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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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  • September 30, 2021

    One-Step Prep and Surgical Advantages Mean Streamlined Procedure, Less Time Under Anesthesia

    BALTIMORE- Using a new fully integrated shoulder arthroplasty system, Dr. Anand Murthi, chief of shoulder and elbow surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and professor of orthopaedic surgery, became the first surgeon in the U.S. to implant the innovative Depuy Inhance shoulder system during a shoulder replacement procedure last week. The implant, which Dr. Murthi helped to design, was used to replace the arthritic joint of a 65-year old man.

    A surge in the geriatric population with advancements in technical approaches in surgery and improvements in devices, account for a trending increase in the frequency of shoulder arthroplasty, or shoulder replacement. Industry data shows that shoulder replacements are the fastest growing orthopedic joint replacement surgery in the country, tallying nearly 70,000 annually.

    During a shoulder replacement procedure, the ball section of the joint, or the socket part, is replaced using a prosthesis made of polyethylene and metal components. There are different approaches to performing a shoulder arthroplasty including a partial, total, a revision, or a reverse shoulder replacement.

    The Inhance shoulder system was designed by surgeons and engineers using an intuitive approach to patient care with consideration to the multiple reasons why it may become necessary during surgery to change from one approach option to another. It’s the first shoulder system to allow a seamless transition from stemless to stemmed to reverse shoulder implants if necessary. Humeral bone quality, severe glenoid bone loss and damage to the rotator cuff may lead the surgeon to opt from performing a standard shoulder replacement to a reverse shoulder replacement.

    “This is really a leap forward in advancing the technology to replace the shoulder joint,” explained Dr. Murthi, “the intelligent system design means simultaneous steps can take place to prepare the bone and thereby reducing the length of the surgery. That means the patient is under anesthesia for less time.”

    Last week, the total shoulder replacement procedure took under 1.5 hours. The patient went home the same day using regional anesthesia.

    The new shoulder system also has unique intraoperative flexibility. It features a comprehensive size range of anatomic stemless and stemmed inlay humeral implants that share a common geometrical shape to easily fixate to the humerus. The innovative zoned-conforming glenoid, with one-step preparation is novel to the shoulder market. Dr. Murthi and his research team published on this in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

    The implants are manufactured via state-of-the-art 3D laser and manufactured using an advanced cross-linked Vitamin E polyethylene for its wear characteristics and oxidative stability. This is important to reducing the risk of revision and complications.

  • September 30, 2021

    Baltimore, Md — MedStar Harbor Hospital is partnering with the Baltimore Tree Trust and Plisko Sustainable Solutions, LLC, to create Medstar Harbor Park West, an urban forestation project that will expand the hospital’s tree canopy on the campus, adjacent to the DaVita Center, between Cherry Hill Road and Poteet Street- inside the Cherry Hill community.

    Dozens of volunteers from the Arbor Day Foundation and from UPS, will be on site at 9 a.m. and working until 1 p.m. October 22nd, to begin phase one of the project. They’ll dig holes, plant and water 105 native canopy trees, including red maple, honey locust, tulip poplar, eastern red cedar, flowering dogwood and swamp white oak.

    Also during this phase, aster, coneflower, coreopsis, echinacea, aquilegia and mum seeds will be planted along with wild flower mixes added to the landscape as cover crops.

     “It has been an honor to work alongside the Baltimore Tree Trust and Plisko Sustainable Solutions, LLC to provide this truly unique project and furthering the expansion our Master Green Infrastructure Plan,” said Brian Gray, director clinical support operations who also serves as sustainability officer for the hospital. “It benefits all of us who work here at the hospital to have a serene and healthy environment, but also our community members. Best of all, generations to come will have the healing benefits of the efforts we are making now.” 

    The Baltimore Tree Trust was awarded funding from the Arbor Day Foundation and MedStar Harbor Hospital was the selected beneficiary to build an urban park setting at the Harbor Park West site. The hospital has already planted 126 native trees since 2018.

