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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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  • January 24, 2019

    Hyattsville, MD — Kenneth L Fan, MD, has been awarded funding through the MedStar Diabetes Research Grant to research patient-reported outcome measures for patients who undergo lower limb amputation to treat issues caused by diabetes.

    The goal of the MedStar Diabetes Research Grant is to support investigators in the field of diabetes research who are interested in developing pilot data that can lead to additional, externally funded studies. This funding opportunity for MedStar investigators interested in diabetes research was made possible by a generous donation to MedStar Health.

    Diabetic lower extremity disease has surpassed diabetic coma as the primary driver of mortality among people with diabetes. The research study funded, “Examination of Functional, Morbidity, and Mortality Outcomes of Surgical Modalities in Diabetic Limb Salvage”, will begin by seeking to compare national averages for patient outcomes to those treated as a multidisciplinary center. The study will then leverage patient-reported outcome measures to compare patient feedback to surgical outcomes, such as ambulatory status. Using that information, patients undergoing surgery will be surveyed both before and after, to determine if preoperative patient-reported outcome measures scores may predict how well patients will tolerate certain procedures.

    “This generous donation to diabetes research at MedStar Health allows us to support investigators who are focused on finding better ways to treat our patients with diabetes,” said Neil Weissman, MD, chief scientific officer for MedStar Health and president of MedStar Health Research Institute. “Our mission of advancing health for our community allows us to leverage our multidisciplinary focus to provide better outcomes for future patients.”

    This research will be led by Dr. Fan, in collaboration with Karen K. Evans, MD; Christopher E. Attinger, MD; David H. Song, MD; and Derek Delia, PhD.

     


    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
    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.

  • January 24, 2019

    Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, Assistant Vice President, Healthcare Delivery Research at MedStar Health Research Institute and other researchers evaluated reasons for race differences in adverse event reporting. "Every organization that wants to keep patients safe should be asking questions and measuring whether safety events are happening disproportionately to some groups versus others," Thomas said. Read more.

  • January 23, 2019

    Hyattsville, MD — The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) recently awarded a 5-year $ 4.375 million grant to establish a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital focusing on neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction can affect a broad range of people with physical disabilities; for example, people with spinal cord injury and disease, stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, among other conditions.

    Under the direction of Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH, the RRTC is a collaboration between MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, Georgetown University, TIRR Memorial Hermann, and Children’s National Medical Center. These institutions will partner with national organizations, leveraging expertise and strengths in rehabilitation research and clinical care, neurogenic bladder research and advocacy, and consumer engagement in research. They will also focus on training at post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate levels, disability-related national advocacy, online education development, and dissemination outreach.

    There are three research projects that are supported by this funding. The first research project will determine whether 4 doses of intravesical Lactobacillus among people with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction who use indwelling catheters is superior to 2 doses for management of selected urinary symptoms.  For the second research project, the RRTC will assess neuromodulation of the bladder using transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in a randomized controlled trial. The third research project, in conjunction with an ongoing clinical trial, will describe the impact that bladder management has on quality of life and participation outcomes and then assess these in the context of the first-in-human clinical trial of the Connected Catheter.

     “With our training component, we hope to support the early career development of investigators to further the quality of patients in the future,” said Dr. Groah.

    National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research is the federal government’s primary disability research agency. They seek to fund projects which generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community.

     

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    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 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 20, 2019

    Columbia, Maryland – MedStar Emergency Physicians (MEP) has been selected as a top employer by the group that represents the nation’s 131-thousand physician assistants (PAs).  The American Academy of Physician Assistant’s Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management (CHLM) has announced the winners of the 2019-2020 Employer of Excellence Awards which are designed to showcase organizations that have implemented practices that create a positive work environment for PAs and encourage collaboration among provider teams.

    The program is the first and only PA-specific award program available to organizations.

    “MedStar Emergency Physicians has fostered a professional environment where physicians and physician assistants work side by side to create synergies around quality patient care and experience,” says Chris Richter, MD, FACEP, chief of Emergency Medicine for MedStar Emergency Physicians. “Our PAs are highly valued members of our teams and enhance the physician’s skill set with relevant experience, depth of knowledge, and exceptional procedural and diagnostic training.  This kind of collaboration is the future of emergency medicine and we are proud to have the best physician assistants in the field.”

    MedStar Emergency Physicians represents the majority of emergency medicine clinicians within MedStar Health, the largest health system in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., region.  MEP is made up of seven top-tier emergency departments in the mid-Atlantic region and includes those at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, and MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

    Representatives from MEP accept the Employer of Excellence Award in Denver.

