MedStar Health Launches Program to Help Provide Healthy Food to Patients

Patients Can Receive Fresh Produce for Eight Weeks

BALTIMORE—(November 2, 2018)—Some MedStar Health patients may be discharged from the hospital with a prescription for healthy food – with a free home delivery of fresh produce for eight weeks.

Under a pilot program launched in October called Food is Medicine – Harvest RX, patients can be signed up by a community health advocate for a bi-weekly box of produce provided by Hungry Harvest. A typical box will contain fresh vegetables, fruits and grains, estimated to build four to eight meals. Patients can also be signed up for longer-term healthy food programs such as Meals on Wheels and the government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  Another partner, the American Heart Association, will train MedStar Health community health advocates on nutritional guidelines and eating healthy on a budget so that they may offer advice to patients.

The goal of the program is to help fill gaps in nutrition and food access that may impact the overall health of patients.

“We know that food plays a huge role in one’s overall ability to be healthy,” said Ryan B. Moran, the director of community health for MedStar Health’s three Baltimore City hospitals. “For instance, if the patient is a diabetic and goes home without the ability to eat well, they’re going to end up back in the hospital. The goal is not just signing people up for the eight-week program, it’s for our community health advocates to also work on long-term, sustainable solutions.”

The project was funded in part by a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation, which will support 350 patients to join the program at MedStar Harbor Hospital. Separate donations from two individuals will support a 50-patient program at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital.

The community around MedStar Harbor Hospital is known as a food opportunity zone.

“In our most recent community health needs assessment, food access came up as one of the top community needs,” Moran said. “That’s really driven by the South Baltimore area being a place where access to fresh produce and supermarkets is limited.”

MedStar Health began screening patients this fall for social determinants of health such as food security during emergency room or doctors visits, then connects the patients with community health advocates who can help them sign up for government, private and non-profit assistance programs. Patients who are identified as being in need of food assistance during the screening can be signed up for the Food is Medicine – Harvest RX program. MedStar Health is also exploring ways to track the effectiveness of the pilot program through a research study.

“PNC is committed to serving the people and communities where we live and work,” said Laura Gamble, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “Supporting the Food is Medicine – Harvest RX program is one of the ways we invest in communities to help families and individuals with the resources they need to become self-sufficient. Additionally, this is another great way to support our local businesses.”

“MedStar’s Harvest RX program lives at the crossroads of common sense and compassionate care,” said Stacy Carroll, director of sales and partnerships at Hungry Harvest. “By supplying their patients with the fresh fruits and veggies they need to achieve wellness and create a healthy eating routine, they are not only providing exceptional care to their patients, but helping local farmers better connect fresh food with people in need.  It’s a win for the patient, for our farmers, and for a healthier Baltimore.” 

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About MedStar Harbor Hospital

After more than a century of healing, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a mainstay in the community, serving patients from Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties at our convenient waterside location, with the services of a large, regional medical center in a smaller, more personal environment. With more than 350 affiliated physicians representing 30 medical and surgical specialties, and 1,200 associates, the hospital offers a full range of health care services for patients from infancy through the senior years. From general medicine and surgery, obstetrics, diabetes, pain management, arthritis, orthopaedics, and geriatrics to cardiology and urology, and now behavioral health, our team of caring physicians and associates serves the unique needs of every patient.

In 2016, MedStar Harbor Hospital was named a top hospital in Maryland and in the Baltimore metro area by U.S. News & World Report, receiving high performance ratings in specialty areas, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Gynecology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Heart Failure, Pulmonology, and Orthopaedics.

MedStar Health’s Baltimore Hospitals to Offer Free Narcan Training

Community Members Will Learn How to Administer the Overdose Reversal Drug

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.”