    During phase 2 of the project, which begins in the spring, 2022, paving, signage, seating and recycling containers will be added.

    MedStar Harbor Hospital was awarded a Tree Campus Healthcare Facility recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation because of the hospital’s ongoing effort to protect the environment with an expansive increased storm water water retention system, and for creating a green and healthy environment in the city with trees and native gardens.

    “This one-of-a kind program aims to transform community health and wellness and ultimately save lives through the health benefits provided by trees, as well as recognize healthcare institutions that make an impact on wellness through tree planting, education, and community engagement,” the foundation announced online.

  • September 16, 2021

    CLINTON, MD – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has received the American Heart Association’s GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

    Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times.

    Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist healthcare professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

    “MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival and after a stroke,” said Christine Wray, hospital president. “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

    Each year, program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

    “We are pleased to recognize MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston,Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

    MedStar Southern Maryland also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

    Additionally, MedStar Southern Maryland received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

    For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

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    About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-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 about MedStar Southern Maryland, click here.

    About Get With The Guidelines®
    Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 9 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

  • Front entrance to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    September 15, 2021
    CLINTON, Md. –MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Transfusion Services team received praises for having quality process and procedures, as well as clarity of documentation, following an AABB inspection that concluded with no reported deficiencies.

    The inspection, which took place at the hospital in August, is part of AABB’s commitment to “improving health through the development and delivery of standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety,” according to the international, non-profit association’s website. AABB represents a diverse community of dedicated individuals and institutions – located in more than 80 countries – whose overall mission is to improve lives “by making transfusion medicine and biotherapies safe, available and effective worldwide.”

    As a longtime leader responsible for blood bank operations at the hospital, transfusion service supervisor Robin Cupp, MT (ASCP), said the AABB inspection is significant in terms of ensuring quality and safety standards for high reliability organizations, or HROs, like MedStar Southern Maryland.

    “Years ago, the AABB revised their standards to focus on quality systems. To be able to pass the AABB assessment with no citations means our quality and operational systems were determined to meet or exceed the rigorous requirements set by the AABB Standards Committees,” Cupp said. “One of the great things that worked in our favor is that MedStar Southern Maryland was able to learn from other MedStar Health hospital sites that are also AABB accredited.”

    Denise Robinson, MT (ASCP), who has served as the Administrative Director of Laboratory Services at MedStar Southern Maryland for the past three years, said she was very pleased that the AABB assessor gave “high complements” about their facility, a noteworthy accomplishment for MedStar Southern Maryland which strives to achieve safety, quality and efficiency through five key HRO principles: (1) sensitivity to operations; (2) reluctance to simplify; (3) preoccupation with failure; (4) deference to expertise; and (5) commitment to resilience.

    “We audit every aspect of the transfusion process including the completion of documentation for various processes that are carried out in the blood bank. We also audit the nursing aspects in terms of ensuring that a patient’s vitals were taken, whether or not they’re following protocol for two-person identification before starting a transfusion” Robinson said. “I would like to acknowledge my blood bank supervisor [Cupp] who reiterates that whole sense of safety and quality. We are part of an organization that is not only on an HRO journey, but also actively lives it. Everything that we do in the blood bank follows those HRO principles and the culture of safety that MedStar Health seeks to create for all associates.”

    About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-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.

     

  • September 14, 2021

    WASHINGTON– Two MedStar Health hospitals are now offering an FDA-approved treatment for patients who have had persistent atrial fibrillation for more than a year. The Hybrid AF™ Convergent Therapy is available both at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. MedStar Health physicians participated in the landmark CONVERGE™ trial, which provided the key data for FDA approval of this treatment in April 2021.

    Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is an irregular heartbeat that occurs when a heart has lost its healthy rhythm. If not properly treated, AFib can lead to blood clots, stroke, other heart-related complications, and even sudden death.

