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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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  • January 13, 2017

    MedStar Health providers will have access to the latest evidence-based clinical guidelines through a new partnership with EvidenceCare. MedStar Health and the Nashville-based company will work together to develop content in four clinical areas, which will include patient education content designed to help patients become more active participants in their care. Learn more.

  • January 13, 2017

    Megan O’Brien, a Georgetown University medical student, was awarded a summer research scholarship through the Pines-Kleinman Mental Health Fund. Under the guidance of her mentor, Matthew Biel, MD, O’Brien will examine the effects of adverse childhood experiences on childhood development at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.  Read more.

  • January 13, 2017

    Expanded Services Mean More than Convenience in the Heart of Harford

    COLUMBIA, Md. (April 12, 2017)—Last spring, over 600 Harford County residents attended the community open house at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus to see the shiny new bedless hospital and urgent care. Among the guests: Anita Owens, of Fallston.

    While throngs of visitors toured the sunlit center from room to room, embracing its location on Route 924 at Plumtree Road, Charlsetta Holmes, known as Charli, was a short distance away, working in her office at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The convenience of top quality healthcare couldn’t have been further from her mind.  

    Anita however, was so impressed with the 100,000 square feet of comfort and technology, and its location, she promptly changed primary care physicians and scheduled her annual routine check-up.

    Within days and weeks of the opening respectively, both Charli and Anita would each get devastating news: they had breast cancer.  

    “Having this facility here makes it more convenient for our patients to get treatment in their community without having to drive to Baltimore,” said Dr. Suman Rao, MD, chief of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s Thoracic Oncology & Hematology at Bel Air. “When facing a devastating diagnosis of cancer, patients are assured they are getting the same state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment capabilities as any other major cancer care center.” 

    "MedStar Bel Air saved my life,” Anita said. “They found the cancer, treated me, and I am cancer free today because of them."

    “This experience for me, was holistic,” Charli explained. “I wasn’t just going there for medicine. Everyone at Bel Air from the nurses, staff, oncologists, were very informative. They offered support, literature, brochures… they provided beauty tips; how to wear scarves and wigs, apply make-up, physical therapy. They did all they could to provide support. Everything I needed was in the same place.”

    Since its April 12th opening last year, more than 30,000 Harford residents have received treatment in specialty areas including cardiology, imaging, outpatient surgery, primary care, rehabilitation, urgent care, women’s health and the comprehensive cancer center, where Anita and Charli received chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

    Last month, Charli received her final radiation treatment on her 60th birthday, and celebrated the milestone, cancer free.

    “As a physician, one of the best advantages to working in this facility is being able to coordinate high quality care efficiently for my patients,” said Dr. Melanie Slack, site medical director. “I have had many instances where I see a patient in my office, send them immediately downstairs for a radiologic study, and that same afternoon, am able to discuss the results with the radiologist and arrange for a specialist consultation. It makes a huge difference to the patients, knowing that all of their doctors are communicating and working together as a team.”

    For an appointment with one of our specialists at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus, call 410-877-8088 or visit MedStarHealth.org/BelAir.

    About MedStar Health

    MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

  • January 12, 2017
    The MedStar Diabetes Institute, led by Michelle Magee, MD, investigated the potential of community health workers and mobile health services as part of diabetes management for minority populations.
  • January 11, 2017

    Partnership Designed to Expand Access to Quality Healthcare for Kids

    Baltimore, MD—(July 1, 2017)— Two of Harford County’s most trusted healthcare providers have forged a union designed to expand access to the highest quality of pediatric services. Box Hill Pediatrics, a large and established practice that opened in Abingdon in 1995, joined MedStar Medical Group at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus on July 1, and opened with a new name: MedStar Medical Group Box Hill Pediatrics at MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus.

    During the 22 year span that Box Hill Pediatrics built its enduring practice in the Box Hill Shopping Center on route 924, physicians and staff treated hundreds of Harford County children, as well as the next generation of their patients’ children.

    MedStar Health’s year-old state-of-the art campus on route 924 at Plumtree Road, draws patients from northern Baltimore County, Harford County, Cecil County, York and southern Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania. Patients benefit from the resources of a ten-hospital system, as well as an on-site lab, radiology, physical therapy and occupational therapy.  Additionally, a MedStar Promptcare is on campus for urgent medical needs that occur after hours - in the evenings or on the weekends.     

    “Being a part of MedStar and Box Hill really is combining the efficiency of being part of a group with better resources but still having the family characteristics of a practice that had really been based in this community for a long time,” said pediatrician, Dr. Dahlia Halim. “We are pleased to offer a new level of access to and coordination with the medical experts at MedStar Health, the largest health system in the region.”

    MedStar Medical Group Box Hill Pediatrics at MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus is located on the second floor of the Bel Air Medical Campus, which opened in the spring of 2016. The campus is comprised of primary and specialty services, as well as a cancer center, offering a streamlined, comprehensive and collaborative approach to health care.

    The entire staff and Box Hill Pediatrics physician team have relocated to the new site, ensuring the same quality and personalized care that the practice built its reputation on.

    Pediatricians:

    • Katherine Hopkins is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.  She received her Master of Science degree from Virginia Technical Institute in Animal Science, specializing in placental function, and her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia.  She completed her pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
    • Marci Chasnow has practiced pediatrics in the Baltimore area since 1986. She attended Boston University School of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Chasnow is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    • Sunitha Venugopal attended Penn State for undergraduate school and completed her medical studies at Philadelphia's Jefferson Medical School. Her interest in pediatrics was refined during a residency at New Jersey's Children's Hospital. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
    • Dahlia Halim is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Religious Studies. She has Doctor of Medicine from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. She completed her Pediatrics Residency at the St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Halim is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    To schedule an appointment call: 410-877-2080.

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    About MedStar Health

    MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.  

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  • January 10, 2017
    The MedStar Health Research Institute has awarded a scholarship for a summer research internship through the Pines-Kleinman Mental Health Fund to a Georgetown University medical student.