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.
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An exciting partnership between MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and Prince George’s County Paramedics educates EMT’s on the basics of airway management, saving lives in the field.
To gain valuable airway management experience, Prince George’s County paramedics have partnered with MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for training that gives them ongoing education on mask ventilation, laryngoscopy (using a metal instrument to visualize the airway) and intubation (placement of a breathing tube in the trachea). Since paramedics often employ these life-saving methods out in the field, the ongoing experience they can gain at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center helps increase their skill level and confidence, says MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Anesthesiologist Clyde Pray, MD.
“It’s going great,” says Dr. Pray, of the program. “They’re a great group, very motivated, very respectful.”
This program brings paramedics in to train several days per week and the goal, says Dr. Pray, is to perform two intubations during one shift, though one enterprising paramedic was able to perform six during one day spent in the Operating Room. Dr. Pray or one of his associates explains the training program to each patient, who gives consent before a paramedic practices, and these patients know they are helping paramedics and EMT’s maintain a vitally important skill.
“The experiences that our students receive at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center are invaluable in their development as competent paramedics, says Jonn A. Mack, Assistant Professor of PG County’s Paramedic Program at PG Community College. “Being the primary training facility for paramedics in PG County is a task that we do not take lightly and the team at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center allows our students to expand their knowledge, hone life-saving skills, and perfect patient care techniques.”
In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center the #2 Hospital in the Washington Region and the #5 Hospital in the State of Maryland, in its Best Hospitals edition. MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center also ranked in the top forty hospitals in the nation for Neurology & Neurosurgery. In addition, the hospital rated as a high-performing hospital in the areas of Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics and Nephrology. The hospital was also rated as high-performing with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Heart Failure procedures.
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In her eight years as an exercise physiologist at the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab, Allison Dominiecki has seen many scared, unhealthy patients go from an out-of-shape beginning to becoming a model of fitness. “There are so many wonderful patients,” says Dominiecki. “They sometimes come here scared, with no confidence, or timid to be in a group setting. I see how hard they work and the confidence they put in us, it’s just amazing to see.”
- Consult a physician before starting an exercise program to make sure you are tested for the presence of any pre-existing conditions, and to ensure your heart is healthy enough for exercise. Once you are ready, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise per week.
- Set realistic goals. Have a big goal in mind, but break that down into smaller, easier steps.
- Find something that appeals to you. When you enjoy your exercise, you will stick with it. It’s also a great idea to involve your family, especially children, who can begin a lifetime of healthy behaviors now.
- Variety is the spice of life. Just as you do not want to eat the same meal every day, make sure you vary your exercise to keep you from getting bored. “You can try a spin class and end up loving it, like I did,” says Dominiecki, who also urges trying stretching, resistance training, aerobics, water aerobics and swimming. Don’t forget strength training, she says, which can help improve muscle tone and strength. It also helps shape and tone the body and burns calories.
- “Remember that it’s never too late to start. We have several patients in their 90’s,” says Dominiecki. “And do not become discouraged, just keep going!”
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