MedStar Health Partners with Baltimore Organizations and Stoop Storytelling Tonight

microphone and empty stool with spotlight onBALTIMORE, MD — MedStar Health and nine Baltimore organizations are partnering with the Stoop Storytelling series to present Of Substance, a free virtual forum where seven candid people will share their stories of thrill, peril, regret and their complicated relationships with drugs and alcohol. The event includes a special musical performance by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, an American Idol Top 10 Finalist, and will stream live tonight at 7 p.m. on each partner Facebook page, or here.

The Stoop Storytelling series is a Baltimore-based live show and podcast that features people who share their true, personal journey. Partnering with MedStar Health are Jewish Community Services, Behavioral Health System Baltimore, Catholic Charities, Baltimore Jewish Council, Maryland Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, NAMI Metro Baltimore, Creative Alliance, Goucher College and Baltimore Magazine, to bring awareness to the impact Of Substance use, drive education, prevention and treatment.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has identified September as Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders. Of Substance offers inspiring firsthand accounts of recovery that demonstrate the effectiveness of treatment and may mitigate stigma and misconceptions that potentially discourage others from seeking help.

"Jewish Community Services is committed to raising awareness about the potential risks of using drugs and alcohol," said Joan Grayson Cohen, Esq., LCSW-C, executive director for Jewish Community Services. "Through our work in schools and in the community, we know that young adults can be particularly vulnerable to some of the unintended, potentially life-changing social, emotional and physical consequences. JCS is proud to partner in this important evening of sharing and thoughtful conversation.”

“MedStar Health knows the impact substance use in our communities, and the first step that leads to solutions is to eradicate stigma that will provide education and courage to receive treatment,” said Ryan Moran, director of Community Health for MedStar Health. “This event offers the chance to do that through the power of sharing lived experiences with substance use. Our organization is proud to partner with some of the most important organizations in the Baltimore region to bring this forum to the communities we serve.”

For information, visit – bit.do/stoop-ofsubstance.

Media Contact

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

 

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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]

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 Electrophysiologist Paves Way for Safer Pacemaker Implants

New Algorithm May Aid in Adoption of Better Heart Pacing Method

BALTIMORE—(February 15, 2019)—An algorithm created by cardiac electrophysiologist Aditya Saini, MD, of MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, may pave the way for a superior method of installing pacemakers to become more widely adopted around the world.

In an article published in the medical journal Circulation- Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology released last week, Dr. Saini proposes an algorithm that solves a practical barrier to the adoption of a method of pacemaker installation, known as His bundle pacing (HBP). His bundle pacing takes advantage of the natural conduction fibers to pace the heart, allowing a coordinated and perfectly timed contraction of the heart, as opposed to traditional pacing, which simply paces from one spot in the heart, leading to an uncoordinated contraction. This electrically coordinated- or synchronized- contraction makes all the difference when it comes to mechanical properties of the heart pump.

Recent studies have found HBP to be a safe, feasible and superior pacing technique, reducing the combined endpoint of death, hospitalizations for heart failure or need for future pacemaker upgrades when compared to traditional cardiac pacing.

However, HBP increases the complexity of routine patient follow-up, adding time and effort and disrupting busy clinics because lengthy device interrogations are needed while correlating them with simultaneously recorded electrocardiograms (ECGs). Moreover, no existing device algorithms specific to HBP can accurately diagnose device malfunction or guide adjustment of pacemaker settings, making remote monitoring of patients challenging.

The algorithm, which was developed as part of a multicenter effort and in collaboration with Medtronic, which manufactures His Bundle Pacemakers, can be incorporated into the devices. It can also be used immediately in clinics, allowing doctors to ensure the devices are performing properly –even without an EKG. When the algorithm is incorporated into the devices, doctors can monitor patients remotely and accurately diagnose and treat potential pacemaker problems. The application of the algorithm may help make patient follow-up safe and efficient, removing a principal obstacle to widespread adoption of HBP.

“As His Bundle Pacing becomes prime time, there were certain challenges, including the time-consuming and cumbersome nature of the follow up,” said Dr. Saini, who is the first author on the Circulation article. “Those challenges definitely acted as a barrier for His Bundle Pacing to become widely adopted. This study is the first novel step toward an algorithm that can resolve those issues.”

