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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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  • October 18, 2018

    MedStar Franklin Square Offers Unique Lymph Node Transfer Procedure

     
    BALTIMORE—(September 17, 2018)— There are usually few options to treat the swelling, pain and risk of infection that come with lymphedema. But with a novel technique offered at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, patients finally have a chance to put the condition behind them.

    Dr. Gabriel Del Corral, a surgeon with MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s MedStar Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery department, is offering a cutting edge treatment that can reduce lymphedema in the arm caused by breast cancer surgery, or in the leg. In the procedure, Dr. Del Corral transfers lymph nodes from one part of a patient’s body such as the abdomen or clavicle back into his or her armpit or groin.

    Lymphedema is caused when loss of the lymph nodes in the armpit after breast cancer surgery prevents lymph fluid from draining, leading to swelling in the arm. When it occurs in the leg, it can be caused by infection, injury, trauma, or cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

    The swelling can cause pain and discomfort and cause the limb to become twice as large as normal. The swelling also raises the risk of recurrent infections. For some patients, it causes tingling and numbness that makes them unable to use their arm or leg. It is usually treated with compression garments.

    Lymph node transfers are relatively new to the United States, having only been around for two to three years. The procedure has been used in Europe for about six to seven years. Only about 10 percent of hospitals around the country currently offer it.

    “Until recently, doctors have not been able to offer patients with lymphedema a real solution,” said Dr. Del Corral, who is also an assistant professor of plastic surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “We are finally able to offer relief to patients who in some cases have suffered for years or decades.”

    When a woman undergoes surgery to remove breast cancer tissue, lymph nodes in the armpit are sometimes removed. The lymphedema which sometimes results can take women by surprise as it can show up years after the initial mastectomy. Few are aware it is a relatively common side effect, with an incidence that may be as high as 65% to 70% after a modified radical mastectomy.

    In the lymph node transfer, lymph nodes are harvested from the abdomen or clavicle areas, then transferred to the armpit or groin. Using specialized microsurgical techniques, Dr. Del Corral reconnects the artery and vein to recipient blood vessels to provide vital support to the lymph nodes during the initial healing phase. The procedure can be performed at the same time as a breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Patients stay overnight after the procedure, then go home the next day.

    One patient of Dr. Del Corral’s went through a mastectomy for breast cancer in 1982 and developed lymphedema in her left arm 16 years later. She was unhappy with her appearance and gained weight, and had to buy shirts that were too large and have them taken in to fit around her swollen arm. Last year, Dr. Del Corral transferred lymph nodes from her abdomen to her armpit, and her arm has been slowly returning to its normal size. She’s now back to exercising, losing weight, and being able to enjoy simple things like wearing jewelry on her left arm and ditching compression garments.

    Dr. Del Corral, who joined MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in January, also specializes in microsurgical advancements in reconstructive breast surgery.

    “Try to wear a compression garment in the summer, or your marriage rings,” said Dr. Del Corral. “All those little things we take for granted, and it’s really amazing when we can get some improvement.”

    To make an appointment with Dr. Del Corral, or for more information on the services he provides, call 443-777-7631.

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    About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

    The MedStar Health Cancer Network, comprised of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor, and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals, represents a true collaboration in oncology care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses, and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced-based, quality care with a focus on service and easy access.

    The Cancer Network has recently been granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The Cancer Network is committed to delivering the highest standards of care—this national endorsement further validates the quality of care its experts provide to cancer patients in the Baltimore community.

     

    Our oncology experts provide all the cancer treatments you expect, plus some you might not. Treatments are always supported or driven by the latest research, including such sophisticated offerings as CyberKnife radiation, leading clinical trials, targeted therapies, and minimally invasive surgery—endoscopic, laparoscopic, or robotic-assisted. Our physicians, including a dedicated orthopaedic oncology team, are specially trained to treat complex cancers. Our seamless oncology care is backed by electronic medical records and top support services like genetic counseling and cancer rehab.

  • October 16, 2018
    Residents Can Get a Free Flu Shot Without Leaving the Car
  • October 12, 2018

    (Washington, D.C.,) - Epilepsy patients looking for a minimally invasive alternative for brain surgery have a new option thanks to a novel tool that lets surgeons perform brain surgery with the help of a robot.

    MedStar Georgetown is the first and only center in the Washington, D.C., area to offer this new option for adults with epilepsy.

    ROSA Brain™ is a surgical navigation and positioning system using robotic technology that allows surgeons, through a tiny three millimeter opening in the skull, to place electrodes, which detect seizures in the brain.  Traditional methods require a more invasive craniotomy and shaving a patient’s head.

    “About 30 percent of patients with epilepsy don’t respond to medication,” says Christopher Kalhorn, M.D., FACS, neurosurgeon and surgical director of the Movement Disorders Program and the Epilepsy Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

    “For this group of people who don’t respond to medicine and for whom debilitating seizures are a daily threat, surgery can be a good option for eliminating their seizures.”

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    The surgeon uses ROSA Brain and its planning software to create a 3D map of the patient’s brain and plan out the pathways needed to carry out the procedure. ROSA Brain is aligned to the trajectories outlined by the surgical plan, and the surgeon carries out the surgery using the robot as a guide. ROSA Brain provides robotic alignment of the planned pathway which allows the surgeon to access deep brain targets for the placement of electrodes, all without a craniotomy.

    “Conventional brain surgery for epilepsy requires a craniotomy, which is the surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain,” says Dr. Kalhorn.

    This common surgery is invasive and can lead to long recovery times.

    “Using Rosa Brain through a tiny opening in the skull, I can offer a much less invasive option for my patients who recover quicker and with less pain than before.”

