MedStar Union Memorial Seeks Community Feedback through Online Survey

BALTIMORE,  MD -- MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is seeking to learn more about the health needs of our community. We are inviting community members to participate in a survey to identify the needs of those who live near our hospital. 

Your input will help us learn more about health needs and the role we can play in helping everyone live a healthy life. We do not ask for your name or any information that may be used to identify you, so your privacy is totally protected.

The survey seeks to determine where community members seek out healthcare, whether they believe their physician understands their racial and cultural background, why they understand other community members avoid receiving healthcare, the biggest health issues and service needs facing their community, how they rate their community and asks for suggestions on ways to improve.

Please visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org/CommunityHealth to learn more and to take the survey. It can be completed in less than 15 minutes and will remain available until October 24, 2017.  A final report detailing survey results will be free and publicly available on MedStar Health’s website by June 30, 2018.

If you need help taking this survey, or if you have questions, please call Raquel Lamptey at 410-772-6910

Thank you for your valuable participation! Take the survey here.

 Haga clic aquí para acceder a la encuesta en español.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

Curtis National Hand Center Experts Perform Rare and Innovative Surgery on Triplet Girl

Baltimore, MD — On New Year’s Eve in 2016, Juan and Alma Mota swaddled their precious new deliveries in pink and counted 30 perfect toes and 29 perfect fingers. Of their beautiful triplet daughters, Julianna was born with a rare congenital anomaly known as radial longitudinal deficiency (RDL) or club hand, in which the radius bone of her forearm failed to develop normally. The result of this for Julianna was a shortened forearm, with her hand folded inward at the wrist and an under developed thumb.

The triplets’ birth came just ten days after surgeons at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore performed the first surgery of its kind in the U.S., for the treatment of RDL on a 7-year old boy. Dr. James Higgins, chief of the Curtis National Hand Center and Dr. Ryan Katz, attending hand surgeon, used a bone with growth plates taken from the child’s toe, to construct a full-length radius. In a single surgery, Drs. Katz and Higgins were able to lengthen the boy’s forearm, correct the posture of his hand, and promote the potential for future growth. This novel procedure garnered national and international attention.

The unique approach differs from traditional RDL surgical treatments, which focus primarily on improving the appearance of the hand, but do not address function or allow for growth. One classic method of treatment fuses the hand to the forearm in a straight position. This classic approach removes the ability to move the hand at the wrist and does not stand the test of time – often resulting in the hand curving inward again as the child grows. 

After finding national news coverage of the case online, the Mota family, determined to find the best treatment for Julianna, set out on 1600-mile journey from Ft. Morgan, Colorado to the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore.

Helping Julianna achieve optimum use and an aesthetic result was a three-part process that began in September. Doctors applied a distraction device to lengthen and straighten the curved forearm, and to create space in the joint for the anticipated transfer of her toe. With this device, the forearm was lengthened over a course of six weeks.

In October, the next and most complex procedure was performed to harvest Julianna’s second toe and transplant the bone into her forearm. Using high powered microscopes in the operating room, and sutures thinner than human hair, Drs. Katz and Higgins surgically reconnected the tiny vessels of the bone’s blood supply into the space created by the lengthening device, to construct a partial radius bone. Transplanting the bone with its own vascular system and growth plates ensures Julianna’s arm will grow, remain straight, and have motion.

This is a technically challenging surgery where two attending surgeons and their teams operate simultaneously:  One prepares the hand to receive the transfer, and one works at the foot to remove the toe, while carefully preserving the blood supply.

“Both aspects of the case are very challenging,” Dr. Katz said. “At the hand, the normal anatomy is not there, and you have to preserve the important structures and the blood flow to the hand, prepare the site for a boney inset, a tendon transfer and ultimately, revascularization of the toe. We have to get it alive again.

“At the toe, you have to raise everything you’re going to use. We prepared tendon, nerve, bone and skin. Ultimately, you have to protect the critically important artery and vein.”

Additionally, and most innovatively, Drs. Katz and Higgins “banked” a piece of bone which otherwise would be discarded, by vascularizing it into Julianne’s hand. “Here it will remain safe and alive in her own body, until her parents are ready to move forward with surgery to construct a functioning thumb,” said Dr. Katz. “By banking the bone, there is potential for future reconstructive thumb surgery. It would require a tendon transfer, but we’ve laid the foundation for a novel reconstruction option.’

In November, the Mota family returned to MedStar Union Memorial Hospital to remove the hardware scaffolding that kept her little arm immobilized an ensure proper healing. Now in a cast, Julianna’s hand is upright, her forearm is straight, and will grow as she grows. She recovered quickly from the foot surgery; is walking and running without difficulty – challenging her sisters to keep up.

