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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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  • August 16, 2019

    Washington, D.C., – The 5E Medical Oncology/Hematology Unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center has received the prestigious AMSN PRISM Award®, an honor recognizing exceptional nursing practice, leadership, and outcomes in hospital medical-surgical units.

    The award, which stands for “Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-Surg,” is the first of its kind honoring med-surg nursing units in the United States and internationally. It is co-sponsored by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB). The award is given to outstanding acute care/med-surg units or adult/pediatric units classified as med-surg.

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    Andrea Melendez, MSN, RN, National Secretary of AMSN, presented the 5E Medical Oncology/Hematology team with the AMSN PRISM Award plaque during a ceremony Wednesday, August 14, on the unit. 

    “I am so proud of the 5E team. This is such a phenomenal accomplishment,” said Tonya R. Washington, MSN, RN, senior vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “We are so delighted that their excellent team work, patient care and outcomes are recognized with this prestigious award.”

    Hoping to inspire nurses to strive for the highest levels of patient safety and quality, AMSN and MSNCB launched the award in October 2012. The award also reflects the compassion, commitment, and connection that characterize med-surg nurses.

    There are more than 600,000 medical-surgical nurses practicing in the United States today, making them the single largest group of specialty nurses working in hospital settings, according to AMSN. Med-surg nurses oversee a broad spectrum of patient care responsibilities, another reason the acronym “PRISM” was chosen for the award.

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    MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-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. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. 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.

  • August 15, 2019

    CLINTON, MD-- The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) has re-accredited MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC)’s Department of Cardiology for an additional term of three years. 

    “We began the accreditation process for IAC in November of 2018,” said Ora Reaves, MBA, RN, Director of MSMHC’s Cardiology Services. “It was an intensive application and review process. The team in Non-Invasive Cardiology, our Echo Department, worked diligently to ensure all compliance requirements were met. This demonstration proves we are committed to quality patient care and the pursuit of excellence in Echocardiography. I am proud of the work we have accomplished at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.” 
    To earn reaccreditation, MSMHC had to undergo an extensive application and review process wherein the hospital had to have demonstrated compliance with published standards and a commitment to quality patient care in echocardiography. IAC accreditation includes meeting both critical operational and technical components, as well as demonstrating competence on case studies and final reports. 

    “The dedication and commitment of the Division of Cardiology is once again recognized with the IAC reaccreditation of our superb Non-Invasive Services,” said William Suddath, MD, Chairman, Department of Cardiology at MSMHC. “We are proud to be recognized for our high quality of care and service to the Southern Maryland community. As a leader in Cardiovascular Care, it is a pleasure to once again recognize our physicians for their dedication, commitment to service and exceptional care of patients.” 

    “The tireless work put in by our wonderful clinical, ancillary support, and administrative teams has left an indelible mark on our Southern Maryland patient population and has been rewarded with an IAC reaccreditation,” said Alex Ryzhikov, MD, MSMHC’s Director, Noninvasive Cardiology and Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation. “I’m extremely proud of everyone involved in this effort for continuing to deliver exceptional medical care to our community.” 
    “IAC accreditation is a seal of approval that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray. “I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the team who earned this accreditation.” 
    This news comes on the heels of MSMHC recently earning a five-year designation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System, which allows the hospital to receive critically ill heart attack patients transported by EMS providers. 

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    About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center: 

    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 176 bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient centered services that connect us to the community we serve. 
    For more information, visit MedstarSouthernMaryland.org. 

  • August 14, 2019

    MedStar Visiting Nurse Association helped patients achieve a 60% lower hospital readmission rate than the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and national averages through the use of remote monitoring technology from Health Recovery Solutions (HRS).  Read more.

  • August 08, 2019
    New Space and Technology Advances Care to Promote Independence
  • August 01, 2019
    MedStar Health Research Institute has been awarded a contract from Pennsylvania's Patient Safety Authority, which will be supported by the MedStar Health Human Factors Center team.
  • July 30, 2019

    Together the partners will provide interdisciplinary, personalized end-of-life care through new hospital-based hospice program

    OLNEY, Md.  — MedStar Montgomery Medical Center (MMMC) and JSSA, a health and social wellness agency, have announced a partnership to provide hospital-based hospice care. The new offering will allow patients with life-limiting illnesses, whose symptoms are unable to be managed in a typical home setting, the ability to receive around-the-clock medical care from a compassionate interdisciplinary healthcare team in a comfortable environment surrounded by their loved ones.

    Families and individuals who qualify for this level of care receive pain and symptom management, as well as therapeutic support from a team of care providers. Emotional and spiritual support will also be provided when needed by licensed therapists and chaplains.

    “At MedStar Montgomery, our mission is to provide high-quality, compassionate and personalized care to every patient, beginning at birth and continuing throughout their life,” said Thomas J. Senker, FACHE, president of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and senior vice president of MedStar Health. “That patient first approach to care extends to end-of-life, which is why we have collaborated with the excellent team at JSSA to bring hospital-based hospice care to our community.”

    JSSA and MMMC have collaborated to create the best possible environment for compassionate and comprehensive hospital-based hospice care. Under the new program, MMMC staff will work together with JSSA to meet hospice patients’ needs. JSSA’s interdisciplinary team of caring experts includes a hospice physician, registered nurses, social workers, certified nursing assistants, chaplains, volunteers and bereavement counselors who, alongside the trusted team at MMMC, will work with each patient and their loved ones to determine an individualized plan that best meets their needs and wishes.

    “At JSSA we know how difficult it is to navigate end-of-life care. It is one of life’s most consequential moments. For nearly 35 years, we have been providing hospice care wherever our neighbors call home, but sometimes symptom management and the comfort of the patient requires a setting in which they can receive full-time care and medical support. For those moments we knew it was important for families to receive expert medical care in a caring and trusted setting,” said Todd Schenk, chief executive officer of JSSA. “We are thrilled to be working with such an excellent partner, as MedStar Montgomery, to create an inpatient hospice option that will serve patients and families during those most intensive and challenging moments of a terminal illness.”

    For more information, visit www.jssa.org or call 301-816-2676.

    The addition of the program comes as MMMC marks its 100th anniversary of the hospital, which has now grown to 117-beds serving the thousands of patients each year. The non-profit, acute care hospital is dedicated to innovating care and continuing to provide compassionate, person-centered care.

    ABOUT MEDSTAR MONTGOMERY MEDICAL CENTER:
    MedStar Montgomery Medical Center is a 117-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving the greater Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas. A proud member of MedStar Health, MedStar Montgomery is committed to delivering the latest in modern medicine and medical technology.

    ABOUT JSSA:

    Life is a series of ordinary moments punctuated by extraordinary ones. An aging parent struggling to live on their own. A child with anxiety starting kindergarten. A family member with autism working toward employment. JSSA is the health and social wellness agency that supports our neighbors through life’s consequential moments. Serving suburban Maryland, northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, our work is built on the commitment to repairing our corner of the world. We believe that to be high quality, care must be rooted in caring. Our team of experts is trained to listen with respect and ask questions to understand the whole you, so we can connect your needs and concerns with the right people who can help.