Free trainings, open to the public:

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
Hospital Address: 5601 Loch Raven Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21239

Conference Room / Building: Parker 4
Date: August 1, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Hospital Address: 201 E University Pkwy, Baltimore, MD 21218

Conference Room / Building: UM Conference Center
Date: August 5, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

MedStar Harbor Hospital
Hospital Address: 3001 S Hanover St, Baltimore, MD 21225

Conference Room / Building: Baum Auditorium
Date: August 13, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

To register, call 443-444-6300

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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
410-274-1260
[email protected]

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

MedStar Health Expands Use of Simulation Training to Teach Patient Care

Celebrates Launch of its Largest Innovative Sim Center Near MedStar Harbor Hospital

SimulationCenter

Shared from MedStar Institute for Innovation

BALTIMORE—(May 21, 2018)—MedStar Health will celebrate the expansion and renovation of the Baltimore Clinical Simulation Center, part of the MedStar Simulation Training & Education Lab (SiTEL), where MedStar associates receive critical hands-on training in caring for patients. Members of the media are invited to get a sneak peek of state-of-the-art technologies, and test their medical emergency response skills using virtual reality, with a media-only tour of the facility, May 24 at noon.

WHAT: Exclusive Media Tour and Virtual Reality Demo 
WHEN: Thursday, May 24 at 12:00 noon           
WHERE: Baltimore Clinical Simulation Center: 2990 S. Hanover Street, Baltimore 21225 (across from MedStar Harbor Hospital)

New MedStar Health Program Helps Patients Navigate Community Services

Community Health Advocates Work With the Most Vulnerable

 

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 healthcare, 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.”

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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
410-274-1260
[email protected]

Dozens of Trees to be Planted at MedStar Harbor Hospital to Begin Greening Project

A $1.345 Million Grant Will Help Build Bio-retention Ponds, Healing Garden

 

BALTIMORE—(November 14, 2017) — Nearly three dozen mature trees will be planted around the MedStar Harbor Hospital campus this week to kick off a plan to reduce storm water runoff, while growing green spaces for patients to enjoy.

The project is funded by a $1.34 million grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, issued through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, and pays for design assistance, watershed planning and programmatic development to protect and restore the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Planting trees and other plants will help absorb and filter the water, and slow down flooding.

MedStar Harbor Hospital also plans to install eight bio-retention ponds around the south Baltimore hospital campus, starting in March 2018, to reduce the amount of storm water that runs into the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. The project will be complete in June 2018.

A healing garden will also be built as part of the project, affording patients a peaceful recovery space. The fresh air and nature will improve the physical and mental health of patients and hospital associates.

“MedStar Health takes the health of the environment as seriously as it does the health of patients,” said Brian K. Gray, the Director of Clinical Engineering & Environment of Care at MedStar Harbor Hospital. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the cleaning of the Patapsco River and to install a garden for our patients to enjoy nature.”Members of the MedStar Harbor Green Team pose with a newly planted tree.

The trees being planted include 18 shade trees: Red Maple, Yellowwood, Thornless Honeylocust, Black Gum, and Pin Oak, and 16 ornamental trees: River Birch, Redbud, Fringetree, and Natchez Crape Myrtle. The trees are all four to six years old and weigh about 500 pounds.

The bio-retention ponds will help filter out storm water before it reaches the Patapsco River. Only native Maryland plants will be used in the storm water and greening projects.

Media Contact

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

MedStar Health to Hold Free Drive-Thru Flu Clinics This Weekend

MedStar Franklin Square Holds 11th Annual Event; First Time for MedStar Harbor Hospital

 

BALTIMORE—(November 1, 2017)Baltimoreans won’t need to leave their cars to get a flu shot this weekend.

At MedStar Harbor Hospital Saturday, attendees of the hospital’s first drive-thru flu clinic can get a free flu shot right through their vehicle window, just by driving up on the south parking lot of the campus: 3001 S. Hanover Street. Clinicians will be ready to administer the shots to anyone in the car aged six months and up, who don’t have a known allergy to the vaccine, at no charge.

And for their 11th year, more than 30 clinical staff members of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center will be in place Sunday at the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex campus, to give out free flu shots starting at 8 a.m. The clinic will continue until noon or when supplies run out. More than 1400 people were vaccinated during last year’s event.

