MedStar Southern Maryland Publications Win 2 Gold Aster Awards

CLINTON, MD-- MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC)’s Connections associate newsletter and Health community magazine and have won Gold Aster Awards.  The Aster Awards are granted annually for excellence in healthcare communication.

“This is exciting for our hospital since we care so much about our associates and our community members,” said MedStar Southern Maryland President Christine Wray.  “Our publications are a big source of pride, as they help associates stay informed and invested in their workplace, and they help our community understand the great things we’re doing at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.”

Connections is published monthly and mailed to associates’ homes.  It features a Letter from the President, stories on physicians, how the hospital is performing on the latest innovations at MSMHC, spotlights on departments or individuals, how the hospital is fulfilling its SPIRIT Values, and much more.

Health is a glossy magazine mailed out to more than 200,000 households surrounding the hospital.  This magazine is shot by professional photographer Ryan Smith.  The publication also begins with a Letter from MSMHC President Christine Wray.  It contains a Patient Testimonial cover story, and features articles promoting the work of the hospital, educational articles on medical conditions and treatments, and a Heart&Soul section featuring MSMHC’s Cardiology Department.  Current and past issues of Health are available at MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Health.

“We’re thrilled to be the recipient of Gold Aster Awards,” said Cheryl Richardson, Director of Marketing at MSMHC. “One of our hospital’s SPIRIT Values is Teamwork, and these publications would not be produced without adherence to this Value.  Our writer, graphic designers, and marketing assistant work with an amazing photographer, and virtually every department in the hospital, to collaborate on these publications.  Without everyone here working together so fluidly as a team, we couldn’t accomplish all that we do.”

To be considered for an Aster Award, healthcare facilities had to submit all advertising/marketing materials developed, produced and/or distributed during the calendar year 2017 to be eligible for the 2018 program.  All entries for each category are placed together for judging by a panel of design and healthcare marketing professionals with decades of combined experience. Entries are judged on creativity, layout/design, typography, production, quality and overall effectiveness.  For more information, visit asterawards.com.

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.

MedStar Southern Maryland Partners with PG County on New Healthy Baby Initiative

Earlier this month, Prince George’s County, along with partners MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) and the University of Maryland Capital Region Health, which are the two entities delivering babies in Prince George’s County, the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services and the Prince George’s County School and Library Systems, hosted a press conference announcing a new Healthy Baby Initiative.

The Healthy Baby Initiative provides several items to new parents to help after the birth of a new baby.  First, it provides a Graco Pack ‘N Play, which functions as a portable bed and playpen for babies.

Second, the Healthy Baby Initiative provides a bag with literature that helps educate and provide resources to parents.

Third, the Healthy Baby Initiative provides a set of soft-cover, washable books in this branded bag.  The bag also contains information on how to sign your baby up to receive additional books, totaling around 60, by the time the child is five years old and ready for school

Representing MSMHC at this press conference was Dr. Nahid Mazarei, Director of MSMHC’s OB/GYN Department.  Last year, said Mazarei, MSMHC delivered around 1,200 babies, 65-percent of which were classified as high-risk births.

“What we’re doing today is elevating the level of awareness for what we can do,” said Dr. Mazarei. “What we have learned as individuals, we can take this today and expand it to the community and raise awareness of how to best promote healthy babies.”

The Press Conference took place at the Prince George’s County Health Department.  Dominique Stuckey, Nursing Director of MSMHC’s Women and Newborns Center, and Cody Legler, MSMHC’s Senior Director of Nursing, were also in attendance. 

“We’re so proud to be a part of this great initiative,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray.  “We love bringing babies into the world here in Prince George’s County, and we want to do all we can to promote healthy pregnancies, healthy births and a healthy start to life.  Providing this Pack ‘N Play and all the books and resources that come with it, will really help families in Prince George’s County, and we’re excited to help distribute these items to our new babies.” 

To learn more about MSMHC’s Women and Newborns Center, or to sign up for a tour of our facility, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Baby.


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.

Contact: 

Cheryl Richardson
Director of Marketing & Community Relations
(301) 877-5556
[email protected]

MedStar Southern Maryland Saves Lives Through Organ Donation

April is Donate Life Month

For Renee Sicheri, a registered nurse at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC), organ donation is very personal. Indeed, it is a solemn occasion for everyone at the hospital. We know it means one family is dealing with a devastating loss and a sad time, but we also know another family will be able to celebrate a second chance for their ailing loved one.