Pacemakers control slow heart rhythms by generating electric currents. The traditional device is implanted in the chest and sends current through wires embedded in the upper and lower chambers of the heart. With a His Bundle pacemaker, one of the wires that would normally be implanted in the right ventricle (lower chamber) of the heart is implanted into the bundle of His, a collection of cells which are part of the normal electrical wiring of the heart.

With a traditional pacemaker, the constant electrical current can cause the heart to wear out, resulting in heart failure and also increase risk of development of atrial fibrillation. His Bundle Pacing, by comparison, results in a more natural method of restoring regular heart rhythm by essentially ‘rewiring the heart’ .

“The electrical activation is natural, and in the ideal case can look exactly like it would without a pacemaker,” Dr. Saini said. “It should not give you heart failure that can develop with a traditional pacemaker, and is also a superior pacemaker if you already have heart failure.”

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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.

MedStar Health to Host Innovative Approaches To Heart Care Webcast

BALTIMORE—(June 26, 2018)—MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute will host the Innovative Approaches To Heart Care webcast on Wednesday, June 27 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hosted by WBAL TV 11 News’ Megan Pringle, the forum will be broadcast on Facebook Live and feature top cardiovascular doctors and surgeons.

Viewers and audience members will hear from Drs. John Wang, Nauman Siddiqi and Antony Kaliyadan about cardiac catheterization performed through the wrist, or transradially, and why it is safer and more comfortable than traditional catheterization performed by accessing arteries through the groin. The audience will hear from a patient who had both a traditional cardiac catheterization and a transradial cardiac catheterization, who is in a unique position to compare the two approaches.

In the second part of the webcast, beginning at 7:35 p.m., Drs. Michael Fiocco and John Wang will discuss structural issues of the heart, focusing on conditions such as valve disease and aortic stenosis.

The event will be streamed from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s transradial recovery lounge, a comfortable waiting area with snacks and entertainment for patients who have undergone a transradial cardiac catheterization. The lounge opened in September 2017. The webcast will offer viewers the chance to see the lounge, which looks more like a hotel lobby rather than a hospital recovery area.

Nearly 90 percent of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s cardiac catheterization procedures are done transradially, a rate that leads the Mid-Atlantic region and is more than twice as high as the national average. The transradial approach to cardiac catheterization was first performed at MedStar Union Memorial in 2010 when Dr. John Wang became the first physician in the state to widely adopt this advanced technique.

To participate in the webcast, viewers can log on to MedStarHeart.org/Webcast to watch streaming video and chat live with the experts. Participants also can follow the event on Facebook and on Twitter, by using the hashtag #AskMedStar.

Meet the panelists:

John Wang, MD, MSc, FACC, FSCAI: Dr. Wang is chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He specializes in complex angioplasty, chronic total occlusions, and trans-radial cardiac catheterizations. Dr. Wang is board-certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine. Widely published in his field, Dr. Wang has been principal investigator or sub-investigator on more than 20 studies.

Nauman Siddiqi, MD, FSCAI, FACC: Dr. Siddiqi is an interventional cardiologist who holds two board certifications in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. He is fellowship trained in interventional cardiology and cardiology and holds a masters degree in epidemiology. His professional interests include aortic and mitral valvuloplasty; transcatheter aortic valve replacement; the WATCHMAN device implantation, transradial cardiac catheterization; percutaneous coronary intervention, inclusive of pericardiocentesis; atrial septal defect; and patent foramen ovale closure, myocardial biopsy, and rotational atherectomy.

Antony Kaliyadan, MD: Dr. Kaliyadan is a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist who holds certifications in cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and vascular imaging. Dr. Kaliyadan's interests and expertise includes complex coronary interventions, atherectomy, coronary imaging, and circulatory support devices. He also has a special interest in peripheral interventions and structural heart procedures including TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), PFO (patent foramen ovale) closure, ASD (atrial septal defect) closure, mitral valvuloplasty, etc.

Michael Fiocco, MD: Dr. Fiocco is chief of cardiovascular surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He is board certified in cardiac, general and thoracic surgery. Dr. Fiocco specializes in providing care for people with artery disease, valvular disease, and aortic aneurysm. His heart care expertise has earned him recognition by Baltimore magazine as a Top Doctor in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017. Dr. Fiocco and his team specialize in beating heart surgery, which allows surgeons to operate without temporarily stopping the heart during surgery. This type of surgery helps reduce complications that can occur when the heart is stopped.

