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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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  • April 13, 2017

    Negativing Breast Health 

    Christine Taylor, RN, CN-BN, and Cheryl Pauley, RN, CN-BN, have a message for women who are told their mammogram results are abnormal – there is hope.

    “Just having a certain reading on a mammogram doesn't necessarily mean a woman has breast cancer,” said Cheryl, who points out that about 80 percent of biopsies results are benign.

    Cheryl and Christine recently became certified breast patient navigators. Career nurses, Cheryl has extensive experience in radiology and Christine was an operating room nurse before becoming a care coordinator.

     “Cheryl knows all of the radiology pieces and I’ve been in the operating room and have seen the actual surgery and then recovered those patients,” said Christine. “And as a care coordinator, I am familiar with a lot of resources that can benefit patients.”

    Christine said most women are shocked when they receive abnormal results, and they don’t know what questions to ask or what to do next. Having a patient navigator to assist them by offering  education about breast health and procedures, collecting test results, providing information about doctors and other resources, has been shown to help improve patient outcomes.

    Some of the greatest challenges patients face may not be medical. Patients might need help with childcare, finances, marital issues and transportation. Christine can also connect breast cancer patients who are uninsured or under-insured to resources offered through the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Pink Ribbon Project.

     “We would both like to encourage women to get their yearly mammograms and follow the doctor’s instructions,” said Cheryl. “If something shows up, don’t be afraid. Early biopsies and early recognition can be life saving.”

    Visit MedStarStMarys.org/BreastHealth for more information.

  • April 12, 2017

    Expanded Services Mean More than Convenience in the Heart of Harford

    Bel Air, MD—(April 12, 2017)— Last spring, over 600 Harford County residents attended the community open house at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus to see the shiny new bedless hospital and urgent care. Among the guests: Anita Owens, of Fallston.

    While throngs of visitors toured the sunlit center from room to room, embracing its location on Route 924 at Plumtree Road, Charlsetta Holmes, known as Charli, was a short distance away, working in her office at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The convenience of top quality healthcare couldn’t have been further from her mind.  

    Anita however, was so impressed with the 100,000 square feet of comfort and technology, and its location, she promptly changed primary care physicians and scheduled her annual routine check-up.

    Within days and weeks of the opening respectively, both Charli and Anita would each get devastating news: they had breast cancer.  

    “Having this facility here makes it more convenient for our patients to get treatment in their community without having to drive to Baltimore,” said Dr. Suman Rao, MD, chief of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s Thoracic Oncology & Hematology at Bel Air. “When facing a devastating diagnosis of cancer, patients are assured they are getting the same state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment capabilities as any other major cancer care center.” 

    "MedStar Bel Air saved my life,” Anita said. “They found the cancer, treated me, and I am cancer free today because of them."

     “This experience for me, was holistic,” Charli explained. “I wasn’t just going there for medicine. Everyone at Bel Air from the nurses, staff, oncologists, were very informative. They offered support, literature, brochures… they provided beauty tips; how to wear scarves and wigs, apply make-up, physical therapy. They did all they could to provide support. Everything I needed was in the same place.”

    Since its April 12th opening last year, more than 30,000 Harford residents have received treatment in specialty areas including cardiology, imaging, outpatient surgery, primary care, rehabilitation, urgent care, women’s health and the comprehensive cancer center, where Anita and Charli received chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

    Last month, Charli received her final radiation treatment on her 60th birthday, and celebrated the milestone, cancer free.

     “As a physician, one of the best advantages to working in this facility is being able to coordinate high quality care efficiently for my patients,” said Dr. Melanie Slack, site medical director. “I have had many instances where I see a patient in my office, send them immediately downstairs for a radiologic study, and that same afternoon, am able to discuss the results with the radiologist and arrange for a specialist consultation. It makes a huge difference to the patients, knowing that all of their doctors are communicating and working together as a team.”

    For an appointment with one of our specialists at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus, call 410-877-8088 or visit MedStarHealth.org/BelAir.

    About MedStar Health

    MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

  • April 12, 2017

    Olney, MD — On Sunday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., MedStar Montgomery Medical Center (MMMC) and the Women’s Board invite the community to visit the hospital’s spacious, new lobby.

    The new lobby provides a welcoming space for patients and visitors at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, thanks to a $1.5 million, 10-year capital campaign pledge from the Women’s Board. It is the latest in a long list of gifts endowed by the Board’s energetic philanthropic activities to benefit the hospital’s patients. The renovation provides prominence to the new pharmacy and the Women’s Board Gift Shop.

    The open house will highlight the longstanding partnership between MMMC and the Women’s Board, emphasizing key accomplishments and sharing the impact of patient care made possible by support of the Women’s Board. Also, the new annual donor wall, made possible through the Boyer family’s generous philanthropic support, will be on display.

    Guests are invited to independently tour the lobby, gift shop and pharmacy throughout the day; as such, there will be no formal program. Refreshments will be served in the tented space outside the hospital entrance. Members of the Women’s Board will be available throughout the day to greet guests and speak with them about the legacy of their accomplishments.

    “We’re very grateful to the Women’s Board for their commitment to our hospital,” says TJ Senker, president of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. “Throughout our 96-year partnership, their generosity has helped our hospital grow and thrive, and ultimately live our mission to enhance our community’s health and well-being. I’m especially grateful for their donation to renovate our main lobby, as I truly believe that great experiences begin at the front door. I’m proud that our lobby now beautifully reflects the level of safe, high-quality care that our patients receive at MedStar Montgomery.”