Sicheri has been on both sides of this equation. She suffered the loss of a beloved family member whose organs lived on and saved lives in the bodies of others, and she is part of the team at MSMHC who works with Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) to coordinate this process to save numerous others. WRTC is the organization responsible for the delicate and complicated process of finding donor organs for recipients on donor lists and coordinating the transfer of the organs to recipients.

The way the organ donation process works is this: First, every effort to save the patient’s life is expended, provided this is what the patient would want. After extensive testing, once it is determined the patient will not make it, but whose organs may be able to function and save a life in the body of another person, WRTC is notified. They will come to MSMHC, review the patient’s chart, and check their database for matches. Then, the family of the patient is consulted, but it is always the wishes of the patient that overrides anyone else. Once the organ is harvested, it is put on a medivac helicopter for rapid transit to its recipient.

After the process is complete, the donor’s family receives recognition from WRTC for the generous gift of life from their loved one in the form of a thank you certificate that includes how many people were potentially saved through each person’s organ donation and how long they were on a recipient list.

At MSMHC, we are proud to be a part of this process and proud to support WRTC by promoting their Donate Life campaign and the process of becoming a donor. We promote this message in various ways, including through education to both our associates and our community, through hosting a WRTC representative for an organ donation sign-up day in our hospital’s cafeteria, and by participating in Blue
and Green Friday on April 13th, to increase awareness of the Donate Life campaign.

Late last year, WRTC awarded the entire MSMHC perioperative team for being champions of the organ donation process, and for being among the Top 50 hospitals for notification and procurement. It also awarded Dr. Katharine Modisett, MD, for facilitating the organ donation process at MSMHC.

Please visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/DonateLife for more information about organ donation.

How Do I Recognize What Might Be Addiction?

Addiction Awareness

Rodney Scales, Director of Behavioral Health at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, Valerie Stanfield, Coordinator of Intake Assessment, and Chelsea Lewis-Wilkins, Counselor, give their advice on alcohol and drug addiction.

How Do I Recognize What Might Be Addiction?

If you suspect a friend is suffering with addiction, these are some of the signs: rapid weight loss, poor hygiene, irritability, depression, radical changes in mood, financial problems, sniffing, enlarged pupils, changes to their social network, and living outside of their past values and belief system.

What can I do to help?

  • Open up the lines of communication. Ask your friend or loved one if anyone has expressed concern whether they have a problem with alcohol or drugs. This could be a sign others have recognized a problem, too.
  • Encourage them to enter into a program. There are many different levels of care available, says Stanfield, ranging from out-patient classes, to one-on-one or group therapy, to residential in-patient, intensive programs. The level of care someone needs can be determined through an assessment by a professional with experience in addiction.
  • Encourage them to seek out resources, including programs available through their county’s health department. If they have private insurance, their provider can also help direct them to available resources.
  • Encourage them to find meetings to help them in their sobriety journey, and you may find meetings helpful, as well. All areas of the country have meetings and there is even a phone app that can locate the nearest meetings wherever you are, say Stanfield and Lewis-Wilkins.
  • Be a part of their support system, as long as they follow their sobriety path.

What is MedStar Southern Maryland’s Approach to Addiction and Mental Health Resources?

At MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, the Inpatient Behavioral Health Department is designed for patients with a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Our treatment for those patients with a dual or co-occurring diagnosis of alcohol or other substance dependence is to stabilize and refer the patient to an appropriate substance abuse program for treatment. Our Behavioral Health Department is staffed with contracted professionals who have the tools to help these vulnerable patients, say Scales, Stansfield and Lewis-Wilkins.

“We’re here to ask for an honest depiction of a patient’s use,” said Lewis-Wilkins. “This helps us make an informed decision for the best course of treatment. Before a patient leaves the unit, whether they’re being discharged from the Emergency Department or the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit, we work with the patient to establish a plan which includes an outpatient appointment for further treatment. This appointment should occur during their first few days at home. In order for treatment to be successful, the patient must follow through with the treatment plan.”

“Once a patient is identified as having addiction issues, these patients are referred to our Certified Addictions Counselor who conducts additional assessments and coordinates referrals to inpatient substance abuse treatment facilities or outpatient treatment facilities, depending upon the patient’s level of need,” says Scales.

