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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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  • June 07, 2016
    Jeffrey Edwards of Washington, D.C. can hardly believe that his 17 year battle with diabetes is over. His debilitating three-times-a-week dialysis sessions are finished. Read how MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute is curing Diabetes with Kidney/Pancreas Transplant.
  • June 01, 2016


    Are you a new mom or going to be? MedStar St. Mary's Hospital offers a variety of maternity services to the public, including support groups, Birthing Center tours, lactation consultants, and CPR. You can find out more about our events and classes online by visiting, as well as learn about our hospital's guide to breastfeeding below.

    MedStar St. Mary's...

    1. Has a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
    1. Trains all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.

    1. Informs all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

    1. Helps mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

    1. Shows mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.

    1. Advises mothers to give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically necessary.

    1. Practices rooming-in (allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day).

    1. Encourages breastfeeding on demand.

    1. Advises mothers to give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

    1. Fosters an establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refers mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

    MedStar St. Mary's Hospital upholds the World Health Organization/UNICEF “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” published in a joint statement entitled: “Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services”. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding form the basis of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide breastfeeding quality improvement project created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes by offering parents support, education, and educational materials that promote the use of human milk rather than other infant food or drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breast milk substitutes, nipples, and other feeding devices.

  • May 27, 2016

    MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
    will hold a picnic in conjunction with National Cancer Survivors Day® beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, on the hospital’s front lawn. MedStar St. Mary’s joins thousands of communities across the globe holding celebrations to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding and even inspiring.

    Hosted by MedStar St. Mary’s Cancer Care & Infusion Services (CCIS), the lunch will feature a home-style Southern-cooked meal, entertainment and inspirational speakers.

    “Our annual picnic celebrates survivors and families and helps show the community that there is life after cancer and it can be fulfilling and rewarding,” said Joan Popielski, RN, BSN, CRNI, CCIS director.

    Anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life – is a cancer survivor, according to the National Cancer Survivors Day® Foundation. In the United States alone, there are more than 14.5 million people living with a history of cancer.

    Major advances in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment have resulted in longer survival, and therefore, a growing number of cancer survivors. However, a cancer diagnosis can leave a host of problems in its wake. Physical, financial, and emotional hardships often persist for years after diagnosis and treatment. Survivors may face many challenges, such as limited access to cancer specialists and promising new treatments, inadequate health insurance, financial hardships, difficulty finding employment, psychosocial struggles, and a lack of understanding from family and friends. In light of these difficulties, our community needs to focus on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors.

    “This event is an opportunity to celebrate not just the survivors and those living with cancer, but also their families, friends and caregivers,” said Popielski. “We honor them for their courage and support them in their efforts to return to a happy and fulfilling life.”

    For more information about this free event, call CCIS at 301-475-6070.


  • May 26, 2016
    Back in November 2015 Koepnick of Annandale, Virginia was feeling run down and had a persistent cough. A trip the emergency room and a series of tests revealed his leukemia.
  • May 26, 2016


    Did you know MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center offers a free mental health support group? Organized through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a local leader in mental health education and resources, our support group is both for family members and caregivers of those with mental illness. 

    According to NAMI, "We all experience emotional ups and downs from time to time caused by events in our lives. Mental health conditions go beyond these emotional reactions and become something longer lasting. They are medical conditions that cause changes in how we think and feel and in our mood. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing."  While a hot topic in the news recently,  it's crucial to remember mental health is just as important as an individual's physician health, and should be treated as such.

    To learn more, check out some of NAMI's statistics below and visit their website for how to take a stand against stigmas surrounding mental health. 

    Prevalence of Mental Illness

    • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.— 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent —experiences mental illness in a given year.
    • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.— 10 million, or 4.2 percent —experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
    • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4 percent) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13 percent.
    • 1.1 percent of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
    • 2.6 percent of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
    • 6.9 percent of adults in the U.S.— 16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
    • 18.1 percent of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
    • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5 percent —10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

    Social Stats

    • An estimated 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
    • Approximately 20 percent of state prisoners and 21 percent of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.
    • 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.
    • Only 41 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year.
    • Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9 percent received mental health services in the past year.
    • Just over half (50.6 percent) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.
    • African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
    • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.

    Consequences of Lack of Treatment

    • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
    • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.
    • Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17 Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
    • Over one-third (37 percent) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
    • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., the third leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the second leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
    • More than 90 percent of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
    • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.


    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    Mental Health Support Group

    WHEN: First Tuesday of every month
    TIME: 6:30 - 8 p.m.
    LOCATION: Hospital Library (ground floor)
    PHONE: 301-877-5700


  • May 24, 2016
    Fifty middle-school girls from Washington, D.C., public and charter schools worked over two days to design mobile applications to help youth develop healthy habits and reduce stress during the first-ever DigiGirlz Health Hackathon in the D.C. region.