January 20, 2022MedStar Georgetown University Hospital names Lucy M. De La Cruz, MD, chief of Breast Surgery Program and director of the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center
The renowned 39-year-old breast surgeon becomes youngest Latina woman to lead breast surgery program in U.S. at major academic medical center
WASHINGTON – Lucy Maria De La Cruz, MD, has joined MedStar Georgetown University Hospital as chief of its Breast Surgery Program and director of the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center. Dr. De La Cruz is a fellowship-trained breast surgeon who specializes in advanced breast surgery procedures, including wireless lumpectomies, hidden scar technique, oncoplastic breast conservation, and nipple-sparing mastectomy. She has been published in more than two dozen peer-reviewed scientific journals, and her pivotal papers on nipple-sparing mastectomy and oncologic outcomes have been cited worldwide. She will also direct the hospital’s breast surgery fellowship program.
“I am honored and excited to lead the breast surgery program and the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital,” said De La Cruz. “It has been my life-long dream to bring my passion for medicine, helping others and building a state-of-the-art breast surgery program to advance breast health. I look forward to working with our multidisciplinary team of breast health experts to compassionately care for, educate and empower my patients in their health journey.”
Dr. De La Cruz is an academic breast surgeon who conducts outcomes-focused research, and among her special interests are the impact of genomic mapping to guide breast cancer treatment and male breast cancer treatment. Her work is guided by a long-standing commitment to promoting equity and efficacy in breast cancer care delivery, using the principles of value-based health care.
“The Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are thrilled to have Dr. De La Cruz lead the breast surgery program. Her commitment to patients, their journey, and their outcomes are unmatched; and her expertise in novel surgical techniques brings new and beneficial options to patients,” said David H. Song, MD, MBA, FACS, Physician Executive Director, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Professor and Chair Department of Plastic Surgery, and Interim Chair, Department of Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Dr. De La Cruz’s story
Dr. De La Cruz, 39, started her journey towards becoming the youngest Latina woman to lead a breast cancer surgery program at a major academic medical center at young age. As the daughter of international physician researchers, she spent a lot of time in labs where her parents worked, sparking her passion for medicine and “making a difference in people’s lives.” She grew up in Cuba, Mozambique, Spain, and Miami.
In college, she studied abroad in the Dominican Republic at the Universidad Central Del Este School of Medicine, where students were involved in patient care very early in their education and training. There, she completed her medical degree, founded an American Medical Student Association chapter and raised scholarship funds to help those who couldn’t afford tuition.
After graduation, she was told becoming a surgeon would be nearly impossible as a foreign medical graduate and a female. Despite this, De La Cruz obtained research fellowships from the University of Miami and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She continued her journey by obtaining a one-year residency internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, where she earned the Intern of the Year award and an AOA medical honor society membership for her dedication to medical student teaching. During her residency, she worked on an award-winning oncologic outcomes research project for nipple-sparing mastectomy that continues to be cited worldwide.
That same year, Dr. De La Cruz started her breast surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, she worked in private practice for a year before returning to the University of Pennsylvania as a faculty member in the associate program director of the breast cancer surgery fellowship program.
After relocating to Washington, D.C., to be close to her family, she founded the breast cancer fellowship program curriculum at the Inova Health System. Now at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and The Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center, she continues to teach residents and fellows, pursue research, and care for patients – the fulfillment of her lifelong dream.
July 27, 2016
Helmet Safety Checks and Blood Pressure Screenings Provided during “Music at the Monument” Concert, Friday July 29
Washington, D.C., July 27, 2016 – Nurses from MedStar Washington Hospital Center will be on the Washington Monument grounds on Friday, July 29, to provide hypertension screening, stroke education, helmet safety demonstrations and community education about summer safety and concussion risks.
The Hospital Center informational booth will be a part of the “Music at the Monument” concert series that takes place at the Sylvan Theatre from 5 to 8 p.m. The twice-monthly concerts are part of the National Park Service’s “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” campaign.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center nurses are working with ThinkFirst Greater Washington Area to make certain Washington D.C.–area families understand such risks as bicycling without a helmet, diving into shallow water and other activities that could lead to concussion, disability or death.
“Summer is a time of increased outdoor activity, and we hope to get everyone to ‘ThinkFirst’ so they avoid preventable injury,” notes Sarah McLaughlin, BSN, RN, a Hospital Center nurse on the 2H neuro intensive care unit.
Injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children, teens and young adults. The most frequent causes of these injuries are motor vehicle crashes, violence, falls, sports and recreation. ThinkFirst is dedicated to informing families about simple prevention steps such as wearing a seat belt, reducing distractions while driving, wearing a helmet on a bicycle and taking other safety precautions can prevent many serious injuries from occurring.
(From left) Nurses Maraki Endale, Katherine Gitlin, Shirley Dewitt and Kevin Murphy prepare for the “Music at the Monument” event on Friday, July 29.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 926-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. U.S.News & World Report consistently ranks the hospital’s cardiology and heart surgery program as one of the nation’s best. It also is a respected top facility in the areas of cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.
July 21, 2016Interdisciplinary Model of Care to Help MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Patients Better Understand Their Plan on CarePatient care teams in nursing, therapy and medical affairs with MedStar National Rehabilitation Network are applying a new model of care, known as the Interdisciplinary Model of Care (IMOC), aimed at improving how health care is delivered and the experience patients expect from us. These demonstration units serve as a testing ground for physicians, nurses, case managers, therapists, and others to learn and practice the model of care before it is used at all MedStar hospitals.
July 19, 2016MedStar Washington Hospital Center now offers Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview®, a new, FDA-approved technology used to pinpoint bladder tumors in patients with known or suspected bladder cancer.
July 18, 2016A small phase I study provides molecular evidence that an FDA-approved drug for leukemia significantly increased brain dopamine and reduced toxic proteins linked to disease progression in patients with Parkinson’s disease or dementia with Lewy bodies.
July 15, 2016New Advanced Microsurgery Saves Wrist Function for Patients with Kienbock’s Disease Curtis National’s James Higgins, MD, Becomes First US Doctor to Perform SurgeryThe extremely painful and debilitating condition, for which there is no known cause, typically affects young male patients in the teenage years or twenties.
July 14, 2016Genetic counselor Emily Kulchinsky explains Lynch Syndrome and its link to cancer.