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  • January 06, 2022

    Christine R. Wray announces Jan. 2022 retirement after 42 years of service in healthcare

    CLINTON, Md. – Christine R. Wray, FACHE, president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital who also serves as a senior vice president for MedStar Health, announced that she will be retiring on January 28, 2022.

    Wray was named president of MedStar Southern Maryland in September 2014, two years after MedStar Health acquired the hospital located in the Clinton area of Prince George’s County. With Wray at the helm, MedStar Southern Maryland saw the development and growth of several new service lines.

    In 2016, the hospital received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, having ranked among the top 50 of best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery. In 2017, MedStar Southern Maryland joined the prestigious MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Alliance. Wray also helped facilitate the opening of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in February 2020. This 25,000 square foot facility offers unmatched medical expertise, leading-edge therapies, and access to robust clinical research, all under the same roof. 

    Moreover, the construction of MedStar Southern Maryland’s new Emergency Department (ED) expansion project took place under Wray’s leadership, and remained on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The $43 million ED expansion project has been deemed the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The new emergency department opened its doors in April 2021 to provide local residents with seamless access to the most advanced care.

    Wray’s focus on providing quality care has helped MedStar Southern Maryland build a foundation of excellence that will serve local communities for decades to come. MedStar Southern Maryland is grateful for the innumerable and lasting contributions that Wray made throughout her 42-year healthcare career.

    “I have so cherished working with all of you in our commitment and service to our wonderful communities. It has truly been an honor and a privilege,” Wray said in an announcement that was emailed to hospital associates. “Please always be proud of the work you do and how you care for each other as you care for our patients. It is incredibly important work and you are the best of the best!

    Dr. Stephen Michaels, who currently serves as the chief operating and medical officer for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, will take over as president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

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  • June 21, 2019

    New Lung Valve Helps Qualified Patients Breathe Easier Without Surgery

    BALTIMORE—(June 21, 2019)—The Angelos Center for Lung Disease at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center successfully implanted a new FDA-approved lung valve in a patient with severe emphysema Tuesday, becoming the first medical facility in Maryland to perform an endoscopic lung volume reduction (ELVR), to ease breathing. 

    Known as the Zephyr valve, the breakthrough medical device was positioned into the lungs of a 69-year old Baltimore man using a bronchoscope, under anesthesia but without surgery. The patient recovered well and went home two days after.

    More than 3.5 million Americans suffer from emphysema, a severe, progressive form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD). In emphysema, a breakdown of small air sacs in the lungs, known as aveoli, cause air to become trapped in the diseased portions of the lungs each time the patient inhales. The lungs hyperinflate and healthier lung tissue is compressed, causing patients to feel as though they are suffocating. Normal activities like walking, eating or bathing are challenging.

    Once in position, the implanted valves will occlude any further airflow into the diseased portion of the lung and allow air trapped to be exhaled out of the patient, thereby reducing the volume in the overinflated area. The remaining lobes are then able to fully expand and work more efficiently, improving overall lung function. Patients who received the treatment experienced an increased exercise capacity. They can walk further, experience less shortness of breath and enjoy a better quality of life. 

    Those interested in the minimally invasive treatment option can schedule a screening at the Angelos Center for Lung Disease by calling: 443-777-2467.

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    About MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is a not-for-profit 353-bed community teaching hospital located in the White Marsh section of eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. MedStar Franklin Square provides many medical and healthcare services, including a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals. The hospital is ranked third in admissions among all Maryland hospitals and our Emergency Department treats more than 80,000 patients annually. MedStar Franklin Square is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has earned some of the nation’s most prestigious quality awards including Magnet Designation for excellence in nursing, the Excellence Award for Quality Improvement from the Delmarva Foundation and inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital specialty ranking for four consecutive years. With more than 3,300 employees, MedStar Franklin Square is one of the largest employers in Baltimore County. Visit medstarfranklin.org for more information.

  • June 18, 2019

     

    Columbia, MD – Dr. David Mayer, Executive Director, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety was elected to the International Academy of Quality & Safety. The Academy was established in 2018 by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) to recognize distinguished individuals who have made a significant contribution in the field of Quality and Safety in Healthcare. The Academy recognizes excellence of leadership within research, academia or service delivery in quality and safety in healthcare.  

    This is only the second cohort of Academy members. The first, 35 founding members were elected by ISQua Experts and the Board in June 2018.  

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    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 care givers, 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
    MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

    About the International Society for Quality in Health Care

    The mission of the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) is to inspire and drive improvement in the quality and safety of healthcare worldwide through education and knowledge sharing, external evaluation, supporting health systems and connecting people through global networks. Established in 1985 with a vision to promote quality and safety in health care through international co-operation and collaboration. ISQua is dedicated to making this vision a reality. For more information, visit www.isqua.org.

     

  • June 13, 2019

    WASHINGTON — A combination of elevated symptoms of depression along with modifications in a gene responsible for dopamine activity, important to the brain’s pleasure and reward system, appear to influence an addiction to indoor tanning in young, white non-Hispanic women.

    That finding comes from a new study, reported by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and published online June 11 in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

    Excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Most UV exposure is from the sun, but exposure from indoor tanning is common in certain people and accounts for 10 percent of skin cancer cases in the U.S. There will be an estimated 96,480 new cases of melanoma in the United States and 7,230 deaths from the disease in 2019.

    This study compiled survey responses from 292 non-Hispanic white women in the Washington, D.C., area, 18 to 30 years of age, who used indoor tanning beds, sunlamps, or sun booths. The survey asked questions about values and behaviors that might predispose a person to a tanning addiction, as well as a series of questions to determine if they had symptoms of depression.