Since 2007, MedStar Health has worked closely with county agencies to hold the clinic, including the Baltimore County Health and Human Services, Police, Fire and Public Works departments, and the Community College of Baltimore County, which allows the use of its Essex campus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of flu complications. The number of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the United States ranges from 3,000 to 49,000.

To protect against the flu, the CDC recommends annual vaccination for those six months and older, as well as those at higher risk of developing flu complications, including children under five; adults over 65; pregnant women; residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; those with weakened immune systems; and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.

 

MedStar Harbor Hospital

When:        Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. or when supplies run out

Where:      MedStar Harbor Hospital, 3001 South Hanover St., Baltimore, south parking lot

 

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

When:       Sunday, November 5, 2017, 8 a.m. until noon, or when supplies run out

Where:     Community College of Baltimore County, Essex campus, 7201 Rossville Blvd, Baltimore

 

 

About MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is a not-for-profit 378-bed community teaching hospital located in the White Marsh section of eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. MedStar Franklin Square provides many medical and healthcare services, including a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals. The hospital is ranked third in admissions among all Maryland hospitals and is first in Emergency Department visits with more than 108,000 visits annually. MedStar Franklin Square is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has earned some of the nation’s most prestigious quality awards including Magnet Designation for excellence in nursing, the Excellence Award for Quality Improvement from the Delmarva Foundation and inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital specialty ranking for four consecutive years. With more than 3,300 employees, MedStar Franklin Square is one of the largest employers in Baltimore County. Visit medstarfranklin.org for more information.

 

 

About MedStar Harbor Hospital

After more than a century of healing, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a mainstay in the community, serving patients from Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties at our convenient waterside location, with the services of a large, regional medical center in a smaller, more personal environment. With more than 350 affiliated physicians representing 30 medical and surgical specialties, and 1,200 associates, the hospital offers a full range of health care services for patients from infancy through the senior years. From general medicine and surgery, obstetrics, diabetes, pain management, arthritis, orthopaedics, and geriatrics to cardiology and urology, and now behavioral health, our team of caring physicians and associates serves the unique needs of every patient. In 2016, MedStar Harbor Hospital was named a top hospital in Maryland and in the Baltimore metro area by U.S. News & World Report, receiving high performance ratings in specialty areas, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Gynecology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Heart Failure, Pulmonology, and Orthopaedics. Visit medstarharbor.org from more information.

Media Contact

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

MedStar Health Names New President of MedStar Harbor Hospital

Dr. Stuart M. Levine Brings 19 Years of Clinical Expertise

Stuart M. Levine, MD, FACP
Stuart M. Levine, MD, FACP

BALTIMORE—(September 7, 2017)MedStar Health has named Stuart M. Levine, MD, FACP, president and chief medical officer of MedStar Harbor Hospital, where he’ll also serve as senior vice president of MedStar Health, effective today. Dr. Levine becomes the fourth president of the 157-bed waterfront hospital since it joined the MedStar Health network. He succeeds Dennis Pullin, FACHE, who resigned from the role after eight years to become the president and CEO of Virtua, a healthcare system in New Jersey.

Dr. Levine first joined MedStar Health in 2010 as a board certified rheumatologist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, and vice chairman of Strategic Growth and Research in the Department of Medicine at MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals. In this role, Dr. Levine was instrumental in the conception, development and implementation of several major initiatives including a health services research program, new inpatient medical service structure, and a readmissions reduction effort.

In 2014 he was appointed vice president of medical affairs at MedStar Harbor Hospital, and in 2016 assumed a dual role as vice president of medical affairs at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center as well.

“We are excited to support the growth of a strong internal, clinical leader who will provide consistent governance and leadership to our associates and clinicians at MedStar Harbor Hospital,” said M. Joy Drass, MD, executive vice president and chief operating officer for MedStar Health. “This appointment represents an investment in the future of MedStar Harbor with a continuation of our strategic, focused efforts around service optimization.”

