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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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  • July 26, 2017
    MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital welcomed the latest ZeroG® technology to its arsenal of rehabilitation devices.
  • July 24, 2017

    The words congestive heart failure may sound scary, but with expert care and treatment, patients can either make lifestyle changes, begin medication regimens, or undergo procedures that can address the symptoms of congestive heart failure, and go on to live healthier lives.

    Congestive heart failure results from the heart muscle not performing normally. With congestive heart failure, the heart fails to pump efficiently and causes shortness of breath and swelling. In addition, because the heart is overworking to compensate, its walls may become thick and stiff as a result. This is the leading cause of hospitalization for people over the age of 65. 

    There are two types of congestive heart failure. The first is systolic heart failure, meaning weak heart muscle. It can be caused by a previous heart attack or viral infection. It can be treated by developing a plan with a cardiologist that addresses lifestyle changes and medications to improve the heart’s performance.

    The second is diastolic heart failure, meaning the heart muscle is strong, but stiff. It may be caused by longstanding high blood pressure or valve problems. Like systolic heart failure, it can be treated through lifestyle changes and medication.

    To make an appointment with Dr. Thomaides, Dr. Lee or Dr. Hong, ask your primary care doctor for a referral, or call their office at 301-877-5677.

    Advanced Heart Failure Symptoms

    Advanced heart failure symptoms are similar to those experienced by patients with less serious disease. The difference is that symptoms can be felt with minimal exertion or even at rest.  The severity of symptoms can still vary from day-to-day, or even within the same day.

    These include:

    • Fatigue
    • Shortness of breath
    • Swelling of the legs and feet
    • Swelling of the abdomen
    • Irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia)
    • Weight loss
    • Chest pain

    Advanced Heart Failure Treatment

    Our doctors usually treat less-severe heart failure with lifestyle changes and more common medications. But more advanced heart failure often requires a deeper approach. Possible options include:

    • Inotropes: Medications that increase your heart’s squeezing capacity (only select centers like ours can send patients home on these powerful medications)
    • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device: Ensures the right and left side of your heart contract at the same time (learn more about pacemakers)
    • Percutaneous valves: Repair or replacement of heart valves with a minimally invasive approach that avoids open-heart surgery
    • Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD): Devices that help the heart, either as permanent treatment or as a temporary measure before transplant
    • Heart transplant: Replacement of the heart with a donor organ 
  • July 20, 2017
    MedStar Health and 1776 are officially announcing the five winners and one startup designated for “honorable innovation”  identified during the #Patient2Consumer startup challenge event on July 13, 2017, at 1776’s DC campus.
  • July 20, 2017
    Joint replacement is among the most common surgeries in the U.S., with a million procedures performed annually. That number is expected to grow exponentially in the next two decades—with the number of knee replacement surgeries performed each year alone estimated to reach 3.5 million by 2030.
  • July 19, 2017

    Consider a career in health care and explore all the possibilities at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. More than 1,200 associates comprise clinical and nonclinical teams serving our community hospital. Those who live and work in the community enjoy a short commute to work. Best of all, are the benefits of being a MedStar associate. One of the largest employers in the county, MedStar St. Mary’s offers many career opportunities, including:   

    • Clinical dietitian
    • Physical therapist
    • Radiology technician
    • Registered nurse
    • Nursing technician
    • OR Surgical technician
    • Certified tumor registrar
    • Physician assistant
    • Nutrition aide
    • Environmental services aid
    • Security guard

    When Gina Steele, BSN, RN, began working part-time in Perioperative Services as a central sterile processing technician in 1985, her primary goal was to work full-time. So when she came across an opening for a surgical technician, she decided to apply for the job.

    “I loved it in the operating room (OR),” said Gina, “and so I was thrilled when they agreed to provide on-the-job training.” Feeling fortunate to have had the opportunity to get her certification to become a surgical technician, she realized she wanted to achieve more and become a first assistant in the OR. To do that, she knew she needed a nursing degree. So Gina gathered her transcripts and began classes at the College of Southern Maryland. “The hospital supported me with financial assistance and also by shifting my hours so that I could fulfill my education requirements while I worked.”

    As a registered nurse, Gina continued to grow her professional career. She eventually became director of Perioperative Services, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland along the way with a full hospital scholarship. Currently, she is working on her master’s degree and receiving financial support through a hospital grant funding program offered to nursing associates.\

    “MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is committed to the growth and development of registered nurses and all associates, and we offer educational assistance and other types of support to associates who are looking to advance their education and professional goals,” said Pam Barnard, MSN, RN-BC, CNML, PHR, SHRM-CP, assistant director of Organizational Learning & Research. 

    “It’s very important for nurses to pursue their bachelor’s degree early on if you can,” encourages Gina. “It will make you aware of the big picture of nursing and why we strive to have best performance.” As far as financial support, Gina says, “It may take some work to find what’s available and go for it, but I think if you have goals and take the time to pursue them, the hospital will support you.”

    To apply for a position in health care and start building a rewarding career, visit MedStarStMarys.org/Careers or call Human Resources at 301-475-6018.

  • July 17, 2017

    29.1 million Americans have diabetes.

    Eight million people have diabetes and don’t know it. Eighty six million people are pre-diabetic – they have blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. 

    How can we stop these numbers from rising and start reversing the diabetes trend? Learn the truth about diabetes.

    Then, live it for yourself, and share it with others.    

    I should get tested for diabetes by my primary care provider even if I do not have any known risk factors for the disease.

    TRUE

    According to the American Diabetes Association, everyone should be screened for diabetes at three year intervals beginning at age 45, especial people who are overweight or obese. If other risk factors are present, screening should be done earlier and more often,” explains Tina Leap, RN, CDE, CPT, diabetes educator at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

    If my laboratory blood tests show I am pre-diabetic, I will eventually have diabetes. 

    FALSE

    “Lifestyle changes are powerful,” Tina emphasizes. “Exercising the recommended 150 minutes per week and eating more nutrient dense, lower calorie foods and cutting back on sugary foods and drinks can help drastically reduce your chances of developing diabetes. If you are overweight, try to lose seven percent of your body weight at a sensible, healthy rate.”     

    Diabetics are at higher risk of serious health conditions.

    TRUE

    “Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke and can be attributed to many other health conditions, including blindness, so it’s important to stay out in front of it by getting checked early,” explained Tina.

     

    MedStar Diabetes Institute at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital offers a diabetes education program recognized by the American Diabetes Association, which provides information and resources needed to take control of diabetes.

    Physician referral is required when scheduling an appointment with a diabetes educator in Health Connections.

    Call Health Connections today
    at 301-475-6019

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