MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Wins 2019 Partner for Change Award From Practice Greenhealth

CLINTON, MD--For the third year in a row, Practice Greenhealth, the leading organization promoting sustainable health care, has recognized MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) for exceptional performance. This year, the hospital has won the Partner for Change Award.

According to Practice Greenhealth, facilities winning this particular award must have demonstrated that they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury, and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.

“We’re proud to have earned recognition once again from Practice Greenhealth,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray. “We take environmental stewardship seriously, and it is our hope this recognition shows to our community how much we care about our environmental impact as we continue to improve our processes.”

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About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 176-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, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org.

About Practice Greenhealth:

Practice Greenhealth is the leading nonprofit membership and network organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,100 members throughout the United States. Founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship within the health care community, Practice Greenhealth lends its expertise to organizations looking to create safer, sustainable workplaces as well as improve the health of their patients, staff, and communities.

For more information, visit practicegreenhealth.org.

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Media Contact

Cheryl Richardson
Director of Marketing
[email protected] 
Phone: 301-877-5556

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Premieres Halcyon™ Cancer Treatment, Becomes First Center with this New Technology in DC/Metro Area

CLINTON, MD—MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC)’s new cancer treatment center is one step closer toward its completion with the addition of a new cancer-fighting technology in the office of Radiation Oncologist Andrew Satinsky, MD

On March 20, Dr. Satinsky began using the new Halcyon™ machine to treat patients. The Halcyon™ is an image guidance system delivering radiation more easily, more efficiently and with greater comfort, without compromising on quality. This results in a treatment that is highly effective in far less time.

Dr. Satinsky treating a patient with the Halcyon™ machine.

“This treatment revolutionizes the quality, expediency, comfort and safety of patients treated with radiation in the state of Maryland,” said Andrew Satinsky, MD. “This is exciting for us because we’re the first center in the DC Metro area to have this, and it means we’re on the cutting edge of technology.”

This new technology involves a low energy X-ray that allows soft imaging of the patient to minimize radiation risks while delivering afterwards a powerful treatment capable of achieving the demands of each patient’s needs. Another advantage includes new software tools that allow clinical evaluations for quick decision making on the need for clinical changes to the treatment, through adaptive radiation therapy.

The first patient to be treated at MSMHC was U.S. Department of Behavioral Health Police Officer John Long, who is receiving this treatment five days per week for two months.

“The process was simpler than I thought,” said Long. “It takes just ten to twelve minutes and they have explained everything to me, really taken the time to explain the process.  I came here because my first impression was good and I haven’t been disappointed.”

Already, MSMHC has expanded its cancer treatment services to include a robust Cancer Committee, which meets throughout the year to discuss the latest innovations in cancer patient care.  It also has a weekly tumor board meeting where a team of physicians in different disciplines meet to confer on cases.  In addition, the hospital’s roster of cancer treatment physicians, which includes Andrew Satinsky, MD, and Breast Surgeon Ekaterina Tsiapali, MD, recently expanded to add Hematologist-Oncologist Eric Rubenstein, MD.

“The acquisition of the Halcyon™ machine is another step toward offering the most state-of-the-art medicine and creating the new cancer treatment center we are building at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center,” said MSMHC President Christine Wray.

This fall, MSMHC plans to open its cancer treatment center. This center will serve as a connector between all disciplines involved in cancer treatment, from the patient to radiation oncologists, nursing, social workers, surgeons, specialists and primary care doctors, allowing the team to tailor care to the individual patient’s needs while collaborating with all care providers, and taking an approach that involves cooperation between everyone involved in a patient’s treatment. The second advantage of this center will be to offer state-of-the-art care close to the residents of southern Maryland.

“The key is to let patients stay near home, in their community, not have to struggle to get to a reputable cancer center.  We know there are physical limitations associated with a cancer diagnosis and the ideal place to heal is at home under the careful watch of family, friends and community,” said Dr. Rubenstein.

For more information about cancer treatment at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, please visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/CancerTreatment.

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About MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center:

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 176 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, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org.

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Media Contact

Cheryl Richardson
301-877-5700

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.