January 06, 2022
Christine R. Wray announces Jan. 2022 retirement after 42 years of service in healthcare
CLINTON, Md. – Christine R. Wray, FACHE, president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital who also serves as a senior vice president for MedStar Health, announced that she will be retiring on January 28, 2022.
Wray was named president of MedStar Southern Maryland in September 2014, two years after MedStar Health acquired the hospital located in the Clinton area of Prince George’s County. With Wray at the helm, MedStar Southern Maryland saw the development and growth of several new service lines.
In 2016, the hospital received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, having ranked among the top 50 of best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery. In 2017, MedStar Southern Maryland joined the prestigious MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Alliance. Wray also helped facilitate the opening of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in February 2020. This 25,000 square foot facility offers unmatched medical expertise, leading-edge therapies, and access to robust clinical research, all under the same roof.
Moreover, the construction of MedStar Southern Maryland’s new Emergency Department (ED) expansion project took place under Wray’s leadership, and remained on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The $43 million ED expansion project has been deemed the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The new emergency department opened its doors in April 2021 to provide local residents with seamless access to the most advanced care.
Wray’s focus on providing quality care has helped MedStar Southern Maryland build a foundation of excellence that will serve local communities for decades to come. MedStar Southern Maryland is grateful for the innumerable and lasting contributions that Wray made throughout her 42-year healthcare career.
“I have so cherished working with all of you in our commitment and service to our wonderful communities. It has truly been an honor and a privilege,” Wray said in an announcement that was emailed to hospital associates. “Please always be proud of the work you do and how you care for each other as you care for our patients. It is incredibly important work and you are the best of the best!”
Dr. Stephen Michaels, who currently serves as the chief operating and medical officer for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, will take over as president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.
March 29, 2017MedStar Health Home Care partners with George Washington University (GWU) to educate future nurses.
March 23, 2017MedStar Washington Hospital Center Receives $232,000 to Combat Crisis of Advanced Colon Cancer Among African-Americans in Ward 5
American Cancer Society and Cigna Foundation Grants Support “Colon Cancer Prevention in the Neighborhood”
Washington, D.C., March 23, 2017 – The American Cancer Society and the Cigna Foundation have collectively awarded $232,000 in grants to MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s innovative community-based program to address the crisis of advanced colon cancer, occurring largely among African-Americans with health insurance living in Washington D.C.’s Ward 5. The American Cancer Society provided $99,000, and Cigna awarded $133,000 to support “Colon Cancer Prevention in the Neighborhood,” a program recognized in former Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, as an innovative effort to promote equitable access to cancer screening and care for underserved populations.
From 2006 to 2011, 68% of the colorectal cancer patients treated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center presented with stage 2 through stage 4 cancer, with a 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed with stage 2 at 63%, and only11% for those diagnosed with stage 4. Of those, nearly 50% of stage 3 and 4 patients were from Ward 5. Alarmingly, 97% of those presenting with advanced colorectal cancer had health insurance at the time of their diagnosis. The data also showed that 91% of those patients with late stage colorectal cancer were African-Americans.
The goal of “Colon Cancer Prevention in the Neighborhood” is to significantly increase colorectal cancer screening rates among Ward 5 residents, age 50 and older, and those younger than 50 who have a family history of the condition, with a longer term goal to reduce disparities and save lives. The program will deploy community health workers/patient navigators to work with Ward 5 residents, building community-based partnerships to deliver colon cancer education, perform risk assessments and distribute easy-to-use fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) to use at home. It will also help connect patients with colonoscopy services at the Hospital Center. In addition, education on insurance utilization for preventive cancer screening will be provided at community events.
“We’re truly grateful to the American Cancer Society and the Cigna Foundation for their generous support to our innovative program, which is such an important initiative for the community we serve,” said Elmer Huerta, MD, MPH, director of the Cancer Preventorium at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Huerta, who was the American Cancer Society’s past president, leads the “Colon Cancer Prevention in the Neighborhood” program with David Shocket, MD, director of Gastroenterology, who will perform the program’s colonoscopies.
