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  • Christine Wray stands in her office at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    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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  • Christine Wray stands in her office at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    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.

  • December 20, 2021
    CLINTON, Md.  MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has once again received the highest and most prestigious level of recognition as a 2021-2022 ‘Exemplar’ member organization of Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE). NICHE hospitals are world-class healthcare systems grounded in best practices and driven by innovation in which all older adults, age 65 and over, receive age-friendly, exemplary nursing care. This is true for older adults receiving care at MedStar Southern Maryland.
    Nurse with patient

    NICHE helps long-term and post-acute care organizations exceed quality standards set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. NICHE offers education and resources to help member organizations succeed with the Patient Driven Payment Model, Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement, the Five-Star Quality Rating System, Phase 3 Implementation of Federal Regulations and more.

    “The sustainment of our NICHE top-tier designation allows us to continually focus on caring for our elderly patients, a significant portion of our patient population,” said Cody Legler, DNP, APRN, NP-BC, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CNL, vice president and chief nursing officer at MedStar Southern Maryland.

    NICHE member organizations gain access to resources and tools that help nursing teams effectively meet the needs of older adult patients. Membership includes access to NICHE course offerings; training and consultation through the NICHE Leadership Training Program; member-only webinars and continuing education courses featuring the latest research, best practices and innovations for improving clinical outcomes; and the ability to collaborate and learn from peers in NICHE hospitals and other healthcare organizations around the world.

    In addition, NICHE offers gerontological review courses for both nursing and certified nursing associates. Once the nurse finishes the gerontological resource nurse course, they can be well prepared to sit for the gerontological nursing certification. Certification in the nursing course is associated with being a content expert in the field.

    “Maintaining the highest level of recognition exemplifies our commitment and passion to caring for older adults in our community and beyond, and to maintain a positive practice environment by exceeding nursing-sensitive outcomes,” said Jennifer Bierbaum, DNP, APRN-CNS, AGCNS-BC, GERO-BC, who is the NICHE program site sponsor and director of Nursing Practice and Innovation at MedStar Southern Maryland. “I am honored and proud to work with MedStar Southern Maryland and the continued focus on the care of the older adult.”

    To learn more about NICHE, visit https://nicheprogram.org/.

  • October 26, 2021

    Board-certified, fellowship-trained physician joins hospital as member of Gastroenterology team

    CLINTON, Md. – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is pleased to welcome its newest board-certified and fellowship-trained gastroenterologist, Tilak Baba, MD. Dr. Baba attended medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, prior to completing an Internal Medicine residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., He then obtained fellowship training in Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology at MedStar Georgetown.


    Dr. Baba is a certified member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the American Association of Study of Liver Diseases. He will be taking a certification exam for Transplant Hepatology in 2022. As a gastroenterologist at MedStar Southern Maryland, he will offer care and treatment for a variety of conditions including liver disease, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, alcohol liver disease, liver lesions, acute liver failure, liver cancer and many others, in addition to certain esophageal diseases.


    Dr. Baba believes in prolonging the life of patients by providing healing through a continuity of compassionate care. From colon cancer screening to treating esophageal disorders, liver disease and other intestine issues, Dr. Baba is very intentional about creating positive outcomes when it comes to changing and saving lives.


    “For me, the most important thing is putting patients first when it comes to listening to their needs, understanding their concerns and working together to come up with a treatment plan on how to manage their disease,” Dr. Baba said. “The multidisciplinary approach to care at MedStar Southern Maryland is so unique because everyone here works closely together and is all about providing the best care for patients, which helps

  • September 16, 2021

    CLINTON, MD – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center has received the American Heart Association’s GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

    Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and speeding recovery times.

    Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist healthcare professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

    “MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to helping our patients have the best possible chance of survival and after a stroke,” said Christine Wray, hospital president. “Get With The Guidelines-Stroke makes it easier for our teams to put proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis to improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

    Each year, program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

    “We are pleased to recognize MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston,Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

    MedStar Southern Maryland also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

    Additionally, MedStar Southern Maryland received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

    For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

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    About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient centered services that connect us to the community we serve. For more information about MedStar Southern Maryland, click here.

    About Get With The Guidelines®
    Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 9 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org/quality.

  • September 08, 2021

    CLINTON, Md. – MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is pleased to welcome Brian C. Case, MD, FACC, a board-certified and fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist who joined the hospital in August 2021.

    Dr. Case, a Montgomery County native, graduated cum laude from St. George's University School of Medicine in 2012 and then participated in an internship at NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, formerly known as NYU Winthrop Hospital. Dr. Case completed an extensive residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and was selected as the chief medical resident in 2016 for internal medicine. He then obtained fellowship training through a joint program at both MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., where he was honored as a chief cardiology fellow in 2019, followed by two years of combined research and clinical interventional cardiology.

    As part of the specialty care provided at MedStar Southern Maryland in Clinton, Maryland, Dr. Case treats patients with coronary artery disease through modern technological interventions such as intravascular imaging and invasive physiology to help guide stent selection, placement and deployment. His training includes performing intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography for intravascular imaging, as well as fractional flow reserves and instantaneous wave-free ratios for evaluation of physiological cardiac ischemia.

