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.
July 07, 2021
Columbia, MD – The MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety in collaboration with Med-IQ will provide virtual mentorship and education on Huntington’s disease treatment and care coordination to multidisciplinary clinical teams across the United States (US). The 12-month, landmark initiative will use the Project ECHO methodology as the primary delivery platform for the training. Funding for this initiative was provided by an educational grant from Genentech.
Huntington’s disease is a rare, progressive, debilitating, inherited neurologic disorder characterized by choreiform movements, cognitive impairment, and psychiatric symptoms. Ideally, individuals with Huntington’s disease should receive comprehensive, multidisciplinary care from physicians, rehabilitation therapists, nurses, mental health professionals, genetic counselors, and social workers. However, providing well-coordinated multidisciplinary care can be challenging for healthcare professionals, particularly when tailoring care for patients who experience worsening symptoms or those with advanced disease. Through this project, MedStar Health and Med-IQ seek to improve Huntington’s disease treatment and care coordination by facilitating monthly telementoring sessions with healthcare professionals from 15 sites across the US.
The project will be led by Dr. Christine Goeschel, assistant vice president, MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety and professor of medicine, Georgetown University and Dr. Karen Anderson, a neuropsychiatrist and director of the Huntington’s Disease Care, Education, and Research Center (HDCERC), a joint program between MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center, that aims to provide care for affected individuals and their families. "This type of outreach and education is extremely important,” said Dr. Anderson. “There will never be enough specialists to meet all the care needs in Huntington’s disease, but, if we can find creative ways to partner with clinicians outside of specialty centers, we can expand access to care for many of these families." The HDCERC will serve as the lead coordinating site, working closely with Dr. Martha Nance at Hennepin County Medical Center and Dr. Vicki Wheelock at UC Davis Medical Center.
About the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety
The mission of the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS) is to partner with patients, their families, and those who take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MIQS provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, frontline caregivers, patients, and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit medstariqs.org.
Huntington’s Disease Care, Education, and Research Center
The HDCERC is a joint program between MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center and is designated as a Huntington Disease Society of America Center of Excellence. It serves people with Huntington’s disease and their family members through a multidisciplinary team including representatives from neuropsychiatry, movement disorders neurology, social work, genetic testing, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. It also has an active clinical trials program, enabling patients to participate in novel potential treatment trials for Huntington’s disease.
Med-IQ is a leading provider of clinical and risk management education, consulting services, and quality improvement solutions, empowering individuals at every level of the healthcare delivery system with the knowledge they need to continuously improve provider performance and patient outcomes. Med-IQ delivers unique educational experiences and services across the country and around the world, is extensively published, and is proud to be one of the most award-winning accredited medical education providers in the US.
July 01, 2021Effective today, William “Bill” Sheahan begins serving as the new chief innovation officer and a vice president of MedStar Health, as well as the executive director of the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2).
July 01, 2021Nationally Renowned Transplant Surgeon Matthew Cooper, MD to Lead United Network for Organ Sharing Board of Directors
Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute and passionate advocate for organ donation and transplant patients begins term July 1
Washington, D.C., – Matthew Cooper, M.D., FACS, Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital today begins his term as president of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Board of Directors. UNOS is the mission-driven nonprofit serving as the nation’s transplant system. Last year, the national transplant system set a record for the most lives saved by deceased organ donors.
“During the ongoing global health emergency, we are reminded again and again just how important organ donation and transplantation are to patients, families, and communities,” said Dr. Cooper, a professor of surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s academic partner, Georgetown University. “I am eager to work alongside the UNOS board, colleagues, physicians, policymakers and members of the community to improve and expand equitable access to this lifesaving care.”
Since 2004, Dr. Cooper has been closely involved with UNOS, serving as a representative on the Living Donor Committee, and later as Vice Chair and then Chair of that committee. In 2012, he began a 2-year period of elected service on the UNOS Board. He has served on the inaugural Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) subcommittee, the Policy Oversight Committee, the Membership and Professional Affairs Committee and as co-chair of the Ad-hoc Systems Performance Workgroup, among other roles.