“In addition to the services currently provided on the Behavioral Health Unit, we also provide on-going substance abuse education to our patients who attend the Partial Hospitalization Program. We are also partnering with our Emergency Department to offer our substance abuse services to include all behavioral health patients who present to the Emergency Department. Our goal is to provide routine assessments, brief intervention and counseling services for those patients at risk, and referral and treatment for those patients who require this level of care.

All MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center patients needing addictions counseling and/or mental health help will be assessed at the hospital. If you are a community member in need of treatment for addiction, contact your local health department or a treatment center. This is a very serious problem and MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is committed to helping patients needing alcohol and drug treatment.

Dr. Kevin Reed

“Regardless of the reason a person starts taking drugs, tolerance and dependency can develop quickly. A user constantly tries to replicate the first high they had by taking increasing amounts, since the effects of the drug diminishes over time. A drug overdose occurs when the body has been overloaded with prescription medications or illicit substances.

Opiates, such as heroin or prescription pain pills like Percocet, affect the breathing centers of the brain. A person may develop small contracted pupils, lose unconsciousness, breathing may become erratic and shallow. Ultimately breathing may completely stop, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain and possible death.

Stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, produce a brief sense of euphoria and primarily affect the brain and the heart. Seizures or strokes can occur, as well as many heart-related conditions, including irregular heart rhythms, very high blood pressures, and a heart attack. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, leading to slurred speech, difficulty walking, lowering inhibitions leading to increasing risk taking behavior and possible memory loss or blackouts.

Drinking too much too quickly can affect your heart rate, breathing, body temperature, swallowing ability and potentially lead to coma and death. For chronic drinkers, a complex interaction in brain signaling chemicals can lead to a vicious cycle of increased drinking followed by greater tolerance that eventually leads to dependence and addiction. Alcohol withdrawal can be a life-threatening event that can involve severe tremors, high blood pressure and heart rate, agitation and seizures."

- Kevin Reed, MD, FAAEM, FACEP Chair of the Emergency Department


For more information, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Addiction.

Need Help?

Maryland's Crisis Hotline is available 24/7 to provide support, guidance, and assistance. 

Call 1-800-422-0009 
or 800-662-HELP (4357)

Resources

A variety of treatment options are available for individuals with addictions to drugs, alcohol and other substances. Other behavioral health services are also offered through the PG County Health Department. Interested individuals or family members should call the location nearest their home:

What is the PFACQS Committee and How is it Helping MedStar Southern Maryland Improve?

Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety (PFACQS), Fall 2017

PFACQS stands for Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety. It is a committee that meets quarterly and is made up of hospital associates and patients, family members of patients and community members. Its mission is to work together to help each MedStar hospital continuously improve safety and quality of care, with an ongoing commitment to put patients first.

“This is where I come to make a difference,” said Carlene Davenport, one of the members who represent the community on the PFACQS Committee. “It’s important this hospital keeps striving. I tell people: I guarantee you, they’re working and they’re making improvements. Like with voting, you have to participate to make a difference and this is where I come to be an active participant in my community.”

At the beginning of summer, the PFACQS Committee met to discuss great strides the hospital has made to reach out to the community. These efforts included running smoking cessation courses and establishing the Transitional Care Clinic (TCC), which provides care and resources to patients who have left the hospital but have not yet seen their primary care physician. In the future, the hospital plans to hold additional courses and screenings, such as this summer’s Living Well courses dealing with chronic pain management, and a lung cancer screening to be held in August. The TCC is also expected to expand services to patients who need diabetes management and palliative (end of life) care.

“When MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center put out the message we were seeking PFACQS Committee members, the response was overwhelming,” said MedStar Southern Maryland President Christine Wray. “We are so proud of this committee and their important work. We want real, honest feedback, and they aren’t afraid to give it to us. This helps us tremendously, both as we identify ways we can improve, and also ways we can let the community know the great things that are happening here.”

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center thanks all members of our committee and dedicates itself to incorporating the work of PFACQS into our daily operations. Visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/PFACQS for more information on MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center's PFACQS Committee.

Welcoming Pediatric Dentistry Patients

It may surprise you to learn that a significant percentage of the cases seen in MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s Operating Rooms are for procedures with pediatric dentists. Several groups of dentists come here when they have little patients who need to be sedated for dental procedures. 

