MedStar Health News | MedStar Health

Featured News

  • 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.

Share this

All News

  • May 03, 2017

    Honor is one of the most prestigious in the field

    WASHINGTON, D.C., – May 3, 2017- Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD, has been recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in behavioral neurology.  Dr. Turkeltaub, director of the MedStar NRH Aphasia Clinic and of the Cognitive Recovery Lab at Georgetown University, a part of the Georgetown University Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery (https://cbpr.georgetown.edu/), is the recipient of the 2017 Norman Geschwind Prize for Excellence awarded by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The annual award is made to an early-career scientist who has made significant contributions to the field.

    Dr. Turkeltaub’s research focuses on stroke-induced aphasia, an impairment of language that affects the ability to read, write and understand or express speech. He is the principal investigator for several clinical research studies testing new interventions to improve aphasia recovery—and to better understand what brain structures and functions are used to perform language in healthy people and those with aphasia. More data about the differences may lead to more effective treatment. 

    Dr. Turkeltaub is also a practicing clinician who sees first-hand how patients struggle with communication—and reach road blocks in recovery. “Today a person with aphasia doesn’t have many options after traditional speech therapy,” says Dr. Turkeltaub.  “Stroke takes away their abilities. But involvement in a clinical trial is a way to give something back. It’s ironic, but the stroke gives them an opportunity they would not have had before—they are in a unique position to contribute in a way the rest of us cannot.”

    A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Turkeltaub went on to the University of Pennsylvania for residency and a fellowship in neurology and cognitive neurology.  

    “At Penn, I studied under Dr. H. Branch Coslett,” he says. “He was my mentor. But an entire generation ahead of him was trained by Norman Geschwind. It’s a special privilege to receive this award named in his honor, and I’m very grateful for this recognition of my work.”

    -Written by Emily Turk

     


    About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

    The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Northern Virginia and Delaware.

    The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

    The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, MS, Parkinson’s, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

    Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C., and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout D.C., Baltimore, and all of Maryland, Northern Virginia, & Delaware.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

    For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org 

  • May 02, 2017

    Leonardtown, Maryland (May 1, 2017) – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital named Kitty Doering the 2017 Fayrene Mattingly Auxilian of the Year during its spring luncheon held Friday, April 21.

    As a dedicated Auxiliary volunteer for many years, Kitty has shown unwavering support through her commitment to the hospital’s gift shop. She keeps up with ongoing responsibilities to organize the greeting card display and works with the vendor to restock them when needed. Kitty also does a fabulous job keeping the refrigerated flowers looking fresh. Auxiliary members voted for Kitty because of her loyalty, dependability and selflessness to volunteer countless hours to her Auxiliary commitments.

    “Kitty posses those characteristics which have been reconfirmed by Auxiliary members throughout the years as the fundamentals for which the organization was built upon to become a cornerstone for our hospital,” said Elizabeth Morse, DM, MSM, MPA, RN, NEA-BC, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s vice president and chief nursing officer.

    Throughout its 100 year history, the Auxiliary has funded more than $4 million in donations and improvements to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

    The Auxilian of the Year Award was established in 2005 to honor Fayrene Mattingly for her outstanding performance as an auxilian and her dedication to the hospital. The award is named in her honor and presented to an outstanding auxilian during the annual Auxiliary Appreciation Luncheon held in April. 

    The MedStar St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary coordinates and participates in many activities that generate funds to enhance hospital facilities and services. Auxilians staff the hospital's Gift Shop seven days a week. They hold fundraisers, such as the annual Auxiliary Golf Tournament and Holiday Bazaar.

    Founded in 1916, the Auxiliary has played a key role in the acquisition of many vital improvements for the hospital throughout its 100-year history. Patient comfort has been its primary focus since the very beginning. It has donated funding for projects both small and large, from breast pumps to building renovations. It is likely, that at some point during the hospital’s history, the Auxiliary has touched almost every department at the hospital. 

    Click here to learn more about the Auxiliary.

  • May 01, 2017
    Kai Johns and his wife Heather Sheeley-Johns
    Kai Johns and his wife Heather Sheeley-Johns

    (Washington, D.C.,) - Kai Johns, 45, of Ashburn Virginia and his wife Heather Sheeley-Johns sat in a hospital emergency room back in November 2016 getting unexpected news. The stubborn “flu-like” symptoms Johns had been experiencing were the pre-cursor to the discovery that his kidneys were functioning at just six percent.

    Johns was in kidney failure and needed a transplant. Fast.

    With four generations of polycystic kidney disease before him, Johns would be the first in his family to need actually require a new kidney.

    While Johns immediately started dialysis treatments three times a week, Sheeley-Johns took to Facebook to inform their friends of her husband’s dire condition and to ask if anyone would be willing to donate a kidney.

    Within 24 hours, one of his brothers in arms stepped up to be tested at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

    “We were paratroopers in the Army together and that brotherhood runs deep,” says Sgt. First Class Rob Harmon, 42, a telecommunications operations chief at the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Harmon did a tour in Iraq in 2002. “I’m willing and able and it’s no different than combat. He’d do it for me.”

    Harmon and Johns met in the U.S. Army 22 years ago when they were stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They worked in competing platoons “jumping out of airplanes” as part of the Army’s signal telecommunications operations. Former Active and Former Reservist Johns left the Army in 2014. He has worked as an engineer for Sprint for the past 19 years.

    The two had kept in touch on Facebook but hadn’t seen each other in 16 years.

    “Rob is completely selfless,” says Johns. “It’s a huge honor to have him do this for me; to even consider donating a kidney to me. He has a wife and two children. This is a huge thing.”

    Within weeks the testing was complete and Harmon was a match.

    Sgt. First Class Rob Harmon (left) and Kai Johns (right)

    Early the morning of April 27, 2017 MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute surgeon Seyed Ghasemian took Harmon into surgery where he laparoscopically removed his healthy kidney in a three-hour operation.

    Harmon’s kidney was then carried to an operating room next door, where Johns was already prepped and ready to receive it.

    Director of MedStar Georgetown’s Living Kidney Donor program, surgeon Jennifer Verbesey operated on Johns.

    The following day, Harmon’s kidney was working well in its new home.

    “I feel 100-percent better,” says Johns. “Just 24 hours later and everyone says I look completely different, better.”

    “Both donor and recipient are doing extremely well,” says Dr. Verbesey. “In cases of living donation, donor safety is of utmost importance. Before someone can become a living donor we give them an extensive and thorough workup. Mr. Johns was so lucky to receive such a healthy kidney from his very selfless Army buddy.”

    “Something told me before I was even tested that I was going to be a match for Kai,” says Harmon. “I just knew.”

    “Some of my patients in need of a kidney find it difficult to ask their friends and family about donating a kidney to them,” says Dr. Verbesey. “It’s not like borrowing a book that they’re going to return. I advise people to start with a conversation letting people know what’s going on in their lives and that they’re in need of a kidney.”

    “I would say, don’t be afraid to ask,” says Johns. “In my case my wife took to Facebook and did it for me. But I knew it was my only option. My situation is proof that there’s still a lot of good in this world.”

     
     
     
     
  • April 27, 2017

    Olney, MD - MedStar Montgomery Medical Center has been recognized for the fifth consecutive year by Practice Greenhealth, a leading healthcare organization dedicated to healthcare sustainability, for its environmental achievements. The hospital will be honored at the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony, held on Thursday, May 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at CleanMed 2017. 

    MedStar Montgomery received the “Greenhealth Partner for Change Award" in recognition of its efforts to continuously improve and expand upon its waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas. 

    Thomas J. Senker, FACHE, president of MedStar Montgomery, said,

    “MedStar Montgomery is committed to improving the health of our patients, staff, and community as a whole. We take pride in our efforts to integrate more sustainable practices into our day-to-day practices and lessen our impact on the environment. We look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to encourage others in the healthcare industry to be more environmentally friendly.” 


    About MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
    MedStar Montgomery Medical Center is a 138-bed not-for-profit hospital serving the greater Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas. A proud member of MedStar Health, MedStar Montgomery is committed to delivering the latest in modern medicine and medical technology.

  • April 26, 2017
    Facing the prospect of limb amputation can be confusing and challenging for patients and their families. At MedStar Health, we’ve created a system of care to help you all along the way.
  • April 18, 2017

    The human body has the amazing ability to heal itself.

    Sometimes, however, it needs a little extra help – especially when it comes to chronic wounds.

    “When a person has a wound that isn’t getting better in a matter of two or three weeks, then it is time to ask the question, ‘What's getting in the way?’” said Richard Greengold, MD, medical director of the MedStar Health Wound Healing Center at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

    Elmer Bowling of Chaptico and Stephen Szepsi of Mechanicsville both turned to the Wound Healing Center following amputation of a toe due to infection. “I had a cut on my toe and 10 days later it looked like a shark bite,” said Stephen.

    When treatment with antibiotics wasn’t helping, Stephen’s primary care doctor recommended surgery followed by a consultation with the Wound Healing Center.

     “When treatment with a primary care doctor doesn't result in wound closure, advance treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, cellular based tissue products, wound vacs and compression dressings may be needed to improve a patient’s chance for healing,” said Alicia “Lisa” Nelson, the center’s program director.

    “We diabetics take so much longer to heal and are much more susceptible to infection,” said Stephen, who received treatment with a wound vac three times a week for about about two months. “I can’t even say how many people were surprised at how well my foot healed, even the surgeon.”

    Elmer’s recovery took much longer and involved multiple treatments and additional surgery to place stents in both sides of his leg to increase blood flow to his foot.

    “The infection was climbing up my leg,” said Elmer, who is 72 and also diabetic.  A major component of Elmer’s treatment was hyperbaric oxygen therapy. “Being in the chamber never bothered me,” said Elmer.  “The therapy made my foot heal much faster.”

     “Most people can heal wounds with the right conditions,” said Dr. Greengold, “but sometimes getting the conditions right means stopping something that hasn't been effective and sometimes it means adding new treatments.”

    “We understand how non-healing wounds impact your quality of life,” said Lisa, “and we want the community to be confident they can receive top-level care at our center.”

    Visit MedStarStMarys.org/WoundCare for more information about the Wound Healing Center or call 240-434-7670.

MedStar Health makes the news