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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 14, 2018

    Published in Leader’s Edge magazine, Jessica Galarraga, MD, MPH, was interviewed with Jesse Pines, MD on their research into Maryland’s payment reform policies, specifically their work on global budget and the impact on both the hospital and the patient. Read more. 

  • January 13, 2018

    COLUMBIA, Maryland (September 13, 2018)—MedStar Health has joined more than 40 healthcare and patient advocacy organizations that today launched a targeted effort to improve the process of medical diagnostics. The coalition, ACT for Better Diagnosis, is an initiative of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine that is calling on organizations to identify and spread practical steps to better ensure diagnoses are accurate, communicated and timely (ACT).  

    The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine has estimated that one in 10 diagnoses is incorrect and that everyone is likely to experience a diagnostic error in their lifetime.  MedStar’s assistant vice president for Quality, Chris Goeschel, ScD, MPA, MPS, RN, FAAN, served on the National Academies panel that studied the issue from 2013 to 2015 and issued the report (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2015).  

    At MedStar, Dr. Goeschel leads the Center for Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare, which is part of the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS). Its focus is to achieve the goals set forth by the national report.

    “The MedStar ‘patient first’ philosophy inspires us to listen and learn with, from and on behalf of our patients,” she said. “This is never more important than during the diagnostic process. As health care becomes more complex, and technologies and clinical therapies grow exponentially, we must never lose appreciation for the most important voice of all—that of the patient.” 

    The MIQS Center will address diagnostic challenges by:

    • Convening interested clinician, patient and family,  and community stakeholders
    • Collaborating to identify and prioritize diagnostic challenges
    • Creating and implementing training, tools and effective improvement interventions
    • Communicating what is learned with the larger healthcare community through workshops, publications, enhanced training and expanded research

    A number of related initiatives are currently underway across MedStar, including a diagnostic reasoning curriculum for internal medicine residents, surveys of practitioners and administrative leaders to understand gaps in awareness and knowledge regarding diagnostic error, and outreach to local and system level Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) members, as well as to providers from diverse disciplines seeking their active involvement in all facets of diagnostic improvement work. 

    MedStar was also one of six organizations from across the nation selected to participate in a recently concluded diagnosis improvement collaborative funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and organized and led by the Society for Improving Diagnosis in Medicine and The Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

    Other Coalition members include Geisinger, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Maryland Patient Safety Center, and multiple medical specialty associations. More information about the Coalition can be found here.  

    # # #

    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

  • January 13, 2018

    Researchers from MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center, under senior investigator, Waddah B. Al-Refaie, MD, FACS, found that the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion did not increase use of complex surgical procedures at high volume hospitals for low-income/minority patients. Al- Refaie and his collaborators have proposed a number of concerns that may have an effect on vulnerable populations being able to benefit from complex surgical care at high volume hospitals. Read more

  • January 12, 2018
    The clinical trial is investigating a potentially life-changing device proven to reduce the risk of stroke in certain patients with atrial fibrillation. The device, called the WATCHMAN FLX™, is being investigated for greater flexibility and safety while positioning the device in the left atrial appendage. Read more.
  • January 12, 2018

    Hyattsville, MD (June 12, 2018)—MedStar Health Research Institute is committed to helping early-career investigators start their research through designated grant funds, supported by the associates of MedStar Health. Six researchers were awarded funding through the New Investigator ‐ Associate Giving Grant Fund.

    Associate gifts designated for research during the 2017 MedStar Health Associate Giving Campaign, the Power to Heal, are used to support the work of new investigators through the New Investigator—Associate Giving Grant Fund. These grants are awarded to new MedStar Health investigators who have joined MedStar Health in the previous five years, with the goal of supporting research focused on advancing health for patients in the communities we serve. This initial funding can have the potential to lead to external grant funding for their research.

    “MedStar Health continues to grow as an academic health system,” said Neil Weissman, MD, chief scientific officer for MedStar Health and president of MedStar Health Research Institute. “The commitment of our associates to support the New Investigator Fund allows us to make an impact in both the work of our new researchers and our vision of advancing health for our community. This early-career funding at MedStar can help to make lasting change in the lives of our patients today and in the future.”

    The following six physician-investigators have been awarded funding for their research.

    • Cynthia Marie Carver DeKlotz, MD (MedStar Washington Hospital Center)
      “Identifying Infantile Hemangiomas vs. Port-Wine Stains in Infants Less Than Three (3) Months Based on Color Expression”
    • Derek DeLia, PhD (MedStar Health Research Institute)
      “Pilot Data Linkage of MedStar EHRs and Statewide Medicaid Claims Data with Applications to Diabetes Care Management”
    • Carter Denny, MD, MPH (MedStar Georgetown University Hospital)
      “Home Blood Pressure Self-Management in Hypertensive Stroke Survivors: A Pilot Feasibility Study”
    • Christine Hsu, MD (MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute)
      “Tumor-Associated Collagen Signature in Hepatocellular Carcinoma”
    • Jonathan Grinstein, MD (MedStar Washington Hospital Center)
      “LVAD Cannula Study: Evaluation of the Anatomic Relationship of Inflow and Outflow Cannula to Flow Dynamics and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices”
    • Diego Medvedofsky, MD (Cardiac Imaging Core Lab)
      “Left Cardiac Chambers Remodeling Assessment by Longitudinal Strain Analysis in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair with MitralClip”

    Thank you to all associates who contributed in 2017. In 2017, 3,788 associates, physicians, and board members across the MedStar Health system chose to participate in philanthropy. Contributions to MedStar Health and the New Investigator ‐ Associate Giving Grant Fund are accepted throughout the year. Please consider making a gift online to support MedStar Health Research Institute and our new investigators. Select “MedStar Health Research Institute” from the drop-down menu to direct your gift to this fund.


