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.
May 04, 2016This free outdoor event will feature a variety of activities for the entire family to encourage children and their parents to develop and maintain healthy habits to last a lifetime.
May 03, 2016Miriam L. Cohen, MD, MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute Cardiologist at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Named Trailblazer in HealthcareAs the first trained female cardiologist in the state of Maryland, and among the first five in the United States, this award honors Dr. Cohen’s contributions and leadership as a pioneer in the health care industry.
May 02, 2016
Three confirmed cases of the Zika virus have now been reported in D.C., all from people who have traveled outside of the United States, according to the D.C. Department of Health. One of the three cases came in 2015 and the other two were confirmed this year. All three cases involve people who took trips to Central and South America. One case involved a woman who was pregnant.
While the virus has been fast-spreading in the Americas, it is important to remember that the virus poses no immediate threat to the health and well being for many of us in the United States. It’s also crucial to note that the Zika virus is not an airborne pathogen, which means it’s not contagious. Here are some things you need to know about the Zika virus.
How is the virus transmitted?The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. This same mosquito spreads dengue and chikungunya viruses. There is no strong evidence of fluid-to-person transmission, and the virus cannot be passed by skin or respiratory contact or through droplets from a sneeze. But in the wake of news out of Dallas of a suspected case of transmission of the Zika virus through sexual contact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines for how pregnant women should protect themselves from getting infected, if their partner has traveled to an area with active transmission of the virus and has had symptoms. If that is the case, using condoms during sex is an easy way to protect oneself.
If I am pregnant and have traveled to an area where Zika is prevalent, should I get tested?If you are pregnant and develop fever, rash, headaches and have joint pain within two weeks after traveling to an affected country, it’s important to call your health provider right away and discuss your exposure and your travel history. If you’ve had symptoms and traveled to an infected area in the Americas, the CDC will test the serum to determine if the virus is present.
What are the symptoms?Only one in five people infected with Zika virus will have symptoms and become ill. The symptoms are mild and can last several days up to a week. Again, the most common are fever, rash and headaches. There’s no treatment for the virus. The disease has to run its course.
How to protect yourself?If you are pregnant, the CDC recommends that all women postpone their travel abroad to Zika-infected regions. If you’re not pregnant, there’s no need to change your travel plans, but it is important to protect yourself in order to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquito repellents like Deet are the best protection against the Zika virus.
Is their definitely a link between the Zika virus and microcephaly, the birth defect that causes babies’ heads to be smaller than expected?
A lot remains unknown about the Zika virus. We have associations, but there are no definite confirmations. The huge spike in the numbers of children born with microcephaly in the Americas is alarming and is reason for concern. Evaluations and investigations are ongoing in this country and abroad. It’s important that women remain calm and stay informed.
Bookmark www.MedStarWashington.org/CenterView to return for additional updates as they become available.
April 28, 2016
We Make Healthy Babies Our Top Priority
A healthy baby is all any expectant mother wants, which is why MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center strives to make every mother’s birthing experience at our hospital the healthiest possible.
Reducing Early Deliveries
We are proud to partner with the March of Dimes to ensure the health and safety of babies born at our hospital. Because prematurity continues to be the No. 1 killer of babies in the United States, the March of Dimes works to educate mothers about the importance of waiting until 39 weeks, if possible, to deliver their babies.
• Affects more than 450,000 babies each year in the United States
• Is the leading cause of death for children younger than 5
• Can cause lifelong health challenges
Last fall, our hospital was recognized by the March of Dimes Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter for reducing births before 39 weeks. MedStar St. Mary’s has specific policies and procedures in place to prevent scheduling deliveries before 39 weeks, except when medically necessary.
Baby Friendly Hospital
Breastfeeding continues to be recognized by the World Health Organization as the best choice for newborns. We are striving to become a Baby Friendly Hospital with the goal of promoting optimal newborn health by developing knowledge and confidence for new mothers who plan to breastfeed.
Hospitals who are Baby Friendly promote successful breastfeeding by:
• Helping mothers begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth
• Rooming in – Allows mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
• Encourage breastfeeding on demand
• Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and encourage mothers to attend them
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global effort by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Our Birthing Center Offers the Comfort of Home
Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center features five birthing rooms designed with the mother-to-be’s comfort in mind. The center’s 12 private postpartum suites were specifically created to accommodate families during this special time. Tours are available the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Participants must register by calling 301-475-6019.
Baby on the Way? We Can Help!
Health Connections, the hospital’s community outreach program, offers a variety of educational opportunities for expectant parents including classes on breastfeeding, childbirth, baby care, and infant CPR. Visit MedStarStMarys.org/Calendar for class information or call 301-475-6019.
April 27, 2016MedStar Georgetown’s Michael Atkins, MD, translated his vast knowledge of cancer immunology into a classroom-style lecture Monday for a standing-room only Congressional briefing. Atkins and five other elite leaders in oncology research, advocacy and industry aimed to educate members of Congress and their staffs about various aspects of cancer.
April 27, 2016MedStar NRH 30th Anniversary Victory Awards® Gala Raises $135,000 In 10 Minutes for Adaptive Sports ProgramWASHINGTON, D.C. – April 15, 2016 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) hosted its 30th anniversary Victory Awards® Gala and raised $135,000 for MedStar NRH Adaptive Sports on Wednesday, April 20.