    Long-standing, persistent atrial fibrillation (LSPAF) is a particularly challenging form of this condition to treat. Some 45 percent of AFib patients cope with LSPAF, so the Hybrid AF Convergent Therapy is a breakthrough treatment for those with long-standing, persistent AFib.

    “Historically, patients with LSPAF have been challenging to treat, and about half suffer from progressively worsening symptoms,” said Zayd Eldadah, MD, PhD, director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “This hybrid procedure will help improve the lives of millions of patients with severe AFib, and we are thrilled that we now have a new arsenal in our toolbox to treat what was once a very difficult disease.”

    The Hybrid AF Convergent Therapy is a minimally invasive, two-part ablation procedure that uses heat to stop the erratic electrical signals that cause AFib and restore a normal heart rhythm. A cardiac surgeon performs the first procedure by making a small incision under the breastbone, to create access to the heart and then creates lesions or scar tissue on the back walls of the heart. An electrophysiologist then gains access to the inside of the heart and blood vessels through the groin, to deliver therapeutic energy to areas of the heart to destroy the abnormal electrical activity.

    “There have been less than optimal outcomes for a population of Afib patients who simply don’t respond as we would like to after endocardial ablation alone,” said Brian Bethea, MD, chief of Cardiac Surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. “This is the kind of technology we looked to the future for, and now it’s available. This is a double procedure we feel confident in offering our patients with persistent Afib, where the incisions are small, the hospital stay and recovery times are shorter and most importantly, the success rate is high.”

    MedStar Health has offered convergent therapy for the last decade, and the recent FDA approval has moved the Hybrid AF™ Convergent Therapy to the forefront of treatment options.

    AFib is the most common arrhythmia in the U.S. with one out of four adults over 40 developing AFib in their lifetime.  

  • September 13, 2021

    BALTIMORE—Dr. Richard Levine became the first surgeon in a U.S. multi-center study to use the Bridge-Enhanced® ACL Repair (BEAR®) Implant for the treatment of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, when he implanted the bio-engineered replacement in a 32-year-old male. Performed at MedStar Surgery Center at Timonium, an outpatient site affiliated with Medstar Union Memorial Hospital, the patient went home the same day.

    ACL tears are one of the most common knee injuries in the nation. The BEAR Implant is the first medical technology to clinically demonstrate that it enables healing – or restoration – of the patient’s torn ACL. The approach is a paradigm shift from the current standard of care – reconstruction that replaces the ACL with a graft – and is the first innovation in ACL tear treatment in more than 30 years.

    Every year, approximately 400,000 ACL injuries occur in the United States. A torn ACL does not heal without treatment, resulting in ACL reconstruction being one of the most common orthopedic procedures in the U.S. The ACL is a ligament stretching from the front to the back of the knee and is part of the tissue connecting the thigh bone to the shinbone. Tears to the ACL most often occur in athletes during a fast pivot motion, changing direction or stopping suddenly, or when landing a jump.

    “We have historically defined success of ACL reconstruction as restoration of knee stability, however patients who have received this treatment have a high risk of developing degenerative arthritis as they age” said Dr. Levine, a MedStar Health orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon and principal investigator for the study. “Preliminary studies using the BEAR implant have yielded similar success rates in terms of restoring knee stability in addition to laboratory studies that have shown a significant decrease in the rate of knee degeneration. As one of the largest sports medicine providers in the country, we are very excited to be able to offer this to qualified patients.”

    During an ACL reconstruction, the surgeon completely removes the remaining torn ACL and most often reconstructs it with a tendon from the patient’s own leg (called an autograft). Unlike reconstruction, the BEAR procedure does not have the morbidity of a graft harvest. The BEAR Implant acts as a bridge between the two ends of the torn ACL. The surgeon injects a small amount of the patient’s own blood into the implant and inserts it between the torn ends of the ACL in a minimally invasive procedure. The combination of the BEAR Implant and the patient’s blood enables the body to heal the torn ends of the ACL back together while maintaining the ACL’s original attachments to the femur and tibia.


    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.