    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

    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

  • January 12, 2018

    Enhances Access to Specialized Care, Expertise and Rehab Therapy


    Baltimore MD—(January 12, 2018 )— MedStar Orthopaedic Institute will open the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center - a new site dedicated to bone, joint and soft tissue injuries, in 10,043 square feet of space, Jan. 23rd. The new site joins the expertise of seven orthopaedic and sports medicine experts, along with rehabilitation therapy, in one centralized location.

    Located in the Medical Arts Building across from the main hospital on Franklin Square Drive, the new center will include 18 exam rooms, two imaging suites, and an expansive waiting room with an area for children to play. The location is convenient to communities of Harford County and Eastern Baltimore County, including Perry Hall, Nottingham, Dundalk, Middle River and Parkville.

    “The new building will be a state of the art complex offering all of our specialties – sports medicine, joint replacement, shoulder and hand, as well as pediatrics – under one roof,” said Dr. David L. Gold, the chief of orthopaedics at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. “In addition we will have excellent physical therapy services courtesy of the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network. We are very excited to offer all of this to our community, now in one location.” 

    Clinicians at the location specialize in areas ranging from pediatric orthopedics to elite athletes. They are:

    David Cohen, MDFellowship trained in sports medicine, Dr. Cohen is an orthopaedic surgeon who treats conditions including ACL injuries, Achilles tendonitis, overuse injuries and a variety of fractures, joint injuries and other sports-related injuries.

    Frank Dawson, MDDr. Dawson is a fellowship-trained sports medicine physician, specializing in sports related injuries. Dr. Dawson is an associate team physician for the Baltimore Ravens, a team physician for Morgan State University, a sports medicine consultant for Baltimore City Public School System, and a member of Baltimore County Public School System's Head Injury Committee. His clinical expertise includes sports medicine, sports injuries, fracture care and concussion care.

    Michael Dvorkin, MD – Dr. Dvorkin has special interest in total joint replacement and sports medicine. He performs total hip, knee, and shoulder replacements, as well as performs arthroscopic procedures, such as rotator cuff repairs and knee arthroscopies. He is a member of Foundation for Aid to the Philippines, Inc. (FAPI) and travels with the group to the Philippines once a year to provide orthopaedic services. Dr. Dvorkin is also co-director of Hands Across the Americas, a medical mission to Peru, where he provides surgical and orthopaedic services.

    David Gold, MDHe is a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and joint replacement, using both computer-assisted and traditional techniques. In addition to hip, knee, and shoulder replacements, Dr. Gold also performs fracture care and general orthopaedic surgery. Dr.  Gold was named a 2016 "Top Doc" by Baltimore Magazine for orthopaedic surgery: joint.

    Ira Gubernick, MD - Dr. Gubernick is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon. His clinical interests include shoulder replacement, total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and treatment of fractures. Dr. Gubernick was named a 2016 "Top Doc" by Baltimore Magazine for orthopaedics: general.

    Christopher Looze, MDDr. Looze  is an orthopaedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. Prior to joining MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, he completed a fellowship at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, recognized globally as a leader in orthopaedic patient care, research, education and injury prevention. A former professional baseball player within the Toronto Blue Jays organization, he has a personal passion for sports.

    The new office will replace the following locations, which will close on January 19:

    • Dundalk/North Point – 1050 Old North Point Road, Suite 101, Baltimore MD 21224
    • MedStar Franklin Square Cancer Center – 9103 Franklin Square Drive, Suite 1500, Baltimore MD 21237 (The cancer center will remain open and the orthopedics and sports medicine components relocated to the new space)
    • Rosedale/Seven Square – 9110 Philadelphia Road, Suite 200, Baltimore MD 21237

    To make an appointment at the new office, please call 877-34-ORTHO (877-346-7846). To learn more, visit The location of the new office is MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, Medical Arts Building, Suite 200, 9101 Franklin Square Drive, Baltimore MD 21237.



    About MedStar Orthopaedic Institute

    In Central Maryland, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute combines the skill and expertise of more than 80 physicians at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, The Curtis National Hand Center, and more than 20 community locations, giving you convenient access to the area's top orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine care. Our physicians treat the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Baltimore Blast, Baltimore Brigade, US Lacrosse, and the majority of collegiate, high school and recreational teams in the region. Visit or call 877-34-ORTHO for an appointment.


    About MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is a not-for-profit 378-bed community teaching hospital located in the White Marsh section of eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. MedStar Franklin Square provides many medical and healthcare services, including a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals. The hospital is ranked third in admissions among all Maryland hospitals and is first in Emergency Department visits with more than 108,000 visits annually. MedStar Franklin Square is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has earned some of the nation’s most prestigious quality awards including Magnet Designation for excellence in nursing, the Excellence Award for Quality Improvement from the Delmarva Foundation and inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital specialty ranking for four consecutive years. With more than 3,300 employees, MedStar Franklin Square is one of the largest employers in Baltimore County. Visit for more information.