Dr. Tanek Jenkins is one dentist who regularly schedules procedures at our hospital, performing tooth extractions, root canals and stainless steel and white zirconia cosmetic crowning.

“Everyone here is very nice and helpful,” says Dr. Jenkins. “This hospital has shown a commitment to get these children in. MedStar and their anesthesia team have recognized a need and they have been generous in giving us blocks of time because we have expressed this need.”

The mouth and teeth are the windows into the health of the whole body, explains Dr. Jenkins. This is why she loves pediatric dentistry, as she can help set up someone when they are young for a lifetime of taking care of the health of their teeth. She also enjoys making a cosmetic difference, helping children who have been teased because of the appearance of their teeth.

“It makes me feel good when I can help with a 180-degree difference and create a work of art,” says Dr. Jenkins. “Parents appreciate these services as well. I tell them, I will treat their child like they’re mine. I say ‘this is my baby now, don’t worry.’”


To learn more about general surgery at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, click here

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist, call:

Dr. Tanek Jenkins, DDS
ABC Dentistry- Oxon Hill
301-686-0710

Dr. Richee Berry, DDS
Dr. Jarrett Caldwell, DDS
Dr. Marian B. Jordan, DDS
Berry's Children Dental LLCBowie
301-383-0959

Dr. Felix Aguto, DDS
We Make Kids Smile Pediatric Dentistry- Waldorf
301-645-6556

Dr. Ebonee Thrower, DDS
Bright Starr Pediatric Dentistry- Bowie
240-764-5753

Dr. Eileen Buckle, DDS
KOOL Smiles Dentistry- District Heights
844-605-9949

Alzheimer’s Awareness: Find a Knowledgeable Physician, Pre-Plan and Seek Resources

As the number of people living well into their 80’s has risen, so have the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today, more than five million Americans are living with the disease. Awareness of Alzheimer’s disease has also increased over the years, though caring for people who have dementia remains difficult.

“Families today are typically smaller, more spread out and more dependent on wage earners working outside the home,” says MedStar internal medicine and geriatric physician Helen Norwood, MD, MedStar Medical Group. “This means there is an increasing necessity for resources for families who have an elderly family member experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which is the leading form of dementia.”

Dementia is a neurocognitive (mental processing) disorder affecting perception, memory, judgment or reasoning. Impairment areas include learning, memory, language, executive function, motor function and social cognition, and often become apparent when family members observe behavioral changes and incidences of poor judgment, says Dr. Norwood.

As your loved one ages, Norwood recommends families come up with care plans, and urges individuals to plan ahead to designate a power of attorney. This process should be done sooner rather than later, she says, when the elderly family member can still express their wishes and values.

When Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, patients and their families should seek out reputable and helpful organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association or a local Center for Aging to assist with information and resources, or finding social workers. Since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, having resources families can rely on for assistance and information is important.

Please visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Alzheimers to learn more about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.

If you need to find a doctor for an aging parent or relative, please visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/FindADoc to access our Find-A-Doc feature.

Director of Security Brings Workplace Violence Seminar to Hospital

This fall, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Director of Security, Christopher Wade, attended an informative program presented by the Maryland Hospital Association and the Maryland Nurses Association, which outlined positive steps associates can take to prevent hostile exchanges before they start, ways to identify and monitor potentially difficult situations and steps MedStar Southern Maryland can take to prevent workplace violence.

“We’re committed to keeping our staff safe,” says Wade.  “With early intervention, and employing techniques that de-escalate situations, we can prevent workplace violence.  We also rely on training and working together because it takes a collaborative effort.”

Wade urges associates to be proactive.  An example of this occurred when he saw a frazzled mother of a three-year-old waiting in the ED.  After asking her to have her son not run across the row of chairs, Wade went to the front desk for a coloring book and crayons for the little boy, giving them to his grateful mother, helping them both better endure waiting for service.

“I look at it this way: we have an opportunity to help,” said Wade.  “In healthcare, this job gives you the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way.’”

In 2018, Wade will be implementing additional ways for the hospital to create a safer environment, including installing panic buttons, additional cameras, a visitor management system in the main lobby and emergency call towers.  He says all MedStar Southern Maryland Security associates have participated in a verbal de-escalation training and he plans to present the information he learned at this forum at the next quarterly in-service day. Wade is a member of the MedStar Corporate Workplace Violence Committee, which is finalizing a MedStar Health system-wide plan to combat workplace violence. 

