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.
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April 02, 2016
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Participates in Find Your Heart a Home in Partnership with American College of Cardiology
Washington, D.C., February 4, 2016 – MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is one of only two hospitals in the nation selected to partner with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) on the Find Your Heart a Home™ pilot program, a campaign aimed at empowering patients when making their heart care decisions. Through its participation, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is further demonstrating its dedication to quality improvement, transparency, and patient and provider engagement.
In this era of health care transparency, patients and their families want access to credible information about quality of care to help them make informed decisions. Consumers consult online search tools to make decisions on restaurants and hotels, and now they can do the same for their cardiovascular care.
Find Your Heart a Home is a first-of-its-kind hospital comparison database for cardiac care. It allows patients and caregivers, to search and compare hospitals based on the cardiac services they provide and important information on the quality of care they deliver.
“Transparency in health care is a growing expectation among patients and their caregivers,” said Allen J. Taylor, MD, FACC FAHA, chief of Cardiology at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. “The Find Your Heart a Home tool can offer the transparency patients are seeking and help eliminate the information clutter by giving them reliable information they need to make informed choices. We are proud to be partnering with ACC on this important pilot project.”
Find Your Heart a Home is populated with data from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry, which tracks certain heart care procedures performed at hospitals nationwide. It rated MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the founding hospital of MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, based on 1,810 cardiac catheterization and angioplasty procedures, and 520 implanted cardiac defibrillators. For each aspect of care evaluated, the Hospital Center’s performance earned the maximum four stars.
The tool is part of ACC’s CardioSmart initiative, a website full of educational information and tools to help guide patients on their heart health journey.
“MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a pioneer in this effort to give patients the tools they need to become an active participant when mapping out their cardiac care plan,” said ACC President Kim Allan Williams, MD, FACC. “They are showing a true commitment to transparency and quality and serving as an example to hospitals across the country.”
About MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute:
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, founded at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., is a national leader in the research, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and has been consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons as one of the top cardiovascular programs in the nation. In January 2013, MedStar Heart formed a first-of-its-kind clinical and research alliance with world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute, the #1 heart program in the country. Together, MedStar Heart and Cleveland Clinic have forged a relationship of shared expertise that is transforming cardiovascular care, enhancing quality, improving safety and increasing access to advanced heart and vascular services. MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute comprises more than 140 cardiovascular physician specialists throughout the mid-Atlantic region, as well as the nationally recognized heart care of all nine MedStar Health acute care hospitals and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network. For more information, visit MedStarHeartInstitute.org.
About The American College of Cardiology:
The American College of Cardiology is a 52,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit acc.org.