January 20, 2022MedStar Georgetown University Hospital names Lucy M. De La Cruz, MD, chief of Breast Surgery Program and director of the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center
The renowned 39-year-old breast surgeon becomes youngest Latina woman to lead breast surgery program in U.S. at major academic medical center
WASHINGTON – Lucy 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.
“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.
June 20, 2018
Leonardtown, Maryland – “Reflections,” an exhibit of historical artifacts related to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, was recently honored by the St. Mary’s County Historic Preservation Commission for its work to preserve and highlight the 106-year history of the nonprofit facility.
Representatives from the hospital accepted a Preservation Service Award and proclamation at the St. Mary’s County Commissioners’ monthly meeting on May 15. The award was one of three presented in honor of Historic Preservation Month.
Opened in October 2017, “Reflections” includes historical artifacts collected to celebrate the hospital’s centennial anniversary in 2012. Linda Lagle, Carole Nelson, Nicki Strickland, Dr. John W. Roache, Pat Wilkinson, and the hospital’s Marketing, Public Relations & Philanthropy team collaborated to locate, organize, and display a variety of historical photographs, letters, medical equipment, and other items donated by physicians, past and present, as well as community members.
“Creating the history room was a labor of love,” said Holly Meyer, director of Marketing, Public Relations & Philanthropy at MedStar St. Mary’s. “The growth of our hospital has always depended upon the support and generosity of our community, and we are proud to reflect so much local history – the history of St. Mary’s County, too – in this exhibit.”
“Reflections” is dedicated to Dr. Roache, a longtime surgeon and local historian who retired in 2016 after more than 40 years of service to the hospital. The history room is open to all visitors near the Café at Buena Vista on the first floor of the hospital’s main building.
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.
June 20, 2018
Currently in its pilot phase at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, the MedStar Pathway to Diabetes Control program is designed to help patients become more disciplined and get their diabetes under control. Paul Sack, MD, assistant chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism, explains why the program is so important. Read more in Prime Time Living.
June 19, 2018Introduces Spine Surgery Robot at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
June 14, 2018
CLINTON, MD - The American College of Radiology (ACR) has recognized the MedStar Regional Breast Health Program at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE). The BICOE designation is awarded to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in all of the ACR's voluntary accreditation programs and modules, according to Anna H. Choi, MD, Chief of Radiology at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. MedStar Southern Maryland is accredited by this organization in mammography, stereotactic biopsy, breast ultrasound, ultrasound-guided biopsy, and breast MRI (via a relationship with MedStar Washington Hospital Center).
"The breast imaging team has been instrumental in maintaining high standards and meeting the high bar set forth by the American College of Radiology," said Dr. Choi. "I am very proud of the teamwork!"
MedStar Southern Maryland employs a team approach to treat breast health, of which Dr. Choi, as a breast image specialist, is a part. The team also includes a roster of OB/GYN's, medical and radiation oncologists, a contracted genetic counselor, Dr. Ekaterini Tsiapali, breast surgeon, and Dr. Sarah Sher, plastic surgeon.
"We are honored to receive this recognition," said MedStar Southern Maryland President Christine R. Wray. "Breast health is a significant health concern for women, and in southern Maryland, they can be reassured by our comprehensive program that includes preventative care, early screening, use of the latest technology and innovations in treatment, surgical options that minimize risk and recovery times, and after-care that is compassionate and diligent in follow-up. We are proud of our program, proud to serve southern Maryland and proud of this attention given by the Commission on Quality and Safety, and the Commission on Breast Imaging with the American College of Radiology."
MedStar Southern Maryland's breast care experts provide comprehensive breast care for both women and men. They treat a wide range of breast conditions, including breast cancer and benign breast disease. They also follow women who are at increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Our breast health services include:
- Disease prevention: breast self-exam training, risk assessment, genetic testing
- Routine evaluation: annual well-woman exams
- Breast imaging: screening, diagnostic and digital mammography, with breast radiologists to interpret the images
- Diagnostic evaluation: needle localization, open surgical biopsy, frozen section pathology, stereotactic biopsy, sentinel node biopsy
- Comprehensive treatment: treatment for benign breast disease and breast pain, fine needle aspiration, lumpectomy, partial or total mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy
For more information, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Breast.
June 11, 2018Patients Have a Variety of Tissue-Based Options When Implants Lead to Pain and Discomfort
June 08, 2018
Dozens of high school students from Silver Spring, Maryland got the inside scoop on careers in healthcare, thanks to MedStar medical professionals who recently visited for Career Day.
Montgomery Blair High School and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital have partnered on the popular event for the last six years. Over the school’s lunch period, seven panelists took turns outlining their own career paths and imparting advice to students.
“Know your vision. Aim high. Use it to improve the world,” said Shirisha Avadhanula, MD, an endocrinologist at MedStar Georgetown.
Students interested in specific areas of study also enjoyed small group ‘Q & A’ sessions with the professionals, including Matthew Cooper, MD, director of Kidney and Pancreas Tranplantation at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute.
“We chose a career that helps people. We’re energized that the next generation is interested in doing what we do,” Cooper said.
Cooper and Avadhanula were joined by Michael Manning, RN, BSN; Sameer Mehta, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS; Stephanie Cone, MOTR/L; Meghan Wilkinson, LAT, ATC,CSCS; and Jonathan Everett, Community Relations Coordinator at MedStar Family Choice.