“We are excited to have Dr. Cooper as the new president of the UNOS Board of Directors,” said UNOS CEO Brian Shepard. “His record of service to the transplant community, innovative work at the Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute, and ongoing advocacy for patients will help move UNOS and the donation and transplant community forward over the coming year.”
Dr. Cooper has devoted his career to advancing the field of organ transplant and to advocating for transplant patients and those in need of transplant. In addition to his service to UNOS, his leadership has included elected and volunteer positions with other leading transplant organizations, including the National Kidney Foundation(board member), Donate Life America (board member), The American Foundation for Donation and Transplant (president), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (councilor).
At MedStar Health, the Washington, DC region’s leading health care system, Dr. Cooper has led the kidney and pancreas transplant program at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute since 2012. He has guided the program to national prominence, developing it into what is now the leading kidney transplant program in the Washington, DC region. Under his leadership, the program is among the top 10 highest volume centers for kidney transplants and the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country; and is among the top three programs by volume for pancreas. In addition, Dr. Cooper provided critical testimony before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in support of H.R. 5534 regarding the “Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for the Kidney Transplant Patient’s Act” during the hearing on Legislation to Improve American’s Health Care Coverage and Outcomes. The legislation, which ensures life-long coverage for lifesaving immunosuppressants for transplant patients, became law in 2021.
Dr. Cooper received his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1994, where he also currently Professor of Surgery. He completed his general surgery training at the Medical College of Wisconsin, followed by a fellowship in multi-organ abdominal transplantation in 2002 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. After director positions at both Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland, he assumed his current role in Washington, DC in 2012.
Matthew Cooper, MD discusses his role as President of the Board of Directors at UNOS
About MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute
MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, a systemwide program that is part of MedStar Health, the region’s largest health care system, is a multi-organ transplant program performing liver and kidney, pancreas, and small bowel transplant. It is a leader within all these specialized groups, performs large numbers of living donor transplants, and operates the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the base of operations for transplant surgery, is a large, not-for-profit, tertiary-care teaching hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment.
About United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the mission-driven nonprofit serving as the nation’s transplant system under contract with the federal government. We lead the network of transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to honoring the gifts of life entrusted to us and to making lifesaving transplants possible for patients in need. Working together, we leverage data and advances in science and technology to continuously strengthen the system, increase the number of organs recovered and the number of transplants performed, and ensure patients across the nation have equitable access to transplant.
June 29, 2021MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Wins 18 Aster Awards, 22 Healthcare Advertising Awards for National Excellence in Healthcare Advertising
Hospital’s marketing department earns ‘Best of Show’ distinction among more than 4,400 entries submitted for 38th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards
Clinton, MD – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Marketing Department is celebrating another year of outstanding excellence in healthcare advertising, marketing and communications, having won 18 Aster Awards and 22 Healthcare Advertising Awards, including a prestigious Best of Show designation for its COVID-19 response materials. This year, over 4,400 entries were submitted for the 38th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards and MedStar Southern Maryland was one of 23 organizations that won a Best of Show designation, marking the second year in a row that the hospital has won a Best of Show award without the assistance of an outside advertising agency. In addition, MedStar Southern Maryland also received five gold awards, four silver awards, five bronze awards, and seven merit awards.
The Healthcare Advertising Awards is the oldest and one of the most widely respected healthcare advertising awards competitions in existence. A national panel of judges were tasked with reviewing all entries based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design, and overall impact.
In order to be considered for the 2021 Aster Awards – one of the nation’s most elite competitions dedicated to recognizing talented healthcare marketing professionals – healthcare organizations had to submit all advertising/marketing materials that were developed, produced and/or distributed during calendar year 2020.
