observation by GUMC investigators of two variants of GWI. The disorders share commonalities, such as pain, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and exhaustion after exercise.

    Their study, published in Scientific Reports, lays groundwork needed to understand these disorders in order to diagnosis and treat them effectively, says senior investigator, James N. Baraniuk, MD, professor of medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Narayan Shivapurkar, PhD, assistant professor of oncology at the medical school worked with Baraniuk on the research.

    The changes in brain chemistry — observed in levels of miRNAs that turn protein production on or off — were seen 24 hours after riding a stationary bike for 25 minutes.

    “We clearly see three different patterns in the brain’s production of these molecules in the CFS group and the two GWI phenotypes,” says Baraniuk. “This news will be well received by patients who suffer from these disorders who are misdiagnosed and instead may be treated for depression or other mental disorders.”

    Chronic fatigue syndrome affects between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans, according to a National Academy of Medicine report. The disorder was thought to be psychosomatic until a 2015 review of 9,000 articles over 64 years of research pointed to unspecified biological causes. Still, no definitive diagnosis or treatment is available.

    Gulf War Illness has developed in more than one-fourth of the 697,000 veterans deployed to the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, Baraniuk and his colleagues have reported in earlier work.

    Gulf War veterans were exposed to combinations of nerve agents, pesticides and other toxic chemicals that may have triggered the chronic pain, cognitive, gastrointestinal and other problems, Baraniuk says. Although the mechanisms remain unknown, the study provides significant insights into brain chemistry that can now be investigated.

    This study focused on spinal fluid of CFS, GWI and control subjects who agreed to have a lumbar puncture. Spinal taps before exercise showed miRNA levels were the same in all participants. In contrast, miRNA levels in spinal fluid were significantly different after exercise. The CFS, control and two subtypes of GWI groups had distinct patterns of change. For example, CFS subjects who exercised had reduced levels of 12 different mRNAs, compared to those who did not exercise.

    The miRNA changes in the two GWI subtypes add to other differences caused by exercise. One subgroup developed jumps in heart rate of over 30 beats when standing up that lasted for two to three days after exercise. Magnetic resonance imaging showed they had smaller brainstems in regions that control heart rate, and did not activate their brains when doing a cognitive task. In contrast, the other subgroup did not have any heart rate or brainstem changes, but did recruit additional brain regions to complete a memory test. The two groups were as different from each other as they were from the control group.

    Finding two distinct pathophysiological miRNA brain patterns in patients reporting Gulf War disease “adds another layer of evidence to support neuropathology in the two different manifestations of Gulf War disease,” he says.

    Baraniuk adds that miRNA levels in these disorders were different from the ones that are altered in depression, fibromyalgia, and Alzheimer’s disease, further suggesting CFS and GWI are distinct diseases.

    The study was supported by funding from The Sergeant Sullivan Center, Dr. Barbara Cottone, Dean Clarke Bridge Prize, Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) W81XWH-15-1-0679, and National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke R21NS088138 and RO1NS085131.

    Baraniuk and Shivapurkar are named as inventors on a patent application that has been filed by Georgetown University related to the technology described.

     

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