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.
January 27, 2017
Through funding from the Palmer Foundation, MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Washington Hospital Center, in partnership with Healwell, will investigate the usage of massage therapy for pain and distress relief for palliative care patients. This research will be led by Hunter Groninger, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, director of Palliative Care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Read more.
January 27, 2017Visiting Nurse Association of America (VNAA) recently honored MedStar Health Home Care President Traci Anderson with the 2016 Public Policy Advocate of the Year Award.
January 26, 2017
MedStar Washington Hospital Center recently received the Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. The designation is awarded to hospitals that have established a work environment where nurses are valued, provided with professional development and involved in decision-making. MedStar Washington Hospital Center is the first acute care hospital in Washington, D.C., to earn the designation. Read more.
January 26, 2017
MedStar Health Research Institute and Georgetown University School of Medicine have awarded two medical students scholarships through the Frank S. Pellegrini, MD, Research Scholarship Endowment. Awarded this year to two rising second-year medical students at Georgetown University, the scholarship is presented to students who demonstrate academic excellence and recognize the importance of patient-first values and innovation, and the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, which means to care for the whole person. Read more.
January 26, 2017Most Experienced WATCHMAN Site on Mid-Atlantic Seaboard
January 26, 2017MedStar NRH is one of 60 sites nationwide participating in the largest clinical trial of its kind to test the use of stem cells to restore motor function in stroke patients. The large double-blind, randomized study is based on an initial small investigation conducted at Stanford University that demonstrated results described as “stunning.”