MedStar Southern Maryland received a total of 18 Aster Awards this year including nine gold awards, five silver awards, and four bronze awards. All entries were judged by a diverse panel of industry experts and had to score in the top tiers amongst similar sized organizations.
“I’m so proud of the superb work that our department continues to produce every year. We are a small but mighty team with unique talents, all working in harmony toward a common goal,” said Prince George’s County native Cheryl Richardson, who has served as the director of marketing and community relations at MedStar Southern Maryland for nearly 12 years. “Being recognized on a national level is such an honor, especially considering the amount of time and effort that we put into giving that ‘wow’ factor. We’re humbled by all of this recognition.”
For more information about the Aster Awards program, visit www.asterawards.com.
For more information about the Healthcare Advertising Awards, visit www.healthcare-advertising-awards.com.
About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is an 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. For more information, visit us at MedStarSouthernMaryland.org
June 29, 2021
COLUMBIA, MD - MedStar Health has launched a groundbreaking program designed to meet the needs of patients dealing with post-COVID conditions, such as Long COVID. Long COVID is diagnosed when COVID survivors experience persisting symptoms for weeks and even several months after they’ve recovered from the acute stage of the illness.
“As we started to see more and more people becoming ill with COVID, we started to notice that patients were not just bouncing back right away, but were left with many different lingering symptoms affecting different parts of the body,” said Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician Eric Wisotzky, MD, who serves as medical director of the program. “We quickly responded by building the MedStar Health COVID Recovery Program to respond to these needs.”
The COVID Recovery Program coordinates the care of COVID-19 patients across a wide range of MedStar Health services to treat fatigue, pain, persistent shortness of breath, headache, thinking, focus, and memory issues, weakness, and other varying symptoms reported by some COVID-19 patients following their recovery from the initial stages of the virus.
Patients are paired with a physician or advanced practice provider to evaluate symptoms and develop a care plan through either a telehealth appointment or a visit to MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C., or MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore. From there, a patient navigator sets up appointments and follow ups for all the specific treatments they may need, which saves valuable time and energy.
Some patients with serious cases of COVID-19, like Patrick Bright, 56, of Clinton, MD, require several different types of care following their infection. After a month long stay at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital battling the coronavirus in the Spring of 2020, Bright began physical therapy, occupational therapy, and therapy for heart failure caused by the virus.
“Now I’m at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for cardiac rehabilitation. Because I live so close, they’re allowing me to do my therapy there,” Bright said. “I’m so happy to be here. I just thank God for the medical staff at MedStar Health.”
Another patient taking advantage of the program is professional violinist Elise Blake, 38, of Washington, D.C., who spent six days at MedStar Washington Hospital Center with COVID-19 in November 2020. After overcoming her initial symptoms, Blake found that her ability to play violin at a high level had diminished.
“You check for flow. You check for technique. Even when you’re learning a new piece, you know how to fix problems,” she said. “I just had to kind of stop for a while. I was really weak.”
Blake was referred to the COVID Recovery Program where Dr. Wisotzky evaluated her symptoms and set her up with regular appointments to see specialists in pulmonology, neurology, and physical therapy. Over time, the strength and dexterity needed to play professional violin has returned. She is now back teaching students virtually and performing in outdoor concerts as venues start to reopen.
“The thing I liked about the program was that it was so comprehensive,” Blake said. “It would have taken a lot more effort to set up all the appointments on my own when I didn’t have the energy. I’m convinced it helped me heal better because it was more streamlined.”
“Through this whole team we’re really able to help people get back to their old selves,” said Wisotzky.
Patients interested in the COVID Recovery Program should be at least six weeks removed from the start of COVID symptoms and should have documentation of at least one positive COVID-19 test. If a documented positive test is not available, patients can be referred by a primary care provider.
For more information, visit medstarhealth.org/COVIDRecovery.
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.
June 28, 2021MedStar Health is pleased to announce the establishment of the J.D. Murphy Jr. Cardio-Oncology Fellowship program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.