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.
March 03, 2016Being 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.
February 29, 2016Thomas J. (T.J.) Senker, FACHE, has been named president of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center effective Feb.1, succeeding Peter W. Monge. Senker also serves as senior vice president for MedStar Health.
February 26, 2016The Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University is seeking volunteers to participate in an international clinical trial of a drug that, in an early phase study, has demonstrated promise in slowing mental decline in Alzheimer’s disease.
February 26, 2016Chinese Delegation From Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Visited MedStar National Rehabilitation NetworkThe Chinese Delegation from Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recently visited MedStar National Rehabilitation Network. The Delegation was composed of a group consisting of physicians, deans and professors from the university.
February 24, 2016Eighty percent of all heart disease is preventable – and heart disease does affect women. In fact, it is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S. So it is very important for women of all ages to learn the facts about heart disease and know the symptoms, because there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and get treatment when you most need it. What are the risk factors for heart disease? Many different factors can put women at risk for developing heart disease. Some things are out of your control. However, it is important to understand how the following risk factors contribute to your chances of developing heart disease: Age - Research indicates that about 6 out of 100 women in their 40’s will develop coronary heart disease growing to nearly 1 out of 5 women in their 80’s.Family History of Heart Disease - You are at greater risk if a close family member, a parent, brother, sister or grandparent developed heart disease before age 59.Race – African–American women are at higher risk of developing heart disease as compared to women of other races. Risk factors more under your control include: Smoking – Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 2 to 4 times and women who smoke have a 25 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than men who smoke.Obesity - Excess body weight puts a strain on your heart, raising your blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowering your HDL (good) cholesterol. Obesity also increases your risk for developing diabetes.Diabetes- Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without the condition.High Blood Pressure (HBP) - Elevated blood pressure makes the heart work harder. Chronic HBP scars and damages your arteries and can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure andLack of Physical Activity - A lack of physical activity comes with great risks as a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to an increased risk for blood clots, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other heart related problems.High Cholesterol - Cholesterol hardens over time into plaque which can narrow the artery walls and reduce blood flow leading to blood clots, heart attacks or strokes. The ABCs of Women’s Heart Disease Symptoms Heart disease symptoms can be different for women than men. They are sometimes subtler in nature and harder to identify. Because women tend to dismiss their symptoms as not significant, they are more likely to have a silent heart attack or die during their first heart attack. The following is an ABC listing of heart disease symptoms to help guide you. Angina: pain, discomfort or fullness in the chest. (Women also report pain in the jaw, right arm or abdomen.)Breathlessness: experienced during activities or waking up breathless at nightBlackouts: faintingChronic fatigue: an inability to complete routine activities and a constant feeling of tirednessDizziness: this can indicate irregular heartbeats, or arrhythmiasEdema: swelling, particularly of the lower legs and anklesFluttering heartbeats: palpations, rapid heartbeats that may cause pain or difficulty breathingGastric upset: nausea or vomiting, unrelated to diet, indigestion or abdominal pain If you experience any of these symptoms frequently (about once a day), see a physician—the symptoms are serious and should not be ignored. Keep notes about when the symptoms occur, what triggers them, and what, if anything, relieves them. It is also helpful to make a list of past treatment and all medications you are currently taking. How can I prevent heart disease? There are steps you can take today to prevent heart disease. Here are some ways you can stay healthy: Identify behaviors that contribute to your risk (smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise)Ask your physician about your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index or BMILearn about your family historyDiscuss all of the above with your physician We urge you to start on the road to become heart healthy today. Learn more about heart disease. Seek out guidance and support from medical professionals. Heart disease can be treated, prevented and even ended. Have Any Questions? We are here to help! Contact us for more information about heart health or to schedule an appointment. Call us at 202-877-3627.
February 23, 2016
Just as a lack of blood flow to the heart causes a heart attack, a lack of blood flow to the brain causes a brain attack, or stroke. Typically a stroke occurs when an artery that supplies the brain with blood is either blocked or bursts. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood, or when there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain.
Although all strokes happen in the brain, there are two different types of strokes: hemorrhagic and ischemic. During a hemorrhagic stroke, blood vessels rupture and allow blood to leak into the brain. During an ischemic stroke, a blood clot stops the flow of blood into the brain.
Strokes are caused by the same risk factors that cause heart attacks, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and obesity.
How to recognize a stroke
A stroke can happen to anyone, at any time and in any place. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke is the first step to ensuring immediate medical help. Learn as many of these stroke symptoms as possible so you can recognize a stroke FAST and save a life!
F – Face droops on one sideA – Arm drifts down on one sideS – Speech sounds strangeT – Time is critical, so get help quickly!
A medical emergency
For each minute that a stroke goes untreated, a person loses about 1.9 million neurons. This loss of brain cells can affect a person’s speech, movement, memory and so much more. Immediate stroke treatment may save someone's life and enhance his or her chances for successful rehabilitation and recovery.
If you observe any stroke symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Secondly, try to note the exact time of the first symptom and the exact time when you saw the person without those symptoms. In addition, find out all of the medications the person currently takes (for any condition), and which medications the person has taken today. This information can affect treatment decisions.