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center to Host Job Fair in December

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center will be hosting a job fair to recruit nurses, allied health professionals, and support staff. 

The job fair will be held in the hospital’s Multipurpose Room on the gorund floor on the following dates and times:

  • Dec.5, 2017, 4- 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 6, 2017, 1- 8 p.m.

Job fair attendees are asked to bring a resume, copies of applicable licenses and certificates and contact information for at least two professional references.  The job fair will offer on-the-spot interviews and conditional offers will be extended at this event.

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is asking nurses, allied health professionals, and support staff candidates to join our talented team of associates in our award-winning hospital. Recent awards include mention among the top hospitals in Maryland in the Best Hospitals edition of U.S. News & World Report, Gold Status in stroke care from the American Heart Association, Level 4 of 4 in care of elderly patients from the NICHE initiative and environmental steward recognition from Project Greenhealth.

A complete list of open positions can be found at MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Careers.  If interested candidates are unable to attend the Job Fair, they can apply online or call Human Resources department at 301-877-4567.

Contact

Cheryl Richardson, Director
Marketing & Community Relations
[email protected]
(301) 877-5556

MedStar Southern Maryland Joins MHVI & Cleveland Clinic Alliance

"MedStar Southern Maryland has evolved to become the ‘go-to’ cardiac and vascular center for the Southern Maryland peninsula."

Clinton, Md., Nov. 27, 2017 - MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) is proud to announce that it has joined the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute Alliance. Since 2013, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute and MedStar Heart &Vascular Institute (MHVI) have shared best practices related to patient care, outcomes measurement, quality reporting and clinical research. Physician teams from both organizations work together to accelerate improvements in heart care, research and to support even better patient outcomes. MedStar Southern Maryland now joins this collaborative exchange among leading heart care providers. Patients in southern Maryland will benefit from an exceptional and unmatched level of heart and vascular care. 

“Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, voted the best cardiovascular program in the country and arguably, one of the best programs in the world, has acknowledged the improvements in quality of cardiology care at MedStar Southern Maryland since MedStar Health took over the hospital, by allowing us to join this alliance,” said Mun K. Hong, MD, chairman of cardiology. “Physicians and the southern Maryland community can have confidence in our quality and can trust us with their cardiac care.”

“MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Alliance brought together outstanding regional and national heart programs to further strengthen each organization,” said Christine R. Wray, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center President. “We are very pleased to join this team and are proud of the innovative program we have developed here, which includes two full-time cardiac interventionalists, an on-site vascular surgeon, vascular access surgeon, two electrophysiologists, and a fully staffed cardiac catheterization laboratory. This process has been years in the making and we are very proud to have accomplished this goal.”

To become associated with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, a hospital must meet numerous national benchmarks and quality standards in cardiology, such as mortality and the median door-to-balloon time (the time between a heart attack patient’s hospital arrival to treatment with angioplasty to open a clogged artery). Members must commit to maintaining these standards, and Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, in turn, is committed to sharing its experience and expertise to further improve the quality of care and patient safety at these hospitals.

“This accomplishment is the result of a deliberate and focused journey by the MedStar Southern Maryland team working with MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute and Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute leadership to bring the portfolio of their cardiovascular services to the highest levels of quality and service. MedStar Southern Maryland has evolved to become the ‘go-to’ cardiac and vascular center for the Southern Maryland peninsula,” said Stuart F. Seides, MD, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s physician executive director.  

“Cardiovascular care is constantly advancing, and it’s important to be able to deliver these innovations to patients,” said Jeffrey Rich, MD, chairman of operations and strategy for Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute. “Adding MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center to this alliance will strengthen cardiovascular care in this region and provide patients with high-quality care.”


About MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute:

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a national leader in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons as one of the top cardiovascular programs in the nation. A network of 10 hospitals and 150 cardiovascular physicians throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, MedStar Heart also offers a clinical and research alliance with Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program. Together, they have forged a relationship of shared expertise to enhance quality, improve safety and increase access to advanced services. MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute was founded at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, home to the Nancy and Harold Zirkin Heart & Vascular Hospital. Opened in July 2016, the hospital ushered in a new era of coordinated, centralized specialty care for patients with even the most complex heart and vascular diagnoses.

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.