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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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    Learn about the treatment, recovery, and support process of two locals' experience with stroke and the care they received at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital.
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  • May 10, 2018

    WASHINGTON, D.C., - MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Founder and Past President Edward A. Eckenhoff was honored with a special service at the Washington National Cathedral in early May.

    Ed passed away peacefully with family and friends by his side earlier this year on January 10 at his home in Naples, Florida. He is survived by his wife Judi Eckenhoff, his brothers Walt and Roderic Eckenhoff, many nieces and nephews and the family dog, Bogey.

    Ed opened the doors of NRH in 1986 and through his leadership, we have grown from one single inpatient facility to having served tens of thousands of inpatients and outpatients via our 50 network sites.

    Highlights of Ed’s achievements with MedStar NRH include:

    1986 – NRH establishes four core programs – stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury & orthopaedics

    1987 – NRH becomes accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals

    1989 – Received accreditation from CARF – the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

    1989 – First class of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residents graduate

    1990 – Worked closely with President George H.W. Bush on the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), officially signed into law, July 1990

    1992 – NRH begins association with volunteers from Junior League of Washington, D.C., which continues to this day

    1993 – First rehabilitation day treatment program established

    1993 – Adaptive sports program launches

    1994 – Second ever outpatient site opens in Mitchellville, Md

    1996 – Formation of the outpatient network officially called the NRH Rehabilitation Network

    1997 – Innovative therapy space known as Independence Square launches, with tremendous philanthropic support

    1998 – NRH and National Institutes of Health sign agreement for joint efforts in research, training and medical treatment

    2000 – U.S. Congress appoints $6M towards new NRH Neuroscience Research Center

    2004 – NRH holds first ever Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel benefitting adaptive sports programs and launched by former patient Harry Freedman and his wife, Renie

    2005 – The Christoph Ruesch Research Center opens

    2006 – NRH becomes one of 14 Model Spinal Cord Injury Systems designated by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

    2007 – NRH Spinal Cord Injury & Stroke Programs receive CARF – Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – accreditation

    The Eckenhoff family asks that any gifts and donations be made in Ed’s honor to MedStar NRH’s Adding Life to Years® Campaign. Please visit www.giving.medstarhealth.org/edwardeckenhoff for more information. You can also make checks payable to: MedStar NRH, 102 Irving St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20010.

  • May 09, 2018
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  • April 27, 2018
    The Wound Healing Center at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital was recently named the Atlantic Zone’s Center of the Year by Healogics. Pictured are staff members Shelby Morris, RN; Jodi Black, clinical coordinator; Lisa Nelson, RN, program director; Richard Greengold, MD, medical director; John Harvey, MD, vascular surgeon; Dawn Kilinski, RN; Denise Tucker; and Jamie Smith.

    Leonardtown, Maryland – The Wound Healing Center at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital was recently named the Atlantic Zone’s Center of the Year by Healogics, Inc. — one of only seven centers out of nearly 700 to achieve this status.

    To qualify for Center of the Year, stringent quality measures must be met — among them achieving high healing outcomes, low days to heal, and excellent patient satisfaction ratings.

    Additionally, the Wound Healing Center earned the Center of Excellence distinction and was named to the President’s Circle for its outstanding patient care.

    “This is a tremendous honor for us,” said Lisa Nelson, operations specialist and clinical program director for the Wound Healing Center. “These accolades demonstrate our commitment to assisting patients in our community to live better by receiving specialized treatment at our facility. We are very proud to have been named the Center of the Year for the Atlantic Zone.”

    MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Wound Healing Center is a member of the Healogics network of nearly 700 wound care centers nationwide, offering highly specialized services to patients suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, and other chronic wounds which have not healed in a reasonable amount of time.

    Treatments include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, growth factor therapies, and bio-engineered tissue substitutes. Patients receive customized wound care plans that may involve weekly treatments until the wound starts to heal. In some cases, this may prevent the need for limb amputation.

    Visit MedStarStMarys.org/WoundCare to learn more.