    “My hope and goal is to incorporate my experience in training into the clinical practice and daily decision making for our patients here at MedStar Southern Maryland,” Dr. Case said. “In the world of interventional cardiology, using intervascular imaging and invasive physiology on a daily basis will help guide treatment plans and allow us to provide more individualized, high-quality heart care. It's about having transparency and innovation that leads to the best possible outcomes for our patients. Because how we treat people is the heart of what matters."

    For appointments with Dr. Case, please call 301-877-5677. To learn more, visit MedStarHealth.org/Case.

  • Main entrance lobby interior at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
    April 08, 2021

    $43 million project supported by MedStar Health associates aims to meet community’s care needs

    Clinton, MD — MedStar Health is celebrating the opening of its newly-renovated emergency department (ED) at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The $43 million renovation expands the facility by 18,000 square feet, adding almost 50 percent more treatment space and several new services uniquely designed to meet the needs of surrounding communities like Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C.,

    “Emergency departments are important to the community because whether it’s a surgical emergency, a cardiac episode, or diabetic episode, when patients come to the ED, they’re often sicker than they’ve ever been,” said Chile Ahaghotu, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. “This new state-of-the-art emergency department gives us the ability to get patients in quickly, identify their issues, and provide our community with the best quality care that we can. In designing this new space we took into account the history of the kinds of medical conditions we see here at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, behavioral health and cancer. We made sure that we had the technologies and the physical features to support that type of care.”  

    “Prince George’s County continues to grow rapidly, and its residents need seamless access to the most advanced care,” said MedStar Health President and CEO Kenneth A. Samet at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the grand opening of the new department. “MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s ED is a critically important access point. This facility is part of our wide-ranging efforts to improve care delivery across the region, with more specialty care located here, so patients don’t have to travel long distances to see their doctors, and population health strategies designed to keep people healthier and out of the hospital in the first place.”

    Crews broke ground on the project in September 2019 and continued to work tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, starting April 8, emergency department patients have access to:

    • Additional treatment rooms, which have been expanded from 28 to 40.
    • A designated behavioral health area to help manage patients suffering from a behavioral health crisis or substance abuse issues in a quiet and therapeutic environment.
    • Modernized ambulance access and patient waiting areas that emphasize patient privacy, including quick telehealth evaluations for all patients.
    • Upgraded diagnostic imaging including a 128-slice Siemens CT scanner and a new MRI available in the ED for the first time.
    • A new front entrance and two-story lobby space, including gift shop and 24-hour café.

    This summer, the emergency department will complete the second phase of renovations, opening a new special pathogen treatment center used to diagnose and treat patients exposed to dangerous viruses or other microorganisms. The plan for the new pathogen center started long before the pandemic as MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center serves as one of Maryland’s five designated Special Pathogen Assessment Hospitals.

    In other ways, COVID-19 did impact construction. Hospital leaders quickly adjusted project plans last year to make sure even more of the emergency department would be ready for the pandemic.

    “We have 27 negative pressure rooms to keep the germs inside and keep them from getting outside,” said Kristen Quade, RN, nurse director of the Emergency Department. “MedStar Health also created what we’re calling pandemic response rooms, which we will be using in the new space as well. Those were really developed with the mindset to keep both isolation patients and the rest of the community safe.”

    “Despite all of the challenges that we’ve had to deal with over the last several months, we were still able to take care of each other as a team and take care of our patients,” Dr. Ahaghotu said. “That’s really the heart of high reliability. You do it in a way that’s safe, you do it in a way that’s high quality, and you do it in a way that means a lot to the folks who are getting the care.”

    play button

    One of the most special features of the upgraded facility is that more than $142 thousand of the cost was donated by MedStar Health associates in addition to donations from board members and others from the community. Through its Power to Heal campaign, MedStar Health empowers associates to financially support projects through philanthropic gifts as affordable as five to ten dollars. Often, associates choose to contribute to projects that will improve their own communities or workplaces. That was the case for both Operating Room Nurse Christine Young, RN, and Kevin Scales, who started as a volunteer in the Emergency Department at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center several years ago and worked his way up to become a radiology transporter.

    “We are very appreciative that this new emergency department will assist our community because it’s gratifying to help those who need help such as the elderly, the homeless, and children,” Scales said. “To me, they are the most vulnerable in our society. As long as we give them proper care, I believe they will go on and live prosperous lives. We are at liberty to help people, so for us to be able to add to our community is a great thing.”

    “I have been at the hospital for about 15 years and I am very involved in the community doing different things, like helping with women’s shelters, so donating to the Emergency Department project was a very natural thing for me to do,” said Young, who helped lead the Power to Heal campaign in her department. “I come from a background where I didn’t have a whole lot and to be in the position to help other people is very important to me.”

    “I'm so grateful for how our associates, other donors and our entire community came together to support the hospital during this renovation and also during the pandemic. I am filled with gratitude and all I can say is a big ‘thank you,’” said Dr. Ahaghotu.