The program has also pledged to support the American Cancer Society’s “80% by 2018” national initiative, which aims to reach 80% of the eligible population to be screened for colorectal cancer by 2018, thus saving thousands of lives.
In Washington, D.C., it is expected that 210 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and that 90 deaths will occur due to colorectal cancer in 2017.
The present overall colorectal screening rate in the District is 67.9% according to the District of Columbia Department of Health BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) for 2014. Reaching 80% by 2018 would avoid 453 new cases of colorectal cancer and 332 deaths by in the District by 2030. In order to reach this goal, close to 40,000 people in the District need to be screened.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for men and women combined.
About MedStar Washington Hospital Center
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. It also is a respected top facility in the areas of cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress, 15.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
About the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation, founded in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.
March 23, 2017
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center's New Emergency Department Liaison Helps Emergency Department Patients and Families Navigate their Visit with Care
If you go through the stressful, upsetting experience of having a loved one rushed to the Emergency Department (ED), you would hope to be greeted by someone like Angela Green, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center's new ED Liaison. Her job is to introduce herself to family members, explain what is going on while the patient is being treated, make sure they understand each step, answer any questions they have and give regular updates as they wait for news.
“I’m able to monitor who is coming in by ambulance and I watch for their family,” said Angela, who is also a nurse. “When they arrive, I say, ‘I’ve been looking for you,’ so they know I’m someone who knows what is going on and I’m here to help them through the process.”
For our patients, Angela will also assist to make sure they understand what is going on with their treatment, lab work and tests. She will also follow up with them after they have been moved to another area after treatment to see if they need any additional assistance.
“It has been fantastic,” said Ryan White, Director of Emergency Services. “When a patient leaves the ED and she follows the patient up to the floor and accompanies the family, families love it because it shows the patient hasn’t been forgotten. It’s been very, very powerful. This is just a part of what Angela does and it has taken this position to a new level.”
Angela says she knew she wanted to pursue nursing since the age of five, when she watched her grandmother take care of people. She has been a nurse for more than a decade, bringing with her experience in urgent care and in long-term assisted living.
To learn more about Emergency Services at our hospital, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Emergency.
March 16, 2017MedStar Sports Medicine and MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network Team Up To Partner with Athletic Performance Inc. (API)MedStar Sports Medicine along with MedStar Health Physical Therapy is proud to announce their partnership with Gambrills, Maryland based Athletic Performance Inc. (API), Maryland’s premier athletic campus.
March 14, 2017This article covers the MI2 and 1776 #Patient2Consumer startup challenge, as well as the related partnership between MedStar Health and 1776 to support Health for America at MedStar Health
March 13, 2017
Two Southern Maryland Known Artists Featured
Leonardtown, Maryland – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital is currently hosting an art show by two Southern Maryland known artists, Gerry Wood and Pamela Callen. Their artwork is the latest in an ongoing Art of Healing Gallery exhibit located in the hospital’s Atrium dining area for associates, visitors and community members to enjoy.
Lifelong art enthusiast, Gerry Wood primarily paints in watercolors and also enjoys acrylics and collage. Gerry’s studio doubles as a classroom where she enjoys teaching her art students all that she has learned through her own studies. “To me, learning and growing as an artist are as much a priority as the painting process itself,” said Gerry.
Pamela Callen’s world travels and fondness of Southern Maryland often inspire her to create impressionistic style artwork with vivid color and movement, abstracts or semi-abstracts. “I’ve always been drawn to the restful, restorative qualities of the water,” said Pamela, “and I enjoy the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”
The Art of Healing Gallery began during the hospital’s 2016 annual philanthropy campaign. The hospital’s Auxiliary donated the hanging and lighting system for the rotating Art of Healing Gallery – a modern feature designed to compliment Atrium dining area renovations expected to begin later this year. A rendering of the proposed renovations is displayed inside the Atrium and includes expansion of the eating area with partition, along with updated furniture, lighting, flooring and wall treatments.
Visit MedStarStMarys.org/PowerToHeal to learn more about MedStar’s annual philanthropy campaign and ways to give at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.
Artwork by Gerry Wood (left) and Pamela Callen (right) now on display and available for purchase in the Atrium of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown.