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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December 18, 2019MedStar Health and the Washington Capitals Team Up to Spread Holiday Cheer at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Teaming up with MedStar Health, players with the Washington Capitals decked the halls and spread holiday cheer with sick patients at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Donning Santa hats and elf ears, and accompanied by team mascot Slapshot, the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup champions delivered team gear to inpatient units where children will be hospitalized for the holidays and worked on festive art projects with children and their families in the outpatient clinic.
“We bring the kids a smile, that’s what it’s all about,” said team captain Alex Ovechkin, wearing reindeer antlers. “We really appreciate these kids and their families supporting us and we try to support them.”
In an assist by Tracy’s Kids and the Hope for Henry Foundation, kids, their siblings and the players enjoyed a party, decorated a giant gingerbread house, made sparkly ornaments and were treated to an array of Caps gear that the players eagerly autographed.
Tracy Councill, director of MedStar Georgetown’s art therapy program, Tracy’s Kids said, “Immersing themselves in art while being treated here helps kids understand they’re not alone. They make friends, work on an art project and can be with other kids going through similar things.”
Goalie Braden Holtby, up to his Caps jersey shirtsleeves in glitter while decorating an ornament with a young patient said, “Many of these families have so much happening that we can’t even imagine. I hope our visit makes it a little easier.”
“Many of these children are sick for so long,” said Laurie Strongin, founder and CEO of Hope for Henry, a foundation named after her son Henry who died at MedStar Georgetown 17 years ago and provides everything from parties to laptops for sick and hospitalized children. “While medical care is critical to their survival, ensuring their quality of life is also necessary for healing. A visit from the Capitals helps provide entertaining distractions and allows kids to forget about their illness and just be kids for the day.”
Ingrid Durand, big sister to her seven-month old brother who recently received a liver transplant at MedStar Georgetown also got to enjoy the festivities. “It’s hard to believe we’re actually seeing the Caps after all the things we’ve been through. I think it’s a relief.”
Ingrid’s dad Bart Durand appreciates that the Caps players would take the time to engage with the kids. “It brings joy to the families. To see their heroes on the ice in person is just great. I’m sure they’ll never forget it.”
Mary Durand says events like this really help brighten the spirits of families dealing with complex medical issues. “When you’ve been through hardship the bright spots mean a lot. We’re learning to appreciate the bright spots so much more and we just hang on to the joy that comes with it.”
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December 12, 2019MedStar Health Receives Cool Idea Award From Protolabs for NICU Feeding Device Invented By MedStar Franklin Square Nurse with MedStar Inventor Services
MedStar Health is proud to announce that a new device, invented by Tiffany Morris, RN, BSN, a MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center nurse, received the Cool Idea Award: Healthcare Grant from digital manufacturing leader, Protolabs. This news, shared in a press release by Protolabs, is a celebration of the “innovative ideas our MedStar Health associates have to treat people and advance health,” said Stephen Kinsey, director of MedStar Inventor Services at MedStar Institute for Innovation, which partnered with Tiffany in the development of the device.
MedStar Health’s gravity feed syringe holder offers a new alternative to what can be a time and labor intensive process of feeding newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Currently, a nurse must hold a syringe above an incubator by hand while milk or liquid formula drains into the baby via a stomach tube. The device illustrated the premise that simple, elegant solutions can have a substantial impact on patient care. With the use of the compact device, a gravity feed syringe can be suspended from the top of the incubator, freeing the nurse to manage other duties while still attending to the baby during feeding.
The Protolabs grant, which provides in-kind manufacturing services to support development of medical products, was used to iterate and advance Tiffany’s design. Now with added elements to ensure safety and ease of use, the holder design has also been adjusted to accommodate a variety of syringe sizes and to attach to an IV pole, expanding its potential use beyond the NICU.
The Cool Idea Award: Healthcare Grant is an extension of Protolabs’ signature Cool Idea Award. It is open to members of the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare Innovations Alliance—a network of healthcare organizations focused on innovation that includes MedStar Health as a founding partner.
To learn more about the award and early-stage device, read the full press release here. For more on how MedStar Inventor Services is transforming the innovative ideas of MedStar Health associates from concept to reality, read about our work here, which includes the team’s MInnovations program that helped identify and advance this innovation and many others from MedStar nurses.
December 12, 2019
Leonardtown, Maryland – MedStar Health is pleased to announce the affiliation of Arthur Greenwood, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist, at MedStar Medical Group Women’s Health in Leonardtown (formerly Southern Maryland Women’s Healthcare).
Board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Greenwood received his Doctor of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. After a career serving in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Greenwood comes to Southern Maryland by way of Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., where he was the medical director of OB/GYN services at Langley Women’s Health Clinic working alongside Lauren Ervin, DNP, CNM, certified nurse midwife now also practicing at MMG Women’s Health. Dr. Greenwood and his wife enjoy taking their daughter to ice skating lessons and competitions, as well as spending time with horses and watching their six-year-old learn to ride.
“As an obstetrician, I enjoy working closely with expectant patients to learn about their needs and desires for childbirth. I understand the birth process is not about me—it’s a life-changing experience for the parents, and I’m fortunate to be allowed to experience their joy,” said Dr. Greenwood. “Through my work as a gynecologist, it’s very rewarding to work with women to address medical issues they’ve been dealing with for months, even years, and restore them to a normal lifestyle as quickly as possible.”
Dr. Greenwood joins a committed practice caring for women through every stage of life—from pregnancy to menopause and beyond. The team includes Lisa Polko, MD, now focusing exclusively on gynecology; midwives committed to “high touch, low intervention” care; and nurse practitioners to address many health needs.
MedStar Medical Group Women’s Health is located at 41680 Miss Bessie Dr., Suite 102 in Leonardtown, Maryland. To learn more or make an appointment, call 301-997-1788.
About MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
MedStar St. Mary's Hospital (MSMH) is a full-service community hospital, delivering state-of-the-art emergency, acute inpatient and outpatient care in Leonardtown, Maryland. Nestled in a waterside community, MedStar St. Mary's provides advanced technology with a dedication to excellence in all services provided. The not-for-profit hospital has been named among the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals™ and is an eight-time recipient of the prestigious Delmarva Medicare Excellence Award. Our staff is committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for all patients by coupling innovation with our outstanding team of Medical Staff members, associates and volunteers. Visit MedStarStMarys.org to learn more.
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