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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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  • June 27, 2017

    It All About Teamwork: Orthopedic Surgeon Daniel Hampton, MD, and 15 year-old patient Isis Belcher, work together with her supportive dad and an encouraging physical therapist

    MedStar Orthopaedic Institute Surgeon, Daniel Hampton, MD, knows a thing or two about teamwork. He watches it in action every time the elite soccer team hits the field. He also practices it with his fellow physicians, collaborating on cases and sharing ideas. But it’s the teamwork he experiences with his patients that really brings him the most reward, when he is able to repair a sports injury through surgery, with the patient diligently following their prescribed post-surgery treatment plan to great success.

    He has found the perfect motivated team member in patient Isis Belcher. Isis tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during her final tumbling pass of the day at a gymnastics practice last fall. The energetic 15 year-old said she felt a twinge in her knee after landing, and could no longer stand up. She visited MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for an MRI, where she learned she had torn ligaments in her right knee, and where she was referred to Dr. Hampton for surgery. 

    A student who excels in science and technology classes at Oxon Hill High School, as well as in sports and singing, Isis took it upon herself to do some homework and research her new doctor. “Dr. Hampton had an excellent resume,” said Isis. “And now, I feel like this is going to be a speedy recovery.”

    The ACL that Isis tore is one of the main ligaments, or connective tissues, that hold together joints in the human knee. Tearing the ACL is not uncommon, especially during sports, and females are at a higher risk, says Dr. Hampton. Repairing a torn ACL involves using regenerative ligament tissue from another part of the body or from a donor, and refastening the tissue. It is typically an outpatient procedure followed by using a series of knee braces as it heals, and following through with a rehab plan to strengthen the joint.

    “Most surgeries have a rehab component, and we develop a protocol for what each individual’s rehab will look like as they heal,” said Dr. Hampton. “Isis is a great patient. She’s motivated and working hard. The patient is a huge part of the treatment. When they put in the work, there is a much better outcome.”

    Isis currently goes to rehab twice per week, working with Physical Therapist Jeff Fairman at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network location at Brandywine. At each session, she spends over an hour performing a circuit of exercises, like walking backwards on a treadmill, enduring balancing exercises and lifting weights, while she listens to music and jokes with Fairman. “She is coming along ahead of schedule,” says Fairman.

    “I try to challenge her more and make fun changes to her exercise routine to keep it interesting. ACL rehab is a long process and we want to meet the criteria for her to return to sports.” Isis is now only a couple of months away from a return to gymnastics, and she and her dad are grateful for Dr. Hampton and the whole MedStar team.

    “As a parent, I appreciate Dr. Hampton’s courtesy calls to ask how she’s doing,” said Wiziri Belcher, Isis’s dad. “I tell him so far, so good. We’ve seen such good results and the credit goes to Isis as well. She’s working through this and of course, at the end of this process, I want her to be happy and healthy.”

    Isis will meet with Dr. Hampton again before she is cleared to return to gymnastics, but thus far, all members of the team—Isis, her dad, her physical therapist and Dr. Hampton—are confident of a bright, active future for this ambitious, young student. For more information about the MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Sports or call 301-782-2220.

  • June 22, 2017

    U.S. Senator Ben Cardin to Visit for Discussion on Legislation to Appeal the Affordable Care Act

    Baltimore—( June 22, 2017 ) Senator Ben Cardin will join leadership and associates of MedStar Franklin Square Hospital, along with residents from the hospital’s surrounding communities, for a town hall forum to discuss legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, (ACA).

    Senate Republicans unveiled the bill today, called the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," which would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

    Similarly, the House bill, called the American Health Care Act, which was passed in May, rolls back ACA’s Medicaid expansion and proposed federal tax cuts and large cuts to federal health spending.

    Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee that has jurisdiction for health care issues as well as Medicaid and Medicare, will explore the many potential impacts to Maryland citizens that could follow should either of these bills become law.  

    WHAT:        Town Hall Meeting on Health Care

    WHO:         U.S. Senator Ben Cardin

     Samuel E. Moskowitz, President, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

     Leaders and Staff, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

     Community Members                

    WHEN:       Friday, June 23 at 11:15 AM

    WHERE:    Medstar Franklin Square Hospital, 9000 Franklin Square Dr., Rosedale, MD 21237

     

    ###

    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.

  • June 20, 2017

    Leonardtown, Maryland (June 14, 2017) – June is National Aphasia Awareness Month and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will be offering information sessions Tuesday, June 27, and Thursday, June 29, to help educate individuals about the communication disorder, which affects approximately 2 million Americans.

    Aphasia is an acquired condition that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. The most common cause of aphasia is stroke, however, it can also result from head injury, brain tumor or other neurological causes. Individuals with aphasia often have difficulty reading, writing, speaking and/or understanding language.

    “Many people do not understand that aphasia is a loss of language, not a loss of intelligence,” said Anna Decker, MS, CCC-SLP, speech language pathologist at MedStar St. Mary’s. “There are strategies available to help those impacted improve their communication.”

