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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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  • 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


  • March 23, 2016

    CLABSI Free - A Quality & Safety Milestone 

    This week, Unit 2G, a medical intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, achieved a major milestone: reaching two years without a Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI).

    Central lines (catheters) are tubes that help patients get the medications or fluids they need and allow medical professional to draw blood for testing.  But they also present a particular risk for developing infections, because they are inserted into large veins in the neck, chest or groin.  While these lines are necessary, they must be monitored continuously and carefully.  Medical professionals have been working hard to reduce CLABSI rates in hospitals, and from 2008 to 2013, there was a 46% decrease in CLABSI in hospitals across the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Yet, an estimated 30,100 CLABSI cases still occur in U.S. hospitals each year.

    How did the physicians and nurses on 2G keep CLABSI at bay for two years (and counting)?  They credit dedicated teamwork for their success. "The most important step is collaboration and communication between all team members,” notes Joshua Wansley, RN, a nurse leader on the unit. “Twice a week, nurse leaders and attending physicians check on every patient and assess if the central lines are still needed for that patient.”

    In fact, nurse leaders take the extra step of reviewing central line records every day to verify that the line is needed. “The goal, of course, is that you only have lines in that are absolutely necessary," says Wansley. "That one extra review could show a line ready to be removed.  If it comes out, the risk is gone.”

    Resource nurses -- the nurses who manage the workflow on a shift -- keep careful records of patients' central lines. Nurses are tested every year on their skills for changing the dressings around the central lines and other protective steps needed to keep patients safe.  “We also talk about it all the time, so we are all very aware of the current situation with central lines. Our goal is to go that extra mile  to protect the patients," Wansley concluded.

    And at the Hospital Center, every patient unit posts its current record in a highly visible place for all to see.  Much like a construction site that records the number of days since its last employee injury, our patient units post the number of days since the last CLABSI.  Keeping it top of mind among every team member -- and among patients and families -- will help 2G and every other unit at the Center prevent these life-threatening infections.   

    For Patients:  What You Can Do to Help Prevent CLABSI

    Patients can also play a role in preventing CLABSI. The CDC suggests:

    Speak up about any concerns so that those providing your care are reminded to follow the best prevention practices.Ask your healthcare provider if the central line is absolutely necessary. If so, ask them to help you understand the need for it and how long it will be in place.Pay attention to the bandage and the area around it. If the bandage comes off or if the bandage or area around it is wet or dirty, tell a healthcare providerright away.Don’t get the central line or the central line insertion site wet.Tell a healthcare provider if the area around the catheter is sore or red or if the patient has a fever or chills.Avoid touching the tubing and do not let any visitors touch the catheter or tubing as well.MOST IMPORTANTLY:  The single most important thing that everyone can do is wash their hands.  Everyone who comes into the room to visit or care for a patient with a central line must wash their hands—before and after they visit.  If you are a patient, speak up if you see someone who doesn't follow this very important rule.  If you are a family member or visitor, be mindful of the rule, follow it, and speak up if others don't. It's simple -- and effective.
  • February 22, 2016
    Screening tests can be a powerful weapon in the fight against breast cancer. In spite of these benefits, too many women
  • Former Baltimore Raven Todd Heap pledged to raise $1 million in support of the Todd Heap Pediatric Center, part of the seven-story patient care tower at MedStar Franklin Square.

    "As parents of three children, my wife Ashley and I recognize the need for and value of quality pediatric care and services close at hand. When we learned about the breadth of pediatric services MedStar Franklin Square provides to the community, we knew this was a hospital we wanted to be associated with," said Todd Heap, former tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. "I am extremely impressed and moved by the great care and compassion the hospital provides to children and families in the community."

    Heap's generous pledge to raise $1 million was celebrated at a groundbreaking for the patient care tower in October 2007. At the event, MedStar Franklin Square executives and board members announced the launch of a $10 million capital campaign which was jumpstarted by Heap's generous donation.


    todd-heap-carl-schindelar

    Carl Schindelar, former president of MedStar Franklin Square, with former Baltimore Raven Todd Heap

    todd-heap-pediatric

    "While our employees and those who have used our pediatric services know the vital support MedStar Franklin Square provides, it is encouraging to have someone outside our community also believe in what we are doing," stated Carl Schindelar, former president of MedStar Franklin Square. "We have a longstanding commitment to the physical, emotional, and social needs of area children. Todd's commitment will go far in helping support our mission to provide high-quality and comprehensive pediatric and family-centered care and services."

    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center Foundation
    9000 Franklin Square Drive, Baltimore, MD 21237, 443-777-7980
    fshfoundation@medstar.net

    Media contacts

    Marianne Worley

    410-772-6661

    202-531-1508

    marianne.worley@medstar.net

    Brendan McNamara

    410-772-6557

    571-314-2942

    brendan.t.mcnamara@medstar.net

  • Silver-Performance-Stroke-Awards

    The Stroke Center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has been recognized for its commitment, success, and achievement in using evidence-based guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The GuidelinesSM program.

    As a Silver Performance Achievement Award recipient that achieved 85 percent compliance with the Get With The Guidelines measures for 12 consecutive months, MedStar Georgetown and 569 other hospitals are featured in a July 28, 2009 advertisement in the "America's Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report.

    "The American Heart Association is pleased to recognize its top Get With The Guidelines participants," said Lee Schwamm, MD, national chairman, of the Get With The Guidelines steering committee, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Healthcare providers who use Get With The Guidelines are armed with the latest evidence-based guidelines and immediate access to clinical decision support. The goal of this initiative is to ultimately improve the quality of life and help reduce deaths among heart and stroke patients."