For more information on the Curtis National Hand Center or the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, please visit medstarunionmemorial.org.

###

About The Curtis National Hand Center

Since 1975, people all over the world have placed their hands in ours – The Curtis National Hand Center. From repairing traumatic injuries to treating repetitive motion injuries, arthritic conditions and congenital differences, our goal is to restore the patient's use of the hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder to the greatest degree possible. Our long history of experience, outstanding medical staff, and state-of-the-art facilities combine to create a treatment center that is the first choice in caring for the hand or arm, no matter how common or complex.

Today, The Curtis National Hand Center is recognized as the largest, most experienced hand center in the nation. In fact, the hand center was designated by Congress as the National Center for the Treatment of the Hand and Upper Extremity.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the only hand center designated by Congress as The National Center for the Treatment of Hand and Upper Extremity; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the oldest hospital based Sports Medicine Program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement, CARF-accredited in inpatient rehabilitation and Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health Gives Infiltrative Cardiomyopathy Patients New Hope for Life

BALTIMORE—MedStar Health Heart and Vascular Institute has launched a program at MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Good Samaritan hospitals to diagnose, treat and research two life-threatening heart conditions that often go unrecognized, and is developing the program into a nationally-recognized center of excellence that has no peer in the region.

The two conditions – cardiac amyloidosis and cardiac sarcoidosis – are known as infiltrative cardiomyopathies, in which the heart collects deposits of abnormal substances. In cardiac amyloidosis, abnormal components of proteins called amyloid collect in the heart and cause it to become thick and stiff. In cardiac sarcoidosis, clusters of white blood cells called granulomas accumulate within the heart. Both can lead to heart failure, arrythmias, and even sudden death.

MedStar Health is launching the program as new advances in medical imaging, technology and treatments have made diagnosing and treating the conditions easier. Both conditions often go undiagnosed for too long, and MedStar Health heart experts intend to expand care to more patients and catch their diseases earlier.

“Cardiac amyloidosis and sarcoidosis have historically been diseases associated with a poor prognosis,” said Farooq Sheikh, MD, FACC, a heart failure expert who is leading MedStar Health’s infiltrative cardiomyopathy program. “With new medical advances, the chances for improved outcomes for patients with these diseases has never been brighter. Through the MedStar Health program, patients have access to top specialists, the latest technology and a full complement of treatments including clinical trials, LVAD therapy and cardiac transplantations.”

Dr. Sheikh will start seeing patients at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in January 2020. The program will also draw on the expertise of other nationally-recognized heart leaders including George Ruiz, MD, chief of cardiology at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, and Sandeep Jani, MD, the associate director of advanced heart failure and population health at MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute in the Baltimore region.

Once thought to be rare, heart and vascular experts are increasingly recognizing cardiac amyloidosis as a cause of heart failure. The hard, misfolded proteins involved – amyloid – are also implicated in brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Its symptoms – shortness of breath, fatigue and palpitations – can mimic other conditions. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug called Tafamidis to treat cardiac amyloidosis due to transthyretin (TTR) deposition. Two additional drugs, called patisiran and inotersen, have been approved to treat hereditary amyloidosis complicated by polyneuropathy. These drug developments have given experts new tools against forms of the disease. Several clinical trials are upcoming.

Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease that can affect multiple organs, including the heart. Recently, experts have recognized that the way sarcoidosis affects the heart is an underrecognized cause of heart failure. The disease’s heart involvement is “silent” in almost all cases, leading to underdiagnosis. Newer treatment options include non-steroid immunosuppressive therapies and implantable cardiac defibrillators.

#

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

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

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health to Stream Interactive Cancer Webcast on Facebook and YouTube

BALTIMORE—Cancer experts from the MedStar Health Cancer Network will discuss cancer prevention, detection and treatment options during a free interactive forum that will stream live from the MedStar Bel Air Medical Campus to Facebook and YouTube, Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Understanding Cancer: The Facts You Need to Know, features WMAR ABC News anchor Jamie Costello as the event’s host and moderator. Read more.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health Opens New Vein Center in Baltimore

MedStar Health has opened a new Vein Center in Baltimore that will be led by vascular surgeon Margaret Arnold, MD, FACS, who will bring a strong clinical background in the treatment of vascular and venous diseases and will focus her practice on treating varicose veins. Read more.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

Partnership with Violence Reduction Program Expands to Two More Hospitals

 

BALTIMORE—MedStar Health’s partnership with the violence prevention program Safe Streets, that started at MedStar Harbor Hospital earlier this year, will expand to two other Baltimore hospitals with the help of a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.