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
410-274-1260
[email protected]


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

MedStar Health’s Baltimore Hospitals to Offer Free Narcan Training

BALTIMORE—(June 6, 2018)—MedStar Health’s three Baltimore City hospitals will offer free trainings in August to teach community members, employees and others who want to learn how to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, known as Narcan.

The free trainings, offered in partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, will be held in August on the campuses of MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor, and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals. Attendees learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, as well as deploy the life-saving treatment during such an emergent event.

Overdose deaths related to heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids reached a record high in the first nine months of 2017, according to the latest available state data. In Baltimore, 523 people overdosed between January and September, 80 more than the year before.

MedStar Health’s hospitals are committed to fighting the opioid epidemic. The free trainings follow a successful effort to screen patients for substance abuse in the emergency rooms and primary care clinics of MedStar Health’s four Baltimore area hospitals – MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospital. If patients are determined to be at risk for substance abuse, they are referred to a peer recovery coach and connected with resources to help them. The program, called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment program or SBIRT, has helped connect more than 3,600 patients to substance abuse treatment.

“Baltimore City is clearly the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and we feel a responsibility as a community organization to join with the city health department to prepare people to recognize an overdose event and use the medication to reverse it appropriately,” said Ryan B. Moran, the director of community health for MedStar Health’s three city hospitals. “We’re all in this fight together. We all need to do what we can to change the trajectory of this crisis.”

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
410-274-1260
[email protected]


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

Thousands of Patients Referred to Substance Use Treatment at MedStar Hospitals

BALTIMORE, Md.—(March 5, 2018)—In the 18 months following MedStar Health’s launch of the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment program known as SBIRT,  more than 3,500 patients struggling with substance abuse have been referred to treatment.

The nationally recognized, evidence-based program rolled out in August 2016 in each of MedStar Health’s four Baltimore hospitals: MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospitals.

As the nation struggles with the opioid epidemic and a spike in fentanyl-related overdoses, emergency departments are often on the front line in treating patients with addiction. These patients often return to the emergency department again and again, and without an interventional program like SBIRT, could see their addiction and overall health worsen.

Under the program, which is conducted in partnership with Mosaic Group, a Maryland healthcare consulting firm, all patients in the emergency department are screened for risky substance abuse behaviors. If the screening indicates a moderate or high risk, a peer recovery coach uses motivational interviewing techniques in an attempt to promote the patient’s own desire to change. The peer recovery coach then offers additional evaluation and referral services for high-risk patients.

Troy Robinson, a peer recovery coach at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, struggled with alcohol abuse and has had family members who have had substance use issues. The peer recovery coaches in the program must have been sober for at least three years and in a support program themselves.

Robinson said her personal experience has made it easier to relate to the patients and offer them the right support.

“It’s more than just ‘let me get you into a peer recovery place,’” Robinson said. “We go over plans, I meet with them. ‘Let’s help you become a better you.’ I really love what I do and it’s helping me grow as a person as well.”

Given its success in the Baltimore MedStar hospitals, the SBIRT program has expanded to other MedStar hospital emergency departments and primary care clinics across the MedStar system. 

The SBIRT program at MedStar is largely funded through grants awarded by Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore.

From August 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017:

SBIRT: MedStar (Adult patients 18+)

Number of SBIRT screens –243,141

Number of positive screens – 31,308

Number of brief interventions – 12,221

Number of referrals to treatment – 3,688

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
410-274-1260
[email protected]


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

New MedStar Health Program Helps Patients Navigate Community Services

BALTIMORE, Md.—(March 5, 2018)— A program launched by MedStar Health last year has connected some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents to hospital-based community health advocates (CHAs) who ensure they receive not only routine primary health care, but vital community services.

The program piloted at MedStar Health’s four Baltimore-area hospitals in July: MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and MedStar Harbor Hospital. There are now 15 full-time community health advocates employed throughout the region, credited with helping hundreds of Baltimore residents find support and resources.

“Social determinants have a significant impact on health outcomes. The new front-line community health advocates for MedStar Health help address this for non-medical challenges which interfere with their overall health,” said Diana Quinn, regional director of community health for MedStar Health. “These associates are members of our communities. They live in the neighborhoods and are well suited to link at-risk patients to those that can help resolve the social need. They serve as the eyes and ears of the hospital and provide ongoing support for social unmet needs, once a patient is discharged.  During home visits, the CHAs make the care teams aware of the persistent and numerous social barriers that our patients face that interfere with their health or getting the care they need.”

