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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 08, 2018

    Brings Expertise in Advanced Surgical Breast Reconstruction Techniques

    Baltimore—(January 8, 2018)— Gabriel Del Corral, MD, a fellowship-trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in microsurgical advancements in reconstructive breast surgery, has joined MedStar Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center, effective Jan. 1. 

    Dr. Del Corral is board certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has extensive experience performing a wide variety of advanced breast reconstruction techniques following breast cancer or reconstruction after preventive mastectomy surgery, that lead to better results and fewer complications. These include various flap techniques that require transferring or transplanting tissue and blood vessels from one part of the body to another part of the body using a high-powered microscope in the operating room. Dr. Del Corral’s skills include using surgical implants; the two-stage tissue expander/implant procedure, in which saline is added to stretch the skin over the pectoral area and create a breast mound, and the one-stage direct to implant reconstruction.

    “We are excited about what Dr. Del Corral’s expertise adds to our breast cancer program,” said Linda Rogers, Vice President of Oncology for the Baltimore region of MedStar Health. “There are so many options for patients, both men and women now in cancer care, and it’s so important to have the most cutting edge technology, services and surgical skills set available. Dr. Del Corral’s experience brings highly specialized cosmetic options to our breast cancer patients, but also to our region in plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine.”

    Dr. Del Corral also specializes in the treatment of post-surgical lymphedema and breast cancer-related lymphedema.

    He has been named a “Top Doctor” by Baltimore Magazine for plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction and body contouring.

    He sees patients at the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Cancer Center on the campus of MedStar Franklin Square, 9103 Franklin Square Drive, Suite 1500, Baltimore, MD 21237.

    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 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 medstarfranklin.org for more information.

     

  • January 05, 2018

    Raj M. Ratwani, PhD, in collaboration with other researchers, has identified five recommendations to the federal government in developing a certification program for electronic health records that will aid in addressing challenges clinicians face when providing pediatric patient care. The study team hopes that their efforts will improve safer and high-quality care for the pediatric population when relying on electronic health records. Learn more. 

  • January 05, 2018

    WASHINGTON, DC —Electronic health records (EHRs) may present a significant risk to the health and safety of children, according to a new study published today in the November issue of the health policy journal Health Affairs. Of 9,000 analyzed pediatric reports, more than one third described a medication error that was related to EHR usability. The findings emerged from the analysis of pediatric patient safety event reports that were likely to be related to EHRs and medication, gathered from three healthcare systems. The most common type of medication error associated with EHR usability was an over- or under dose.

    The report, “Identifying Electronic Health Record Usability and Safety Challenges in Pediatric Settings,” was based on a study conducted by MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and with funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    Of the 9,000 reports, 3,243, or 36 percent, were confirmed to have an EHR usability issue that affected the medication process. In 609 cases, or 18.8 percent of the 3,243, the EHR-related medication error reached the patient, and many of these cases might have resulted in harm.

    Based on these findings, the authors recommend that the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which oversees EHRs, should include safety as part of a pediatric-focused voluntary certification program, and that rigorous test-case scenarios based on realistic clinical tasks should be employed in all phases of EHR development and implementation. The authors also conclude that the Joint Commission should assess EHR safety as part of its hospital accreditation program.

    EHR usability issues have been previously documented by the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare and were reported in a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2018. In the current study, researchers sought to put the risk in context of one of the most vulnerable patient populations – children – whose unique needs were recognized in the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 that calls for the federal government to establish new criteria for designing EHRs used in the care of children.   

    Raj Ratwani, PhD, director of MedStar’s Human Factors Center and a lead researcher and author, said, “While there are many benefits to EHRs, usability is a recognized challenge and can have safety implications. We sought to identify the specific types of EHR usability issues and associated medication errors in pediatric settings. These new findings reinforce precisely why it’s imperative for the ONC to act swiftly to ensure safety is part of the EHR voluntary certification program. One patient harmed is one too many, and we all have a heightened responsibility to protect all patients, especially children.”

    The report states, “Pediatric patients are uniquely vulnerable to EHR usability and safety challenges because of different physical characteristics, developmental issues, and dependence on parents and other care providers to prevent medical errors. For example, lower body weight and less developed immune systems make pediatric patients less able to tolerate even small errors in medication dosing or delays in care that could be a result of EHR usability and safety issues.”

    The researchers found these usability issues to be the most common in the reports analyzed:

    • System feedback (82.4 percent), such as failure of a critical alert being triggered when an unusually large medication dose was ordered, or the system defaulting to a different date or time than ordered for administering the medication, resulting in a missed dose
    • Visual display (9.7 percent), defined as confusing or cluttered information display
    • Data entry (6.2 percent), defined as difficult or impossible entry of information
    • Workflow support (1.7 percent), defined as a mismatch between the EHR workflow and expectations of the clinician

    In addition to Dr. Ratwani, the study authors are Erica Savage, Amy Will, and Allan Fong, of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare; Dean Karavite, Naveen Muthu, and Robert Grundmeier of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; A. Joy Rivera and Cori Gibson of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; and Don Asmonga, Ben Moscovitch, and Josh Rising of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    # # #

    About the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The center is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.  

  • January 05, 2018

    The researchers from MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, led by Ron Waksman, MD, found, in their first-of-its-kind trial, that transcatheter aortic valve replacement in patients with low surgical risk showed no deaths or disabling strokes within 30 days of undergoing the procedure. This is a “strong signal” that it is safe for these patients as an alternative to the current standard of care.  Read more.

  • January 05, 2018

    Newborns at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will sport a different look for the month of February. Casting aside traditional pastels, the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center is participating in the American Heart Association’s Little Hats Big Hearts campaign to raise awareness of congenital heart defects.

    Members of the community are invited to knit or crochet newborn-sized hats using red cotton or acrylic yarn. These donations will be shared with the families who deliver babies during February at MedStar St. Mary’s. Parents will be given resources about congenital heart defects and can add the hashtag #littlehatsbighearts to their social media posts. Sample hat patterns and more information are available at www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts.

    Donations are appreciated throughout January and February and may be dropped off at the Volunteer Services office in the hospital’s main building in Leonardtown. Please include the crafter’s name, address, and phone number with all donations.

    For more information, contact Mary B. Cheseldine, volunteer and student services coordinator, by emailing Mary.Cheseldine@MedStar.net or calling 301-475-6453.

  • January 04, 2018
    Only Top Ten Percent of Nation’s Hospitals Achieve the Quality Rating