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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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  • March 14, 2016
    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center's award-winning stroke center’s services have expanded to include full-time, on-site specialized stroke care.
  • March 11, 2016

    Starting Your Year Out Right

    Advice for all ages from pediatrician Pedro Sarmiento, MD, and internist Lauren Williams, MD

    No matter your age, when it comes to starting 2017 off the right way, physicians agree on the three most important measures you can take to jumpstart your health in the New Year.  We have asked MedStar pediatrician Pedro Sarmiento, MD, and internist and pediatric specialist Lauren Williams, MD, for their best advice for starting your year out RIGHT.

    The first theme cited by both physicians was eating healthy.  “You should start off the year committed to a well-balanced, healthy diet,” said Williams.  “If you need to lose weight, goals are important, but with a healthy diet, weight loss will follow.”  Both physicians recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, increasing your intake of water and decreasing or eliminating sugary drinks.  “I’d recommend avoiding fast food and processed foods,” said Dr. Sarmiento.  “Replace these meals with fresh food that you prepare at home.  Cooking at home, which is a great option for a quality family activity, lets you control ingredients, portion size and salt.”

    The second theme important for overall health is to make sure you are active.  For both kids and adults, 30 minutes of exercise per day of some type of activity that increases the heart rate, is recommended.  While running or walking are the most common ways to exercise, and are great for engaging a family in a healthy activity, other options, like Zumba classes, could be fun, says Dr. Williams.  No matter what fitness program you begin, “Start slow, with small, manageable goals,” encourages Dr. Williams. She also advises post-menopausal women to incorporate weight-bearing exercise into their routine to increase bone strength.

    Dr. Sarmiento says outdoor activities like skiing and ice skating are great options for winter exercise, as well.   Additionally, for kids, Dr. Sarmiento recommends limiting TV, computer and video time.  He also cautions against not only smoking, but vaping, which is also detrimental to health.

    Third, both physicians advise all ages to make sure to schedule annual physicals.  “We recommend annual physicals for all adults, even if you are a healthy person,” says Dr. Williams.  “Annual physicals help keep adults up-to-date on vaccines and give us results for cholesterol, blood sugar, kidney function, hypertension and overall internal health.  Also, since not every disease shows up with symptoms, annual physicals can detect silent problems, like high blood pressure.”

     

    What Vaccinations and Tests Are Needed at What Age?

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    For Teens

    • The American Academy of Pediatrics and both physicians recommend HPV immunizations, anytime from age nine through 26.  This series of three vaccinations prevent infections that can cause cervical cancer and oral and genital warts.  The immunization against HPV is only effective as a prevention measure, not as a cure. 

    For Women

    • Pap:  This test for cervical cancer should typically be done once every three years, beginning at age 21.
    • Mammogram:  This test to detect breast cancer should be done yearly, beginning at age 40, unless there is a family history of breast cancer, which means beginning testing before the age of 40.

    For Men

    • Prostate Cancer Screening:  Beginning at age 50, men should submit to either a blood test or rectal exam to detect prostate cancer.  African-American and other minority men, or men with increased risk factors should begin tests at age 40.
    • Colon Cancer Screenings:  At age 50, men should undergo a colonoscopy to detect colon cancer, and repeat this test every 10 years.

    For all adults

    • Yearly flu shots are recommended, particularly for those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease.
    • Tetanus shots are recommended every 10 years.
    • Pneumonia vaccines are recommended for adults age 65 or older.
    • Shingles vaccines are recommended after age 60.  Shingles vaccines are  given to prevent developing the disease and decreasing long term effects in the event that shingles still occurs after vaccination, says Dr. Williams.

    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center wishes you a happy, healthy New Year!  For more information about scheduling a physical, finding a doctor or learning about our hospital, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Screenings

  • March 09, 2016
    The bariatric surgery program at has been accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).
  • March 04, 2016

    Procedure Reduces Recovery Time and Patients Experience Less Pain

    Washington, D.C., March 4, 2016– Kaniya Brown of Accokeek, Maryland, has returned to running after a devastating knee injury. The track star tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while playing soccer. ACL tears are common sports injuries that often require surgery, followed by months of rehabilitation. Instead, Kaniya underwent an innovative procedure that repairs the ACL, allowing for quicker recovery and less pain.

    Conventional ACL surgery requires the orthopaedic surgeon to drill tunnels through the bones on either side of the knee joint and replace the torn ACL with a tendon graft, usually from the patient’s own body. With the new, minimally invasive approach, the ACL is repaired with an internal brace. An orthopaedic surgeon passes a high tensile-strength, braided suture through the repaired ligament in the knee, to provide additional support while the ligament is healing. The suture functions internally like a knee brace.

    “It is minimal trauma to the knee,” said Wiemi Douoguih, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with MedStar Orthopaedic Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Since it’s located inside the knee joint, it’s more effective than an external knee brace and the innovative suture technique helps speed up recovery time." 

    Two weeks after her surgery, Kaniya started walking. Nearly five months later, Kaniya resumed running and played soccer, too. She hopes to compete on the track team at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she’s a freshman.

    An estimated 200,000 ACL injuries occur annually. The rate of injury is higher in people who play high-risk sports, such as basketball, football, skiing and soccer. 

    Published studies in the American Journal of Sports Medicine finds only about 43 percent of high school and college football players who have undergone conventional ACL surgery are able to return to play at their pre-injury level. And data collected for the past 20 years shows that as many as 61 percent of patients develop symptomatic arthritis, and up to 36 percent of patients will have recurrent ACL tears. 

    “Prior to this, the results were less than perfect and we’ve been searching for a solution that would pose the least amount of trauma to patients and minimize long-term problems,” added Dr. Douoguih.

    Learn more about the cutting-edge procedure and Kaniya’s return to a sport she loves in the video below.

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    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.

  • March 04, 2016
    Cancer Care and Infusion Services (CCIS) at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital recently received a donation for $3,334 from Ledo Pizza’s corporate office in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • March 03, 2016
    Being doused with chocolate syrup is not often included in a high school lesson plan, but it was all in a day’s work at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s MiniMedical School.