    ROSA RobotAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 3.4 million Americans either take medication to try to control seizures, or have had at least one seizure in the past year.

    Minimally invasive surgery using ROSA Brain may allow surgeons to lower operating time and eliminate the need of traditional craniotomies.

    “The beauty of this technology is while it’s mainly used for epilepsy surgery, it can also be used for other brain surgeries like biopsies, endoscopic brain surgeries as well as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders,” says Dr. Kalhorn.

  • October 11, 2018

    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) was among a select group of hospitals nationwide recognized for promoting enrollment in state organ donor registries in a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The campaign has added more than 443,000 donor enrollments to state registries nationwide.

    MSMHC conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors, and community members about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state’s donor registry. The hospital earned points for each activity implemented between October 2017 and April 2018 and was awarded Silver recognition through the HRSA Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign.

    Of the 1,283 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, 360 Silver Awards were awarded during this phase of the campaign.

    “Winning the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) Silver Award for promotion of organ donation gives me such pride and also has personal meaning,” said Renee Sicheri, MSMHC RN and member of the MSMHC ICU team. “The collaboration between WRTC and our ICU team is evident with every donor patient, as well as the donor family, who are given compassionate care, love, respect and support by the entire team. My family has been touched personally by organ donation. My brother-in-law experienced a hemorrhagic stroke and was an organ donor. His gift of life impacted seven people’s lives. I remember how supportive the team was, and the comfort they brought my family. I am proud to be a part of this fabulous program and the great work carried out by the teams at MSMHC and the WRTC.”

    The Donate Life campaign is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Workplace Partnership for Life, mobilizing the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors and ultimately, the number of organs available for transplant.

    “MSMHC is proud to support organ donation,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray. “We humbly thank donors for giving the gift of life, and their families, for supporting their generous decision. We thank all physicians and associates who work in units where donations originate, for their professionalism and reverence for this delicate process. Finally, we thank WRTC for partnering with us in this important, life-saving mission.”

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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.

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  • October 10, 2018

    CLINTON, MD--MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) is proud to announce that we have added another gastroenterology (GI) physician, Dr. Freaw Dejenie, to our team.

    Dr. Dejenie will perform colonoscopies and endoscopies, and will treat esophageal disorders, stomach and intestine issues, colon problems, and liver disease.

    “In this specialty, we treat patients not at one point of contact, but with continuity of care over a period of healing,” said Dr. Dejenie. “If we do a colonoscopy, for instance, and discover polyps or cancer, we can change someone’s life, and we can decrease mortality.”

    Dr. Dejenie attended medical school at Addis Ababa University in his native Ethiopia and then came to the United States to complete his internship, residency, and fellowship. All three took place at Howard University Hospital, where he fell in love with the Washington, DC-area and with the GI specialty, which is in high demand in this area and across the country.

    He joins Dr. Walid Chalhoub, who has been with MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for more than two years. 

    “There is a need for good GI physicians across the country,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray. “We are excited this practice is growing at our hospital, and we are proud to welcome Dr. Dejenie to partner with Dr. Chalhoub in this thriving specialty.  Both physicians, along with Nurse Practitioner Kayleigh Lambert, provide excellent care and help bring healing and relief to patients suffering from gastrointestinal issues.”

    To make an appointment with either of MSMHC’s two GI specialists, call 301-877-4599. 

    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.

  • October 02, 2018

    15TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISER DRAWS MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE

    McLean, Virginia – OCT. 2, 2018 — MedStar National Rehabilitation Network’s 15th annual Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel drew more than 200 participants and raised more than $50,000 this year. The race, which benefits athletes who participate in MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports programs, was held in very wet, rainy conditions on Sunday, Sept. 23.

    MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports programs enable athletes with disabilities to compete in various sports such as wheelchair basketball; wheelchair tennis; adaptive rowing; sled hockey; quad rugby; Boccia ball; hand cycling, and more.

    Funds raised from the Super H race have also enabled all of MedStar NRN’s adaptive sports teams to compete at the national level. Our wheelchair basketball team is currently ranked number 3 in the nation. Additionally, one of our players, Trevon Jenifer, is a gold medalist on the U.S. Paralympic basketball team, while Hallie Smith is a member of the U.S. Paralympic Rowing team. MedStar NRN’s programs range from introductory clinics to elite competitions.

    “We sincerely appreciate all of the generosity of our sponsors and those who attended this year’s race,” said Joan Joyce, director of recreation therapy and community relations for MedStar NRN. “Our adaptive athletes are very grateful for all of the support they receive as well as those coming for our fitness classes. It really means a lot to everyone.”

    MedStar NRN thanks all of this year’s race sponsors including: Volkswagen Group of America; Reyes Holdings; Darren Star Productions; Streetsense; Tetra Tech; Gregorio’s; Greenhill; Stein Sperling; APTA – the American Physical Therapy Association; National Seating & Mobility Clinic; MedStar Medical Group Radiology; Progressions Salon; NuMotion; Hanger Clinic; Tri-Union Express; ABC Home Medical; Data-Search, Inc; Robert’s Home Medical; District Amputee Care Center, LLC; Hollister; The Super H Family; Elle Leech-Black; Timmie Metz Band; MetroLogo; and Sport & Health, Tysons Corner.

    Next year’s race takes place in September of 2019. Stay tuned for information on the date and time.

    To contribute to adaptive sports even though the race is over go to: MedStarNRH.org/SuperH5K 

    (Photo gallery – photos that can be used by media sites with the piece.)

     

    About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

    The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

    The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury.  Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.  Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.  

    The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

    Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C., and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region.  MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission,  the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

    For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.

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