“Integrated within each hospital’s care and case management teams, CHAs participate in patient huddles and post-discharge care planning.  The CHAs are seen as a critical part of providing comprehensive patient care, and treating the whole person as part of care delivery. Our community health advocates have been instrumental in making connections to community-based resources to assist with patients’ social needs such as housing, food access, and utility assistance. They also serve as a critical part of supporting patients’ utilization of appropriate health care services,” said Dr. Dawnavan Davis, assistant vice president of community health for MedStar Health. “Their contribution has been and will continue to be significant in addressing the social determinants of health for our patients.”

MedStar Health community health advocates have helped patients who have been threatened with turn-off notices keep their power on. They’ve helped patients receive para-mobility services and aid to retrofit homes with wheelchair ramps and grab bars to increase mobility and independence.

Patients are also connected with a primary care physician if they don’t have one and given information on how to reduce the costs of their prescriptions. In some cases, community health advocates have helped patients sign up for food stamps and connected primary caregiver family members with financial resources.

The Community Health Advocate Program is part of MedStar Health’s commitment to serve the needs of the community in a holistic way. The program is intended to keep patients out of the revolving door of hospital readmissions for chronic conditions and help them navigate a complex web of social services. Community health advocates are hired from the areas they serve, further boosting the connections between community and hospital.

Sherri Harper, a community health advocate at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, called the work a “dream job.” In one case, she was able to help a patient in her eighties have a StairGlide installed in her home and helped the patient obtain a grant toward her energy bills so her service would not be shut off.

“It’s hard for individuals to obtain information on their own because a lot of people are not computer literate,” Harper said. “I can do that for them and make sure we’re getting the right information and they’re being helped the way they need to be helped.”

Rebecca McGougan, a community health advocate at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, describes her job as “missionary work.” She said she had experience in advocating while caring for chronically sick family members. “I’m going to knock every door down until they get the help they need,” she said. “When people come in the hospital it’s not just about their health, it’s about the disparities they’re going through and they don’t know where to look for resources.”

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.

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]

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Transforms Patient Experience

BALTIMORE—(October 9, 2017) — In the newly opened radial lounge at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, John Lurz is sitting comfortably in a chair with his wife, eating a sandwich and fresh fruit, holding a book in his lap. Wearing khakis and a button down shirt, a small wrist band is the only hint that an hour earlier, John underwent a procedure that opened a potentially lethal coronary blockage.

The scene underscores MedStar Union Memorial’s leadership in interventional cardiology, and its progressive shift toward safer and more comfortable cardiac catheterizations. To be specific, accessing the coronary arteries through the wrist, known as the transradial approach, rather than the traditional access through the femoral artery in the groin, virtually eliminates the risk of major bleeding.

This transradial approach to cardiac catheterization was first performed at MedStar Union Memorial in 2010 when the chief of it’s catheterization lab, Dr. John Wang, became the first physician in the state to widely adopt this advanced technique. Since then, nearly 90-percent of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization procedures are done transradially, a rate that leads the Mid-Atlantic region and is more than twice as high as the national average.

The radial lounge is a stark contrast to what currently exists in traditional cardiac catheterization recovery units, where patients must lie flat for up to six hours.  In addition, walking or sitting up to eat, are prohibited because of the risks associated with the standard approach to catheterization procedures. 

“I think the radial lounge will change the way patients see their care,” said Dr. Wang. “We can do the most complex procedures radially, and the patients can be in a comfortable and relaxing space, with their family or friends, and have an infinitely better experience with peace of mind knowing our outcomes are stellar.”

An angiogram performed in the Medstar Union Memorial cath lab revealed a blockage in the main blood vessel that feeds the front of John Lurz’s heart. The critical blockage is known as the ‘widowmaker’- so named because of its predictive implications. Dr. Wang inserted a tiny catheter through John’s wrist, to access the blockage, and placed a mesh stent to clear the blockage.

“An hour later,” said Lurz, “my wife helped me get dressed and we were able to pick something to eat from right there in the lounge. Being in the lounge was very positive. My wife and I sat in front of a coffee table with comfortable chairs and the food was delicious. I didn’t feel like I was a patient.  Being in the lounge really de-stressed the entire experience for me.”

For more information about the transradial lounge at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, go to: MedStarUnionMemorial.org/RadialLounge

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 Heart and Vascular Institute, 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
410-274-2496
[email protected]

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