News Category Search | MedStar Health

Featured News

  • Lucy De La Cruz
    January 20, 2022

    The renowned 39-year-old breast surgeon becomes youngest Latina woman to lead breast surgery program in U.S. at major academic medical center

    WASHINGTONLucy 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.

    Lucy De La Cruz

    “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. 

    About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

    About the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center


Share this

MedStar Health makes the news

All News

  • January 21, 2020
    MedStar Union Memorial Physician Implants Tendyne Valve Without Surgery
  • January 20, 2020
    UMBC President Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, to be Guest Speaker
  • January 19, 2020

    Hyattsville, MD -Researchers from MedStar Health are partnering with IBM (Global Business Services and Watson Health) to develop a program for post-market safety and effectiveness surveillance for biologic adverse events. At MedStar Health, the work will be led by Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD, MS, and Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, and will leverage the informatics capabilities of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare to support patient outcomes through safety surveillance for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Biologics Effectiveness and Safety initiative is led by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) as part of the overarching Sentinel initiative across the US FDA.

    Leveraging machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing, among other methods, the team will work on developing and automating post-market safety reports for CBER-regulated products which include blood transfusion products and vaccines. The work will integrate an expanding pool of data sources, including 10 million or more electronic health records, in order to define adverse events. The work will also include development to provide a tool for semi-automated patient chart review to conduct validation studies for product safety and effectiveness. The long-term vision of the project is to produce a system capable of robust automated reporting that can scale across provider networks and biologic product areas. MedStar Health’s research efforts leverage real-world prototyping to efficiently identify and assess the challenges and feasibility of constructing such a complex system.

    “This collaboration highlights both the feasibility and challenges involved in automating the reporting of biologic adverse events. Our goal is to produce health information technology tools to reduce the reporting burden on healthcare providers and make it more likely that the FDA will receive accurate and timely adverse event reports,” said Dr. Miller “The information collected in this process will support improved analytics and research and help the FDA to protect biologic product safety and improve patient outcomes.”

    Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD MS, is the medical director and director of cognitive informatics at the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, is the scientific director of the center, which is the largest human factors engineering program embedded within a healthcare system in the United States.

    ###

    About the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
    The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The center is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.    

    About MedStar Health Research Institute
    The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit www.MedStarResearch.org.

    About MedStar Health
    At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

  • January 17, 2020
    (Columbia, MD) MedStar Health is committed to delivering the highest levels of quality, safe care for our patients throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Equally important is the safety of our physicians, nurses and associates. The community spread of COVID-19 requires that we take unprecedented measures to ensure these goals. With these important priorities in mind, starting Thursday, March 19 we are postponing all elective procedures and surgeries across MedStar Health. This decision was made after thoughtful consideration and planning, including how we best use our resources to meet the needs of our patients balanced against mitigating risk to our patients, associates and families. Our department leaders and our physicians will make case-by-case decisions using the specific clinical circumstances of each of our patients. We will be reaching out to our patients in the event their care will be affected.
  • January 13, 2020

    The Office of Research Integrity has been actively supporting research teams regarding the possible need for changes to research activities during COVID-19.

    MedStar Health Research Institute has been working with MedStar Health Corporate Compliance and the Georgetown HRPP team to develop joint guidance for the MedStar Health Research Institute, Georgetown University Medical Center, and Georgetown University Main Campus.

    This guidance will require revision as conditions change. We will keep you informed of any updates to this guidance as they are available. 

    As always, if you have any questions or concerns with this guidance, please contact ORI for clarification or additional guidance.

    MHRI Office of Research Integrity
    301-560-2912
    MHRI-ORIHelpDesk@medstar.net
    Jim Boscoe
    Director, Office of Research Integrity, MHRI
    James.H.Boscoe@MedStar.net
    301-821-1530

    Guidance for COVID-19’s Possible Effects on Research Involving Human Subjects (updated March 19, 2020)

    In light of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to sustain our research activities as efficiently as possible, the following guidelines are issued jointly by the Medstar Health Research Institute, and the Georgetown University Medical Center and Main Campus, for the benefit of investigators and associated staff in both institutions. Specific questions relating to IRB practices and procedures should be directed to your home institution's IRB office.

    The guidance/FAQ document can be viewed here.

     

    Guidance for COVID-19 and Emergency Use (updated March 19, 2020)

    We have a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 and want to pursue an Emergency Use of a Test Article. What do we do?  The guidance/FAQ document can be viewed here.

  • January 11, 2020

    Columbia, Maryland – Working in coordination with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the D.C. Department of Health, MedStar Health announced today that it will provide medical and nursing leadership and medical, nursing and clinical staffing for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to serve as an alternate care site to support the District’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Led by John Rockwood, Senior Vice President, MedStar Health, and President, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, the medical team will include physicians, nurses, advanced practice clinicians, lab technicians, pharmacy, and others who will be ready to offer comprehensive care for patients.

    “To ensure we deliver the most medically appropriate and compassionate care at this facility, we have engaged a team from important disciplines across our system who have experience with COVID-19, including pulmonology, nursing, and patient safety,” said Rockwood. “Since MedStar Health serves one in five residents of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., region, it makes sense that we would be part of planning and staffing this large and critical effort.”

    play button

    Once District hospitals reach capacity, adult patients who are mildly ill with COVID-19 but still need a moderate level of care will be admitted to the D.C. Convention Center site. Each patient will receive treatment in a private room with a bed, toiletries, and access to hot showers. Oxygen is available in each of the rooms, if needed.  Six larger “Rapid Response Rooms” with resuscitation equipment are available for patients whose symptoms worsen and need stabilization before returning to the hospital.

    “We hope we never need this facility, but if we do, we’re ready to offer the highest quality care possible to COVID-19 patients,” said Jack Sava, MD, FACS, Chair of Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar’s medical team lead on the alternate care site. “This alternate care facility can serve a key role in treating COVID-19 patients who are mildly ill with the virus. This will free up space in our hospitals to care for the most critically sick patients. We are proud to be a part of this historic public health effort, and we are proud of all the MedStar Health doctors, nurses and others who have been at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”Dr. Jack Sava

    “COVID-19 has been the biggest health care challenge our community has seen in many years,” said Karol Edwards, RN, MHA, Chief Nursing Officer and Assistant Vice President of Operations for MedStar Ambulatory Services and nursing lead for the alternate care site. “However, we have worked hard to assemble a team that is up to meeting this challenge and helping patients transition from the hospital to home as quickly and safely as possible.”

    Following best practices from other COVID-19 alternate care sites, operations will follow a standardized protocol for admitting patients. All staff will be equipped with personal protective equipment and have received additional training on ensuring the health and safety of colleagues and patients.

    play button

    “Our hope is that as Washingtonians continue working together to blunt the spread of COVID-19, we never get to the point of needing to use this site,” said Mayor Bowser. “But if we end up needing additional hospital capacity, these beds are here and ready for patients. We are very grateful for all our federal and local partners, including MedStar Health, who worked to get this site ready to go in just a few weeks.  And we are very grateful for all the people in the community who are making sacrifices and doing their part to save lives and keep our city safe and healthy.”

    “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Mayor Bowser and the incredible work of the Army Corp of Engineers, federal and local partners to build and prepare this alternate care site in such a short amount of time,” said Rockwood.  “This is a historic moment for us to be ready to help our community.”

    About MedStar Health

    At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.