    Individuals who are interested in learning more about aphasia, may stop by the hospital’s Atrium, which is located inside the Café at Buena Vista, between noon and 1 p.m. June 27 and 29. A speech language pathologist will be available to offer information and talk to individuals about how to help those affected with aphasia.

    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 15, 2017

    Same-day office procedure for BPH treatment offers faster recovery time, no sexual side effects 

    MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is the first center in the region to offer a new way to treat men with urination problems due to an enlarged prostate. The UroLift System is a minimally invasive procedure for men who experience difficulty urinating due to benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlarged prostate.

    “For men who can’t control their urine or get a good night’s sleep, they need to know that we offer superior options for BPH that are life-changing compared to traditional treatments,” says Gaurav Bandi, MD, urologist at MedStar Georgetown. “Everything is done through a telescope today.”

    A man’s prostate gland grows as he gets older. According to the National Institutes of Health, BPH affects 50 percent of men over 50 and 90 percent of men over 80. When the prostate gland enlarges, it squeezes the urethra, the tube where urine flows out of the bladder. This compression irritates the bladder and limits the ability of the bladder to empty completely.

    UroLift Treats BPH in 5 to 10 Minutes

    The UroLift procedure offered at MedStar Georgetown is a five minute, office-based procedure to safely and effectively treat BPH.

    UroLift  is performed under local anesthesia and requires no cutting or heating of the prostate. During a single office visit, doctors insert four to six implants into the prostate to lift the prostate gland and relieve the compression, removing any blockage in the urethra. The procedure preserves sexual function and relieves symptoms. Patients experience minimal post-procedure bleeding or pain and require no special follow-up or medical management.

    Men with a prostate size between 20 and 80cc are candidates for Urolift. Patients on blood thinners are also eligible for this procedure. For men with a prostate size over 80cc, other minimally invasive surgical options are available to treat BPH.

    Traditional treatments for BPH were invasive, had significant sexual side effects, or required a man to take one to three medications daily for the rest of his life. New treatment options are less invasive, give the doctor better access to the prostate gland, and require minimal downtime after treatment.

    BPH symptoms include:

    • Frequently urinating or trying to urinate during the day
    • A feeling that the bladder is not fully emptied
    • A slow or weak stream of urine
    • Trouble with starting to urinate
    • Feeling the constant need to urinate
    • Interrupted sleep in the middle of the night
    • Dribbling or leaking of urine

    “A lot of what I do relates to the patient’s quality of life, so our team provides evidence-based care in an individualized fashion,” says Dr. Bandi. “Men should be encouraged to seek help for any prostate problems. A majority of the time, we can relieve their symptoms and improve their quality of life. And today the options we can offer are minimally invasive. There is help available!”

    For more information about other treatments for BPH or schedule an appointment with a urologist, call 202-444-4922. Watch Dr. Bandi talk more about BPH and other condition of the prostate in this video.

     

  • June 13, 2017
    Instant Analytics of Body Movements Guide Patient Care
  • June 12, 2017

    Ensuring the Future of Health Care

    Leonardtown, Maryland (May 30, 2017) – The St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation recently presented 10 area students with scholarships totaling $180,000. The students were recognized during a reception held May 23.

    “We were truly impressed by all of the applicants this year,” Rick Tepel, chair of the Foundation scholarship committee said. “It is inspiring to meet all of the candidates and learn about their dreams and aspirations.”

    Receiving the scholarships this year were:

    • Bailey Schneider of Mechanicsville, speech-language pathology, Appalachian State
    • Dana King of Lusby, nursing, Salisbury University
    • Brenna Duke, of Hollywood, nursing, University of Mount Union
    • Jordan Janshuk of Mechanicsville, nursing, College of Southern Maryland
    • Jessica Thompson of Hollywood, nursing, Lynchburg College
    • Kylee Wickline of Callaway, nursing, York College of Pennsylvania
    • Cassie Oliver of Hollywood, occupational therapy, Misericordia University
    • Sydney Guthrie of California, occupational therapy, Towson University
    • Megan Long of Mechanicsville, physical therapy, Virginia Commonwealth University
    • Hayley Mesmer of Lexington Park, physical therapy, St. Francis University

    The Foundation has been presenting scholarships to area graduates since 2001 and including this year’s recipients, it has awarded 142 scholarships. Funds for the scholarships are raised through the Foundation’s annual Gala held each November. This year’s gala, Diamonds & Pearls: Cheers to 30 Years, will be held Nov. 17 at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department’s Social Hall. Many former recipients are currently employees of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

    “The Foundation believes all of this year’s recipients will play an important role in the future of health care in our community,” Tepel said. 

    St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation 2017 Scholarship Winners (pictured from left to right):
    Sydney Guthrie, Brenna Duke, Hayley Mesmer, Kylee Wickline, Bailey Schneider, Megan Long, Jessica Thompson, Jordan Janschek and Cassandra Oliver. Not pictured is Dana King.