    To determine the criteria for recognition, CHLM rated organizations on five key drivers identified by PAs as important components in their workplace.  Based on the survey findings, criteria for the Employer of Excellence Awards focuses on the following:

    • Establishing a positive and supportive PA work environment.
    • Providing opportunities for PAs to provide meaningful input that leads to positive organizational change.
    • Keeping PAs informed about organizational activity and decisions.
    • Involving PAs in leadership efforts to improve the quality of patient care.
    • Creating processes for effective conflict management.

    “We are so pleased to recognize the amazing accomplishments of this year’s Employer of Excellence winners. Their progressive work to support PAs should serve as an inspiration and model for all PA employers,” said Jennifer Broderick, managing director of CHLM. “Recognizing the value that PAs bring to both their employers and their patients is the goal of this award and we were so impressed with all this year’s winners.”

    Dr. Daniel Teklay, Chair at MUMH ED (left) and Agisi Makrodimitris, Lead PA at MUMH ED (right).

    The MEP team is comprised of 160 board-certified emergency physicians and 96 physician assistants. Together, our physicians and PAs care for more than 400,000 patients each year in the Baltimore and Washington D.C., regions.

    Recipients of this year’s award by the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management will retain their designation as an Employer of Excellence for two years, and then must re-apply to maintain the designation.

  • January 18, 2019

    COLUMBIA, MD— The Patient Safety Movement Foundation, a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving patient safety, has awarded MedStar Health with its Five-Star Hospital award. MedStar Health was recognized for its role in the development of the Foundation’s evidence-based Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) – processes designed to help hospitals eliminate the leading causes of preventable patient harm in hospitals. Most notable, MedStar Health contributed to the development of Actionable Patient Safety Solutions in the topic areas of culture of safety, falls and fall prevention, patient and family engagement, patient safety education and early detection of sepsis.  

    Participating in the Patient Safety Movement’s Actionable Patient Safety Solutions process is part of MedStar Health’s mission to become a high-reliability organization. At the heart of this plan is a commitment to creating a culture of safety and shared learning.

    “At MedStar Health, we understand the power of shared learning. As we continually find ways to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes, we look to extend these practices to other healthcare systems around the world. We are proud of our partnership with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation and its mission to eliminate preventable patient deaths in hospitals. Through the APSS shared-learning model all healthcare systems can move from information to action,” says Stephen R. T. Evans, MD, executive vice president, Medical Affairs & chief medical officer, MedStar Health.

    “We are proud of the leadership and action that MedStar Health has taken to put in place processes to achieve ZERO patient deaths from medical errors,” said Joe Kiani, Founder of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation.“MedStar leaders have helped develop some of the fundamental APSS, demonstrating their commitment to eliminating the leading causes of preventable deaths.”

    Since implementing their patient safety improvement efforts which align with the Actionable Patient Safety Solutions, MedStar Health has achieved some remarkable results, including:

    • Reducing the number of serious patient safety events
    • Reducing the number of healthcare-associated infections
    • Increasing and improving front-line reporting of events
    • Reducing the cost of care associated with serious safety events
    • Improving early detection and treatment of sepsis

    It’s estimated that more than 250,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year from preventable harm – making it the third-leading cause of death in the United States. More than 4,600 hospitals in 44 countries have implemented the free, evidence-based Actionable Patient Safety Solutions the Patient Safety Movement Foundation has produced in concert with leading medical experts. For more information on MedStar Health’s commitment to action or the Patient Safety Movement, please visit patientsafetymovement.org.

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    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.

    About the Patient Safety Movement Foundation
    Each year, more than 200,000 people die unnecessarily in U.S. hospitals. Worldwide, 4.8 million lives are similarly lost. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) is a global non-profit that offers free tools to help achieve ZERO preventable deaths from hospital errors. The Patient Safety Movement Foundation was established through the support of the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare to reduce that number of preventable deaths to ZERO. Improving patient safety requires a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, including patients, healthcare providers, medical technology companies, government, employers, and private payers. PSMF’s World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit brings together the world’s best minds for thought-provoking discussions and new ideas to challenge the status quo. Our Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) provide evidence-based processes to help hospitals eliminate errors. Our Open Data Pledge encourages healthcare technology companies to share the data for which their products are purchased. Visit patientsafetymovement.org.

  • January 18, 2019



    Frederico M. Asch, MD presented analysis from his late breaking clinical trial, COAPT. The echocardiography characteristics of the COAPT population, strengthens the need to identify a consistent baseline for enrolling patients in an effort to replicate similar results when used in clinical practice. “…clearly the fact that the results were so different, the outcomes were so different, makes it extremely important that we understand who exactly was enrolled in COAPT,” Asch said. Learn more