    The lobby renovation campaign is the second largest in the Women’s Board’s 96-year relationship with MedStar Montgomery. The Board’s largest gift, a $1.75 million campaign, provided funding for the da Vinci Surgical System – making MedStar Montgomery one of the first medical centers in the area to offer the robot-assisted advanced technology. The Women’s Board campaigns have also supported additions to the Emergency Room with a $1 million pledge, as well as other major improvements including renovations to the Pediatric Emergency Center and building a new cardiac care wing.

    “When hospital leadership asked our executive board to consider the lobby renovation campaign, we determined that it would be a great project for us to tackle," said Carole Derrick, president of the Women’s Board. "We understood the importance of welcoming patients into a new and updated space. First impressions are an important part of building a good patient relationship.”

    Other fundraising projects maintained by the Women’s Board include the Gift Shop and Thrift Shop at MedStar Montgomery which support projects and a scholarship fund for students interested in pursuing a medical profession. The nondenominational Gifts of Light Ceremony, and the Annual Picnic and Bazaar are some of the most beloved Women’s Board fundraising activities.

    Gabriel Pinski, vice president of philanthropy at MedStar Montgomery stated, “We hope the community will come to see the new Women’s Board Lobby and learn more about the tremendous impact of the Women’s Board on the hospital over the last 96 years. This important new space, along with several other major improvements to patient care and experience, would not have been possible without the support of the Women’s Board. We cannot thank them enough.”

    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 06, 2017

    The recent purchase of an Alcon Surgical Instruments Constellation machine has brought the latest technology in eye surgery to MedStar Southern Maryland.

    The Constellation machine, which replaces two twelve year-old machines, can perform both traditional and laser surgeries to repair eye conditions from cataracts to retinal detachments, as well as repairs of eye damage caused by hypertension and diabetes

    One impressive statistic that illustrates the improvement the Constellation brings to our hospital is the amount of cuts per minute. The former machines cut tissue at a rate of 2,500 cuts per minute, whereas the new machine has the capacity to cut at 10,000 cuts per minute.     

    The first surgery with this machine took place near the beginning of March, and was a repair of a previous cataract surgery that was not able to remove the entire cataract, leaving fragments behind and leaving the patient with 20/200 vision. 

    After the successful repair surgery, performed by Dr. Pedro Rivera, the patient’s vision was corrected to 20/30 in a procedure that took one-third the amount of time it would have using the old machine.

    “The capabilities of this machine are so much better,” said Dr. Rivera.  “The Constellation uses smaller gauge instruments and control is superior, which means it is better at manipulating tissue.  The complications decrease while the surgical outcomes have increased, as well seeing faster healing and better visual recovery.”

    Assisting Dr. Rivera in eye surgeries at MedStar Southern Maryland are RNs Tracy Humes and Judi Wesley, along with surgical technician Josephine Gloria.  After its debut surgery, the new machine was used twice later on that first day, and will continue to see increased use.  

     

  • March 30, 2017

    National Certification Optimizes Care and Safety for Patients

    Washington, D.C., March 30, 2017 -  MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is proud to become the first hospital in the United States to receive a prestigious distinction in recognition of excellence in patient blood management.

    In a ceremony today at MedStar Georgetown, The Joint Commission and the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) presented hospital representatives with the first Patient Blood Management Certification.

    The certification provides a third party review and evaluation of patient blood management based on the AABB Standards for a Patient Blood Management Program, and an evidence-based approach to providing the best care to patients who might need transfusions. The Joint Commission is a national organization that accredits and certifies more than 21-thousand healthcare institutions and programs, nationwide.

    “We at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are very proud to be the first center in the nation to receive this important certification in Patient Blood Management from The Joint Commission and AABB, says Michael C. Sachtleben, president, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “This distinction is a testament to the hard work of our associates who promote patient safety through a comprehensive blood management program that uses internationally accepted systems and techniques. Our patients benefit from this innovative certification that recognizes our commitment to continuously improve our processes and procedures when it comes to patient-centered blood management and services. We thank the Joint Commission and the AABB for this program that will benefit patients nationwide.”


    “We are proud to accept this distinction on behalf of our multi-disciplinary teams who work to promote quality care and patient safety through the use of practices that reduce risk by decreasing unnecessary transfusions, and improve patient outcomes,” says Lisa Boyle, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs at MedStar Georgetown. "This designation from The Joint Commission and the AABB demonstrates that our program has been evaluated to nationally recognized standards to benefit our patients."

    One particular aspect of blood management at MedStar Georgetown is a Bloodless Medicine Program which is designed to eliminate blood transfusions altogether through the use of state of the art technologies that minimize blood loss and maximize the oxygen-carrying capabilities of blood during surgery and other medical treatments.
    “Whether for religious or other reasons, our Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program is state-of-the-art medical and surgical treatment without the use of blood transfusion,” says Mike Hofmann, coordinator, MedStar Georgetown’s Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program. “Evidence from the treatment of this patient population has shown that bloodless medicine and surgery provides safe and effective alternatives to blood transfusion and holds the promise of a higher standard of care for all.”

    The Patient Blood Management Certification is valid for two years.

  • March 29, 2017
    Leading advocates acknowledge accomplishments and advances in the field of Brain Injury Research but, call for more progress to help the more than five million people living with brain injuries in the U.S. today.

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