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  • 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


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  • October 25, 2019
    Dr. Margaret Arnold Will Treat Venous Disease, Vascular Issues
  • October 17, 2019

     


    Columbia, MD
    – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has awarded a $2.5 million grant to MedStar Health for its transdisciplinary research team to design and develop a patient safety learning laboratory that will focus on cardiovascular disease in women.

    Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S. and costs nearly a billion dollars a day in annual healthcare costs and lost productivity. Errors in the diagnosis, treatment, and communication of cardiovascular disease disproportionately impact women, as they are nearly twice as likely as men to receive the wrong initial diagnosis following a heart attack. Furthermore, women are 30 percent more likely to have stroke symptoms misdiagnosed in the emergency department. Even when accurately diagnosed, women are less likely to receive timely evidence-based treatments.

    Led by researchers from the MedStar Health Institute for Quality and Safety, MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab, and MedStar Health Research Institute, the MedStar Health Patient Safety Learning Lab will apply a systems engineering approach to understand the factors contributing to diagnostic error in women with cardiovascular disease and then design and test methods to reduce errors. The Lab will focus on the ambulatory care setting and involve patients, physicians, nurses, and other providers working in partnership with the research team. The overall goal of the project is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of women with cardiovascular disease to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs of care.

    The four-year project will be led by Christine A. Goeschel, ScD, RN, assistant vice president, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety and director, Center for Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare and John Yosaitis, MD, medical director, MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab. The research team includes providers from the MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute and MedStar Medical Group as well as the research team from The Center for Health Design, a non-profit organization based in California.

    The grant is part of a larger AHRQ initiative to support the development of innovative learning laboratories where teams work to address significant patient safety-related challenges.

    ###

    About MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety
    The mission of the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS) is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MIQS provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line caregivers, patients, and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit www.medstariqs.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.

  • October 17, 2019
    This October, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released its Health Information Technology Research 2018 Year in Review, including overviews and outcomes of AHRQ-funded work awarded to MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI) and led by the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare (Center).
  • October 16, 2019
    Technology designed to enable early and accurate detection of lung nodules
  • October 15, 2019

    LEONARDTOWN, MD—  A decade of innovation, collaboration, and growth: this month marks 10 years since the merger of St. Mary’s Hospital with MedStar Health. In October 2009, the 97-year-old hospital joined the regional not-for-profit healthcare system that, today, cares for millions of patients annually. MedStar Health’s 30,000 associates and 5,400 affiliated physicians are committed to living the core SPIRIT values: Service, Patient First, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork.

    “As the only hospital in St. Mary’s County and its largest private employer, we joined MedStar Health to ensure we could meet the needs of our rapidly-expanding community,” said Christine R. Wray, FACHE, president of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. “And as a member of MedStar Health, we have been able to recruit top-notch providers, invest even more in our workforce, refer patients to a vast network of excellent regional centers, and continue innovating for our patients and associates,
    among other benefits.”

    Planned for early 2020, the hospital’s next major system move is a transition to MedConnect — the unified electronic health record system that allows patients’ health data to be accessed from any MedStar Health facility, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, and ambulatory centers. This secure advancement provides a continuity of care that makes appointments more efficient, with providers having real-time access to a patient’s imaging, past laboratory results, and other vital health information.

    “MedConnect is a great example of the power we harness as MedStar Health,” said Wray. “This benefits our patients, who get even safer care through these innovations.”

    Founded in 1912, the hospital has expanded far beyond its original footprint in a home on Fenwick Street. In addition to 24-hour emergency, acute inpatient, and outpatient care, MedStar St. Mary’s is home to specialty physician offices, imaging services, behavioral health care, women’s health services, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, community health classes, and much more. Through MedStar Transport, patients in need of higher levels of care may also be transferred quickly by helicopter to locations including MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, or MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

    “We are very proud of the hospital’s role in our community and all that we’ve accomplished together,” Wray said. “We look forward to new advancements with the same commitment to compassionate, high-quality care that our associates and clinicians have always held.”

     

  • October 14, 2019
    PNC Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant