Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

Over the years, a lot of people have asked me to share more about my life outside of MedStar so let me tell you about last weekend...

I had the great pleasure of celebrating my parents' 65th wedding anniversary!  Isn't that unbelievable!!  My parents met when my Mom was only 14 years old and married several years later when my Dad returned from the Korean war.  It was wonderful to be with them and their friends to honor this milestone, hear stories about how they met and get to know their friends better.

Being there with them, I recognize they are the reason for much of my professional achievements - from my Dad, who was a self-employed electrician, I learned the importance of hard work, getting 'the job done', the power of empowering others and the paramount importance of 'customer service'.  My Mom had several jobs over the years as a book-keeper or salesperson and taught me about the value of interpersonal skills, persistence, and confidence.  Thank you Mom and Dad for all you have given me and Happy Anniversary! 

Below are some pictures from when they met, their wedding picture and a few pictures from this weekend.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

First in the State: Replacing Mitral Valve Via Tendyne Transcatheter

As a cardiologist, it’s always nice to celebrate February as heart month! It’s even more exciting to share that doctors at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital were the first in the state of Maryland to replace a mitral valve via tendyne transcatheter.

Drs. Brian Bethea, John Wang, Nauman Siddiqi and Antony Kaliyadan of the MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute (MHVI) successfully implanted the state’s first Tendyne transcather mitral valve replacement system in late 2019, as part of a national clinical trial testing the safety and efficacy of the implant as an option to open-heart surgery.

The mitral valve replacement is used in patients with mitral regurgitation, which can cause severe fatigue, shortness of breath and lightheadedness. This trial is assessing the safety and efficacy of this implant for patients who are not able to undergo open-heart surgery.

You can read the release here. Congratulations to the team and I look forward to hearing the results of this study.
You can see a video simulation
of the device as part of the press release.

This is just one of many heart-related studies that happen across MedStar Health. Perhaps this Heart Month, you can take some time to view the archives of FOCUS to see what other great work is happening here!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

MedStar Research and Cerner Partner to Create a Learning Health Network

It’s always exciting when something is the first. First publication, first award, first day of school. It’s particularly exciting when your entire organization is the first to do something!

This week, MedStar Health announced that we are the first healthcare system to join the brand new Cerner Learning Health Network. The Cerner Learning Health Network is an innovative, collaborative, platform that will be able to connect healthcare systems and research opportunities.

As part of the platform, it will provide investigators at MedStar an opportunity to participate in large clinical research studies, as we will be able to connect with other systems to expand the patient population. We will also be able to bring our research ideas and proposals to the network!

This collaboration is a great element of our academic health system and allows us to continue our work in moving research from bench to bedside to community. While we are the first network to join, Cerner hopes to add up to 40 more systems this year. As a founding member, MedStar will be part of the governance committee overseeing network activities and ensuring appropriate and credible studies are selected.

As technology advances and new tools are available, we at MedStar Health will be able to access them to support our research, keeping us at the forefront of research. 

Read our press release here. Our press release has been covered by Becker’s Hospital Review, HIT Consultant, EHR Intelligence, and Health Data Management.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Power of Partnership

Below is my monthly message for the February 2020 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s Super Bowl Sunday - use your time to enjoy the game and enjoy those you are watching it with!

But first, just take a minute to mark your calendars for the 2020 MedStar Health—Georgetown University Research Symposium on Monday, April 6, 2020, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

The agenda and ‘save the date’ are attached and you can see this all-day event showcases Advancing Health…through research, education and innovation across MedStar Health and Georgetown University. In fact, the Power of the Partnership between MedStar Health and Georgetown University will be showcased as Ken Samet, MedStar Health President and CEO, and Jack DeGioia, President of Georgetown University, kick off the main stage presentations in the late afternoon. Please plan on joining us and share the pride of advancing health across our academic health system.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday and don’t forget to Save The Date for the 2020 MedStar Health—Georgetown University Research Symposium on April 6, 2020!


Read Focus at

Monday, January 6, 2020

New Year, New Opportunities

Below is my monthly message for the January 2020 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year brings new opportunities. With that spirit in mind, for the first time in over 10 years of writing this monthly column, I have found myself unexpectantly with a ‘guest writer’. Read that sentence again. I unexpectedly have a guest writer? Let me explain…

With the start of each year we ask ourselves ‘where did the year go?’ and ‘what did we get done?’ With further reflection, we may even shift from ‘volume to value’ – we realize that it may not be the length of the list of accomplishments from the year but rather the importance of them that matters most. Therefore, I ask you the more important question: What are you proud of from this year?

For me, I am proud of my son. Throughout the years, you have heard about his first day of school and his little league adventures. Now he is a senior in high school and, within the last few weeks, we learned that he got into the college of his first choice through early decision. That is a lot to be proud of itself. However, around the same time as his acceptance news, he surprised me when he
wrote and published a written column about his time in his prior school. I encourage you to read it as my ‘guest writer’ for the month. It is thoughtful, moving, funny, and uses his own natural voice. I had no idea he was writing this until it was published and he had no idea of the impact it would have until he received almost a hundred emails/texts from other alumni or their family. In it, he writes: “From a young age, I was taught to stand up and stand out for who you are and who you want to be. This all-important lesson stemmed from the education I received...”.
You can read the full message here:

Just as I am proud at home in the accomplishments of loved ones, at work I similarly take the greatest pride in the accomplishments of those I have the honor to work with – whether a first scientific paper, a successful high-profile presentation, or a promotion to a leadership position within MHRI. This is what matters most in life and this is what builds a great organization that will continue to go on to make significant contributions.

This new year, as you make your new year’s resolutions for what you will do to better yourself, consider making a resolution of how you will aid those around you to become the best version of themselves. Together, we will all make a difference that advances health for generations to come.

Happy New Year and I can’t wait to see what we do together in 2020!


P.S. Mark your calendars now for Monday, April 6, 2020, for the 2020 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium! View the flyer here.

Read Focus at

Monday, December 23, 2019

Sharing the Joy from MHRI

Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager
Office of Research Development, Planning & Communications

Every year at our MHRI year-end parties, we’ve run a toy collection for the holidays. For the past few years, we’ve donated the bounty of gifts to Dr. Bear’s Closet at Children’s National Hospital, just around the corner from our researchers at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to those at MHRI who donated to our toy drive this year. I know there are lots of asks for support in the last few months of the calendar year and to know that our associates take the time to go out, pick out a toy or book, and share it with those who are in the hospital is a great feeling to take into the next year. This year we had over 60 toys to share.

This year, a special thanks to Karen Vaughan and Amy Avergas for extending our drive to the Greater Baltimore Chapter Oncology Nursing Society.

Thank you all for your support and have a happy holiday season.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Happy New Year's from MHRI

As we pause and reflect on the past year, we'd like to thank YOU for making us your trusted partner in achieving good health. We'd also like to thank our associates, medical staff, volunteers, and community partners at MedStar Health Research Institute for your commitment and service to our patients.

Here’s to another healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year!