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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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  • February 15, 2017

    Beyond the Heart Attack 

    When you find something that works, you stick with it. Which is why when Lew Armistead needed cardiac rehab after his second heart surgery earlier this year, he returned to the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation Center (GADC) at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

    Having participated in the center’s cardiac rehab program in 2014 following a heart attack and surgery to open a blocked artery, the 71-year-old Hollywood resident knew the program offered just what his doctor ordered to help him recover from surgery to repair an aortic aneurism.

    “One of the things that really impressed me about the center was the staff,” said Lew, 71. “They have a lot of expertise in that room, and they are very committed to working with you. Usually, people who have to go to a workout don’t especially look forward to it. The people who staff the center have such a good attitude that I looked forward to going there much more than going to my regular health club.”

    GADC’s program offers an individualized and personalized treatment plan, which incorporates evaluation and instruction on physical activity, nutrition, stress management and other health-related areas.  

    “A lot of patients don’t know how much to push themselves after a heart attack,” said Pam Riley, BSN, RN, PCCN, clinical leader of GADC. “They have lost their confidence and self esteem. We can bring them in and show them how much they can push themselves and we can educate them on the signs and symptoms to look for so they don’t push too hard.”

    Lew says he has always been a person who believes in staying in good physical condition, and he attributes completing the GADC program and the education he received there in 2014 to the quick recovery he made following his second surgery.

     “I thought my heart surgery was much easier than I anticipated,” he said. “People told me I would be in a lot of pain and I would have a long recovery period, but I went into my second surgery in much better physical condition than perhaps other heart surgery patients might.”

    A Life-Saving Connection 

    When Lew Armistead suffered a heart attack in 2014 he had already been under the care of a cardiologist, and he had met with a surgeon just eight days earlier to discuss correcting his aortic aneurism. So when he arrived at the Emergency Department of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in April 2014, he already knew who he would call next.

    “Many cardiac patients who come to our Emergency Department can be treated here and follow up with a cardiologist after they leave,” said Dawn Yeitrakis, MS, RN, CEN, director, MedStar St. Mary’s Emergency Department. “Individuals with more complex cases, however, may need expedited treatment.”

    MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital works closely with the MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute (MHVI) to ensure patients needing the highest level of care are quickly transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center or the new Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital, a state-of-the-art cardiovascular care hospital offering expert cardiovascular services utilizing the latest medical technology.

    “Being able to connect our patients quickly to the type of care available through the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute can be life saving,” said Dawn.

    Visit to learn more about MHVI and the Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital.     

    Learn more about cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs offered at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital on our website or call 240-434-7143.


  • February 15, 2017
    New Study to Evaluate Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Low-Risk Patients
  • February 10, 2017

    Dr. Henry Boucher of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is the first surgeon in Maryland to use new, robot-assisted technology to perform total knee replacement surgery.  Read more.

  • February 09, 2017
    Innovative Technology Allows Surgeons to Personalize Procedures for Each Patient
  • February 09, 2017

    In her eight years as an exercise physiologist at the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab, Allison Dominiecki has seen many scared, unhealthy patients go from an out-of-shape beginning to becoming a model of fitness. “There are so many wonderful patients,” says Dominiecki.  “They sometimes come here scared, with no confidence, or timid to be in a group setting.  I see how hard they work and the confidence they put in us, it’s just amazing to see.” 

    Exercise Recommendations

    • Consult a physician before starting an exercise program to make sure you are tested for the presence of any pre-existing conditions, and to ensure your heart is healthy enough for exercise. Once you are ready, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise per week.
    • Set realistic goals. Have a big goal in mind, but break that down into smaller, easier steps. 
    • Find something that appeals to you. When you enjoy your exercise, you will stick with it.  It’s also a great idea to involve your family, especially children, who can begin a lifetime of healthy behaviors now.
    • Variety is the spice of life. Just as you do not want to eat the same meal every day, make sure you vary your exercise to keep you from getting bored.  “You can try a spin class and end up loving it, like I did,” says Dominiecki, who also urges trying stretching, resistance training, aerobics, water aerobics and swimming.  Don’t forget strength training, she says, which can help improve muscle tone and strength.  It also helps shape and tone the body and burns calories.
    • “Remember that it’s never too late to start. We have several patients in their 90’s,” says Dominiecki. “And do not become discouraged, just keep going!”

  • February 09, 2017
    A contentious election year, an onslaught of media headlines, job tension, and family complications. The past year has been a difficult one for most of us and feeling “stressed-out” is common.

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