January 20, 2022MedStar Georgetown University Hospital names Lucy M. De La Cruz, MD, chief of Breast Surgery Program and director of the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center
The renowned 39-year-old breast surgeon becomes youngest Latina woman to lead breast surgery program in U.S. at major academic medical center
WASHINGTON – Lucy 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.
“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.
February 09, 2017A contentious election year, an onslaught of media headlines, job tension, and family complications. The past year has been a difficult one for most of us and feeling “stressed-out” is common.
February 09, 2017
Heart attacks are not one size fits all. They can often begin with subtle symptoms that don’t resemble the sudden, crushing pain many imagine. And although many symptoms are similar, men and women often experience them differently. Be aware of the signs and call your doctor if you have symptoms that develop suddenly and do not resolve within 15 to 30 minutes. Delay in taking action can mean greater damage to your heart, so know the signs and get help.
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute partners with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute for groundbreaking clinical care and research. Visit MedStarHeartInstitute.org for more information on heart disease.
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital works closely with the MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute to ensure patients needing the highest level of care are quickly transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center or the new Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital, a state-of-the-art cardiovascular care hospital offering expert cardiovascular services utilizing the latest medical technology.
If you or someone you love is believed to be having a heart attack, please stop what you are doing and call 9-1-1 or travel to your nearest Emergency Department as soon as possible.
February 03, 2017Named VP Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
February 01, 2017
February is National Heart Month
Dr. Mun K. Hong takes patient James Smith from 90 percent artery blockage to healthier heart and arteries and lower blood pressure
When Oxon Hill resident James Smith, 71, began feeling shortness of breath in the summer of 2015, he thought it was a temporary feeling due to being slightly over-worked. Still, he decided to get checked out by a physician. Knowing the outstanding reputation of doctors and hospitals in the MedStar system, he asked EMS responders to take him to a MedStar facility, not realizing his closest hospital was part of the MedStar system: MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.
Upon arrival here at 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, Smith found out he had, in fact, suffered a heart attack. He was seen by Chairman of Cardiology and MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute physician Mun K. Hong, MD, FACC, soon after arrival, and surgery to address the 90 percent blockage in one of his arteries was quickly scheduled for 8:00 the next morning. A stent was put in to address the blockage, and medication was prescribed to clear Smith’s other arteries.
“Dr. Hong was excellent,” said Smith. “I watched everything on screen as it was done, and he talked me through it.”
“He was fortunate,” said Dr. Hong. “After experiencing a heart attack, we were able to treat him and he’s been the model patient ever since. He is compliant with his medications, he finished cardiac rehab and he and his wife have made lifestyle changes to keep him healthy. He’s also lucky because his wife cares about him and wants him to do all they can to be healthy.”
After being released, Smith was set up with a course of follow-up appointments in MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Cardiac Rehab.
“I didn’t want to go, but my wife insisted,” said Smith. “And Dr. Hong agreed with her!”
After nine months of attending cardiac rehab, where he walked on a treadmill, rode a stationary bike and strengthened his chest muscles by using an arm cycle, Smith just completed treatment near the end of 2016.
“Cardiac rehab has been extremely beneficial to Mr. Smith,” said Dr. Mun K. Hong. “It’s giving patients both an exercise regimen and assurance they can resume activities. Also, they’re able to provide diet recommendations and psychological resources. Many patients find the group setting to be a positive thing, as well. At cardiac rehab, they are very dedicated. Anyone who completes the program, like Mr. Smith, will leave with a different mindset.”
Smith’s workouts, closely and constantly monitored by cardiac rehab staff, has brought his blood pressure down significantly, for which he, his wife Lola, his son Darren and three beloved grandsons, are all grateful. Smith will continue to see Dr. Hong every three months in an ongoing effort to make sure he stays as healthy as his procedure and cardiac rehab appointments have made him.
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Cardiac Rehab works in three phases. In phase one, patients are referred here while still in the hospital. In phase two, patients typically visit three times per week, which is usually covered by insurance. They exercise while overseen by associates and often pause for blood pressure or pulse checks. In phase three, patients visit to maintain the progress they have made. They are less monitored, but blood pressure and blood sugar is still tested.
If you or a family member needs information about MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Cardiac Rehab facility, please call 301-877-7370.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hong, please call 301-877-5677.
January 29, 2017Using Technology to Support Patient-Centered Care
January 27, 2017Palmer Foundation Funds MedStar to Study Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain for Palliative Care PatientsMedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Washington Hospital Center, in partnership with Healwell, are the recipients of a Palmer Foundation grant to study and compare effective dosages of massage therapy on pain and distress relief for hospitalized palliative care patients.