Sunday, June 28, 2020

Safe Babies and Safe Moms

I, along with everyone at MedStar Health, are proud to announce that we have launched the D.C. Safe Babies and Safe Moms Initiative, due to a generous donation from the  A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
Washington DC is a microcosm of the United States healthcare outcomes, including outcomes for mothers and their babies. For patients treated at in Washington DC the prevalence of stillborn deliveries and infant mortality overall is almost four times higher for African American mothers than white mothers.  
The DC. Safe Babies Safe Moms Initiative  is focused on proving holistic support for mothers and families, both during pregnancy and after the birth. The project is built on patient-centered, culturally competent care, including access to a comprehensive list of services. 
This work is a true team effort, with clinicians from MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, along with data infrastructure support and scientists from MHRI. Our goal is to improve health of babies and moms today while creating knowledge and methods to deliver care to help generations of babies to come. We are also proud to be working alongside several community organizations to support this incredibly important work.  This program will help us address health inequities which will make a difference in the District and beyond!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Welcome New Interns to MedStar Health

Guest Blogger:
Jamie Padmore, DM

VP Academic Affairs, MedStar Health
Sr. Associate Dean for Medical Education, Georgetown University Medical Center

For all of us in medical education, this is the most wonderful time of the year!  In the past week, we greeted our 300 new interns to MedStar Health.  And in the first time in my 30-year career history, it was done virtually on Zoom.  While COVID-19 has presented us with many challenges such as this, we have used these challenges to innovate and create new ways to connect, communicate, and educate.  For example, physicians and associates from around the system created a welcome video to express how excited we are to meet all of our new residents. It was so much fun to watch, and it was a great way to kick off orientation!

We also held our June GME Town Halls. You can watch the recording by accessing
During the town halls, Dr. Evans and I both had the opportunity to discuss MedStar’s position on diversity and inclusion, as well as actions we are taking within our academic community to begin to change racial injustice and health disparities.  I committed to three immediate next steps:

  1. We will provide space and schedule forums for us to have reconciliation conversations together.  These conversations will provide us with opportunities to share, learn, and grow together. 
  2. I am charging our academic leadership to create working groups composed of residents, fellows, and faculty to discuss, inform, and make recommendations to me on actions we should take within our academic community, and within MedStar Health, to make tangible changes to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. We will move swiftly to create diversity and inclusion strategies for recruitment and selection of residents and clinical faculty, as stipulated by the ACGME in 2019.  I will provide resources and structure for our program directors and clinical leaders to develop these recruitment and selection strategies that can be implemented as early as this fall. 
These three steps are just a beginning.  In order for us to create actionable and sustainable change, we must all work together to share, listen, contribute, and develop additional steps forward.  I will use this weekly update to provide information on next steps and opportunities for each of you to contribute and participate. 

Together we can make a difference.  OneMedStar, OneGME, OneTeam. 

Friday, June 19, 2020


Guest Blogger:
Carlessia A. Hussein, RN, BS, MS, Dr.PH
Member of MHRI Board of Directors

June 19 commemorates the day that slaves in Texas learned in 1865 that they were free.  This was two years after the actual signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, that freed the slaves.  Slave owners in the south and elsewhere around the nation kept this information about freedom from the slaves.  In many ways, institutional and structural racism prevents or limits full implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation to this VERY DAY.

It is important, that all Americans, immigrants and visitors learn the true story of slavery, its continuation and the Proclamation signed to end it. Knowledge is power, each of us must RELEARN the facts and act on the platforms on which we work, live and play to fully free the descendants of the slaves.  Our nation's destiny is dependent on our actions. 

The link below shares the story the ’Tulsa Riot’ in 1921, where White citizens burned and destroyed a prosperous Black town.  It is one of many examples where the Emancipation Proclamation is rejected and local Whites punished Blacks for their hard work.  For the NEW LEARNER  on this subject, there are many instances where Black communities were destroyed by Whites.   

Please join me in this re-education and share with others who want to learn.

Dr. Carlessia A. Hussein  -   June 19  -  ‘Juneteenth'


Thursday, June 18, 2020

MedStar Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery Inaugural Research Symposium

As we continue to adapt to living with physical distancing, our community is re-creating our academic platform.  This morning (at 6 am, thank you very much!) I had the pleasure of joining the faculty, staff, residents and students in the MedStar Department of Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery for their inaugural virtual Research Symposium.

Despite the early hour, this was a vibrant symposium.  After opening remarks by Dr. Ken Fan, the scientific director for the department, we went into resident and research fellow presentations.  I was so impressed with the quality and quantity of research studies, from surgical techniques to the use of tele-health.  In many ways, this department's research exemplifies many of the concepts I described in my keynote lecture on becoming a world-class academic health system -  one in which our research is well connected to the health and well-being of our community.

Congratulations to all the presenters and the entire department!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

In this unprecedented time, we come together to honor the men and women who have served this country. We thank you for your courage and your sacrifice. Have a safe Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

What week is this again?

Can you believe we're now in week 10 of our "new normal"? It feels like time is moving slow and fast at the same time - its a strange world for sure and so much different from anything any of us imagined.  While there are many challenges, there are a number of 'silver linings' that have come out of this pandemic and one is being able to catch up with teams from around MHRI at their weekly staff meetings.

Over the last few weeks I've visited each MHRI departmental staff meeting and couldn't be more proud. Our associates, managers and investigators are being creative in identifying innovative ways to continue the great work we do while staying safe and having a bit of fun. Thank you for your warm welcome into your staff meetings and the opportunity to hear from each of you.

I've also really enjoying having the chance to hear about the things you are doing to stay healthy and well. Some of you are creating great fitness habits such as walking, jogging and virtual exercise classes. Others are exploring healthy cooking recipes and keeping up with their gardening. It's been wonderful getting to know you (and sometimes your children and pets!) on our video sessions.  It was especially nice when people shared the 'fun things' they are now doing, like ballroom dancing! Again, thank you for such an inviting space and getting to know you better.

Please stay safe and continue to practice physical distancing while staying socially connected!

Office of Contracts and Grants Management Team meet with Dr. Weissman

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Georgetown-Howard-MedStar GHUCCTS Receives $24.3 Million CTSA from NIH

Congratulations to the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) for receiving a $24.3 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) from the NIH.  This renewal marks the third 5-year award for GHUCCTS, which has secured close to $90 million in research funding for its member institutions.

GHUCCTS' mission is to advance research and training with excellence, innovation, collaboration, and efficiency and it's great news to share that we will be able to do just that while engaging our communities in clinical research. 

Over the last 10 years, GHUCCTS has accomplished several goals including:
MHRI has been an integral part of GHUCCTS from the beginning, providing the largest clinical settings and providing leadership in several components. Congratulations to all of our GHUCCTS investigators and collaborators. Let us continue to improve the health and wellness of our surrounding communities as we advance research!