    As a certified and award-winning Stroke Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital offers 24/7 emergency coverage provided by an integrated team of emergency department physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroscience nurses, and neuroradiologists. Along with a dedicated stroke unit, innovative clinical research and valuable rehabilitation therapies, MedStar Georgetown is one of the leading hospitals in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke.

    For more information about stroke care at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, call us today at 202-342-2400 or toll-free at 866-745-2633.

    Media contacts

    Marianne Worley

    410-772-6661

    202-531-1508

    marianne.worley@medstar.net

    Brendan McNamara

    410-772-6557

    571-314-2942

    brendan.t.mcnamara@medstar.net

  • In addition to the Patient Care Tower, MedStar Franklin Square's expansion projects included the construction of a new waste management building that opened in August 2008.

    The "Be Square, Be Green" program allows MedStar Franklin Square to separate non-infectious and infectious waste streams and implement an on-site recycling program at MedStar Franklin Square.

    Mission statement

    The mission of the "Be Square, Be Green" program is to develop a workplace culture that inspires, informs, and supports environmentally responsible behavior in its employees, guests, and the wider community, and to contribute to the overall mission of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and the MedStar Health.

    Core values of the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • Meet all environmental laws and regulations

    • Conserve natural resources and limit the use of non-renewable resources. Strive to improve water- and energy-efficiency

    • Continue to expand and support recycling and reuse initiatives

    • Minimize waste and ensure that it is disposed its disposal in a safe and environmentally responsible manner

    • Use environmentally sensitive cleaning products

    • Consider seeking standards-based environmental certification on new construction (either Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC)

    • Purchase products which meet self-imposed environmental standards

    • Reduce emissions of toxic or dangerous substances into air, water, and earth

    Five reasons why you should recycle:

    • It saves natural resources
    • It saves energy
    • It saves clean air and water
    • It saves landfill space
    • It saves money and creates jobs

    Media contacts

    Marianne Worley

    410-772-6661

    202-531-1508

    marianne.worley@medstar.net

    Brendan McNamara

    410-772-6557

    571-314-2942

    brendan.t.mcnamara@medstar.net


    Facts about the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • Where we lead in sustainability

    • Facts about the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • How our staff contributes

    • MedStar Franklin Square's Green Team

    • Environmental results

    MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center has been a leader in sustainability in the following areas:

    • Waste reduction

    • Reducing use of potentially harmful chemicals, such as DEHP

    • Reducing waste

    • Increasing recycling

    • Reducing use of disposable items and increasing use of reusable materials

    • Managing the disposal of pharmaceuticals using best practices

    • Reducing energy and water consumption

    Facts about the "Be Square, Be Green" program

    • In June 2008, MedStar Franklin Square opened a new waste management building that would allow us to separate non-infectious and infectious waste streams. It also allowed us to implement and on-site recycling program

    • The separation of infectious and non-infectious waste also gave rise to the separation of recyclable materials, including metal, plastic, glass, and cardboard, which are collected and stored together in our solar-powered compactor

    • Our recycling initiatives extend beyond conventional materials to include batteries, electronic items, and cooking oil. We are also beginning to compost food waste from our kitchen in a secure storage space available in the new Patient Tower

    How our staff contributes to the program's success

    • MedStar Franklin Square has made significant strides toward increasing the purchase of reusable items and those with a longer lifespan, away from disposables

    • The Environmental Services Department has switched from conventional string mops to Rubbermaid microfiber mops, which has drastically reduced water and chemical use by decreasing the need to refill mop buckets

    • Our hospital has also switched from disposable to reusable sharps containers, which eliminates a huge amount of plastic from entering our waste stream

    • Food and Nutrition Services is also taking steps to limit the amount of styrofoam and other packaging used for food service

    • Our nurses have played an integral part in our greening process. In addition to being a strong voice for change, our nurses have put many ideas into practice at an individual level. Beginning in critical units, nurses have paved the way toward eliminating harmful DEHP-containing products from our facility

    MedStar Franklin Square's "Be Square, Be Green" team

    • The "Be Square, Be Green" team was formed in April 2009

    • The team is made of members from Environmental Services, Safety, Nursing, Materials Management, Food and Nutrition, Quality Improvement, Public Relations, and other departments

    Environmental results

    • Shutting down our incinerator has led to improvements in air quality and pollution prevention, as toxic air emissions and toxic ash residue are well known effects of medical waste incinerator use

    • The incinerator has consumed around 8 million gallons of water annually

    • As a result of our "Be Square, Be Green" waste separation and reduction program, we have reduced our infectious waste by 95,275 pounds per month on average from the previous year

    • We have increased our commingled recyclables to an average of around 19,000 pounds each month

    • The new microfiber mops trap potentially hazardous materials, rather than releasing in into the mop bucket, as the old string mops did. This decreases the use of chemicals and water by at least 90% by allowing Environmental Services employees to clean 20 rooms using the same amount of water and chemicals as it used to take to clean just 3 rooms (as required by the CDC). The new mops can also withstand up to 500 laundry cycles, whereas the old string mops lasted just 70 cycles

    • The reusable sharps program has allowed us to eliminate 4 tons of plastic from our annual waste stream. This change has also provided health and safety benefits to our staff by decreasing the amount of handling involved in switching out sharps containers