MedStar Harbor positioned one part-time and one full-time associate, known as hospital responders, in its emergency department to work with both victims and perpetrators of violence. The evidence-based program aims to prevent violence before it occurs by employing street smart community members who have a lived experience with violence.

With the PNC Foundation funding, the Safe Streets program will launch at MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Good Samaritan hospitals later this month as part of the Woodbourne-McCabe site.

“Violence is a public health threat and at MedStar Health, we feel it is part of our mission to try and reduce it,” said Ryan Moran, director of community health for MedStar Health in Baltimore. “Our existing program at MedStar Harbor Hospital, launched earlier this year, is a key way for us to serve the community and we are glad to be able to help expand it at our other hospitals.”

The responder will deescalate and mediate disputes that could otherwise lead to violence and work to prevent retaliation. The responder will also serve as a positive role model and help connect victims and perpetrators with jobs, education and other resources to help them live better lives.

“PNC is committed to serving the people and communities where we live and work,” said Laura Gamble, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “The Violence Reduction Program is one of the ways we invest in communities to help families and individuals access the resources they need to become self-sufficient.”

 

#

 

About MedStar Health

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

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health Hospitals are First in Maryland to Offer Fentanyl Test Kits

BALTIMORE—MedStar Health’s three Baltimore City hospitals are the first hospitals in the state to offer patients in the Emergency Department free test kits to detect the presence of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid fueling an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses. Read more.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
Phone: 443-613-1569 
[email protected]

Curtis National Hand Center Experts Urge Fireworks Safety

BALTIMORE - Before celebrations even begin this Fourth of July, hand experts from the Curtis National Hand Center will begin treating traumatic hand and finger injuries from fireworks in the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital emergency department. It tis the season.

Legal and illegal explosives often cause traumatic injuries so great, there’s not enough bone or tissue left of a finger or hand to repair. Injuries including amputations and permanent damage to nerves and tendons. Each Fourth of July season, hand surgeons from the Curtis National Hand Center receive patients from all over the region and are tasked with complex reconstructive surgeries to cover open wounds, reattach fingers and hands, and reestablish a functioning limb. One of their signature surgeries: creating a thumb from a toe to recreate an opposing digit -critical for function.

Young child holding a sparkler in one hand and american flag in the other.“Just imagine trying to hold a glass, a pen, a baseball bat or handle bars without a thumb,” proposed Ryan Zimmerman, MD, attending hand surgeon at The Curtis National Hand Center. “Repairing these types of injuries requires innovation and expertise. While we all want to be festive and enjoy fireworks each Fourth of July, these devices should be left to the experts. Mistakes that happen with explosives have a lasting impact.”

Eight people, including a four-year-old, died in 2017 due to recreational fireworks injuries, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fireworks were involved in an estimated 12,900 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments that year, according to the CPSC. The hands and fingers were the body parts most often injured.

There is no such thing as completely safe fireworks. Even sparklers can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, as hot as a blowtorch.

The Curtis National Hand Center experts offer these important safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children can suffer injuries from sparklers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

 

###

 About The Curtis National Hand Center

Since 1975, people all over the world have placed their hands in ours – The Curtis National Hand Center. From repairing traumatic injuries to treating repetitive motion injuries, arthritic conditions and congenital differences, our goal is to restore the patient's use of the hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder to the greatest degree possible. Our long history of experience, outstanding medical staff, and state-of-the-art facilities combine to create a treatment center that is the first choice in caring for the hand or arm, no matter how common or complex.

Today, The Curtis National Hand Center is recognized as the largest, most experienced hand center in the nation. In fact, the hand center was designated by Congress as the National Center for the Treatment of the Hand and Upper Extremity.

Call 877-UMH-HAND for a physician referral.

 

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the nation, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979). In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
Phone: 443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health Cancer Network Hosts Cancer Survivors’ Luncheon

Annual Event Honors Survivors, Loved Ones and Highlights Ongoing Challenges

About 600 cancer survivors, their caregivers and their loved ones will gather June 2 for the 5th annual Cancer Survivors' Luncheon, an event hosted by the MedStar Health Cancer Network that highlights the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face and honors their journey in treatment. Read more.

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Health Partners with Baltimore Organizations and Stoop Storytelling

BALTIMORE— With nine other Baltimore organizations, MedStar Health has partnered to bring mental health Out of Stigma’s Shadow, during a free public forum May 21st at 7 p.m., at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Seven people will openly share their mental health stories, and a panel of experts will offer helpful information during this unique opportunity to educate, raise awareness and reduce the barriers to seeking treatment of mental illness and substance use disorders. Read more.

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]