    The researchers also collected saliva samples to obtain DNA to look for 34 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in five different genes. SNPs are changes in one of the base molecules on a strand of DNA. The specific SNPs that researchers looked at were in genes known to be related to pathways that reward addictive behavior.

    “By demonstrating that genes in behavioral reward pathways are associated with tanning addiction, we are providing stronger evidence that tanning addiction is a cancer risk behavior in need of intervention,” says lead author Darren Mays, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of oncology and member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Georgetown Lombardi. “This finding adds to a growing body of evidence from animal studies and neuroimaging studies that have been done in humans.”

    The researchers adjusted their analyses based on indoor tanning frequency, value of appearance, and depressive symptoms. They found a more than two-fold increased odds of indoor tanning addiction in modifications to the rs4436578 SNP and a slightly less than two-fold increased odds of addiction in modifications to the rs4648318 SNP. When looking at whether the SNPs interacted with depressive symptoms to increase the risk of indoor tanning-addiction, they found a more than 10-fold increase if there were modifications to the rs4436578 SNP and a more than 13-fold increase in the rs4648318 SNP. This knowledge should be helpful if screening for risk of addiction is shown to be beneficial in reducing the chance that people will engage in a cancer-causing activity.

    Mays work in tanning addiction continues with a study, just getting underway, that will explore the effectiveness of text messaging as an intervention to help young women quit if they are addicted to indoor tanning. The research is funded by the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

    “This grant will enable us to test behavioral interventions in young women who are addicted to indoor tanning,” Mays says. “We have used text messaging to intervene in other behaviors and have found that the personalized conversation we can deliver through this medium can help people take steps to quit.”

    In addition to Mays, authors include Jaeil Ahn, PhD, and Bingsong Zhang, MS, from the Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics, Georgetown University Medical Center and Michael B. Atkins, MD, David Goerlitz, MS, and Kenneth P. Tercyak, PhD, from Georgetown Lombardi.

  • June 10, 2019

    Hospital-Based Responders Will Work to Reduce Violence in Community, Help Victims

    BALTIMORE—MedStar Harbor Hospital has joined Baltimore’s Safe Streets initiative, an evidence-based violence interruption and prevention program, as part of a larger effort to serve its community. Two responders are installed in the hospital’s emergency department to intervene with victims of violent crime.

    Safe Streets is a Baltimore health department initiative that funds community-based organizations to employ “street smart” community members whose own experience with violence gives them a personal connection to victims.

    The two responders at MedStar Harbor Hospital will deescalate and mediate disputes that could otherwise lead to violence and work to prevent retaliation. The responders will also serve as positive role models and help connect victims and perpetrators with jobs, education and other resources to help them live better lives.

    “Violence is a public health crisis and we at MedStar Harbor Hospital want to do our part to try to reduce it,” said Ryan Moran, MedStar Health Director of Community Health – Baltimore City. “Safe Streets is an established, evidence-based program that has been proven to be effective. This is another tool for us to improve the health of our community.” 

    MedStar Harbor Hospital has hired one full-time responder and one part-time responder who will work out of the emergency department on evenings and weekends. The hospital’s program launched in March and is connected to an established program in the nearby Cherry Hill community.

    The initiative follows other recent efforts by MedStar Harbor Hospital to provide holistic, wrap-around services to its community. In the last three years, MedStar Harbor Hospital has started a program to connect patients to substance abuse treatment, installed community health advocates to work directly with vulnerable patients and help them navigate social services, offered free trainings in the overdose prevention drug Narcan, and provided weeks of home-delivered, healthy food.

    “Instead of simply treating patients and sending them home, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a true community resource and a positive force for good,” Moran said. “The community should feel that this hospital isn’t just a good place to go when they’re sick – but a hub and anchor where they can access resources to help them live better lives.”

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    About MedStar Harbor Hospital

    After more than a century of healing, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a mainstay in the community, serving patients from Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties at our convenient waterside location, with the services of a large, regional medical center in a smaller, more personal environment. With more than 350 affiliated physicians representing 30 medical and surgical specialties, and 1,200 associates, the hospital offers a full range of health care services for patients from infancy through the senior years. From general medicine and surgery, obstetrics, diabetes, pain management, arthritis, orthopaedics, and geriatrics to cardiology and urology, and now behavioral health, our team of caring physicians and associates serves the unique needs of every patient.

    In 2016, MedStar Harbor Hospital was named a top hospital in Maryland and in the Baltimore metro area by U.S. News & World Report, receiving high performance ratings in specialty areas, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Gynecology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Heart Failure, Pulmonology, and Orthopaedics.

  • June 10, 2019

    In honor of National Aphasia Awareness Month, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will offer free information sessions from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 27 to help educate individuals about the communication disorder.

    Aphasia is an acquired condition that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. The most common cause of aphasia is stroke, though it can also result from head injury, a brain tumor, or other neurological causes.

    Individuals with aphasia often have difficulty reading, writing, speaking, and/or understanding language. Approximately 2 million Americans are affected by the disorder.

    “Many people do not understand that aphasia is a loss of language, not a loss of intelligence,” said Anna Decker, MS, CCC-SLP, speech language pathologist at MedStar St. Mary’s. “There are strategies available to help those impacted improve their communication, and we hope to help families by sharing these resources.”

    Interested individuals may stop by The Blue Heron Café at MedStar St. Mary’s between noon and 1 p.m. June 25 and June 27. A speech language pathologist will discuss how to help those affected by aphasia. To learn more about the disorder and strategies for improvement, visit MedStarStMarys.org/Aphasia or call 301-475-6062.

    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. In addition, MSMH received the Maryland Performance Excellence award at the Platinum level in 2014 – the highest in the state. 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.

  • June 07, 2019
    Two educators at MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab (SiTEL) have received faculty grants from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) for the educational initiatives they designed for students.