Prior to joining MedStar Health, Dr. Levine served as a faculty member and assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also served as co-director of the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center and established a strong background in research. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including PLoS One, Arthritis & Rheumatism, Journal of Rheumatology, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, and the American Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Levine received his medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, with a fellowship in Rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association and American Association for Physician Leadership. Dr. Levine is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

About MedStar Harbor Hospital

After more than a century of healing, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a mainstay in the community, serving patients from Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties at our convenient waterside location, with the services of a large, regional medical center in a smaller, more personal environment. With more than 350 affiliated physicians representing 30 medical and surgical specialties, and 1,200 associates, the hospital offers a full range of health care services for patients from infancy through the senior years. From general medicine and surgery, obstetrics, diabetes, pain management, arthritis, orthopaedics, and geriatrics to cardiology and urology, and now behavioral health, our team of caring physicians and associates serves the unique needs of every patient.

In 2016, MedStar Harbor Hospital was named a top hospital in Maryland and in the Baltimore metro area by U.S. News & World Report, receiving high performance ratings in specialty areas, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Gynecology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Heart Failure, Pulmonology, and Orthopaedics.

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
410-274-1260
[email protected]

Winter Weather Safety and Policies

Winter Safety 

  • In the event of inclement weather, please use the following safety tips: 
  •  Make sure you wear warm jackets, hats, gloves, and shoes or boots with rubber soles for traction. 
  •  Take small steps to keep your center of balance. 
  •  Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets. 
  •  Use handrails where available. 
  •  Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on the area. 
  •  Walk in designated walkways as taking shortcuts over snow piles and areas still covered in snow and ice can be hazardous. 
  •  Walk slowly. 
  •  Keep a shovel, ice scraper and an extra set of clothes in your vehicle throughout the winter season. 

Inclement Weather Policy 

As part of a hospital team, we have a responsibility to provide safe, high-quality care and services to our patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of weather conditions. As part of our policy, all scheduled associates are expected to report to work. If you are not scheduled to work, but live nearby and would like to work, please be sure to contact the Nursing Supervisor at 410-350-7255. Please contact your leader to access the most recent Weather Emergency policy. 

Preparation 

In the event of unpleasant weather, please plan ahead to include transportation, child care, pet care, personal care items, a change of clothing, etc. Please note: extra scrubs will not be 

available. If you are considered essential personnel, be prepared to stay at the hospital, if necessary, to cover for those who are not able to make it in. Transportation to and from the hospital during severe weather is the responsibility of the associate. Please be sure to make arrangements before a storm to ensure you will arrive to work safely. 

Sleeping Arrangements 

In the event of unpleasant weather when the MedStar Harbor Hospital Weather Emergency Plan is implemented by the Administrator on Call (AOC), sleeping arrangements in the hospital may be offered on a first come, first served basis and are communicated ahead of time. You can also request sleeping arrangements in your department. Please be sure to consult with your supervisor. 

Grace Period 

A grace period is allowed when MedStar Harbor’s Weather Emergency Plan is implemented by the AOC. When the plan is in effect, associates arriving late for their shift due to the inclement weather conditions will be allowed a one-hour grace period from the start of their scheduled shift and will not be marked late. Associates arriving for work may use accrued PTO hours or personal day hours, with the leader's approval, for hours not worked. 

Associates will be paid for the hours they work but will not be paid for scheduled off-duty hours, even if they remain at the hospital. 

Communications 

During the event of a weather emergency, please be sure to check the Emergency Preparedness Communication Center on StarPort. Additionally, MedStar Harbor associates, and their loved ones, are advised to call the Emergency Communications Hotline, 410-350-2345, for important recorded updates. That number, as well as important information for each emergency preparedness code, can be found in the red trifolds located in every department.

Media Contact:

Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Whitney Clemmons Brown
Office: 443-777-7417
[email protected]

MedStar Health Cancer Network Leads the Baltimore Region in Colon Cancer Screenings

Aims to provide more life-saving colorectal cancer screenings to eligible Baltimore residents

Baltimore—(February 15, 2017)— The MedStar Health Cancer Network (MHCN) is spotlighting colon cancer awareness month by encouraging eligible residents to get a no cost colorectal screening through its ongoing partnership with the Maryland Colorectal Cancer Control Program at one of its three Baltimore city hospitals. Last year, MHCN performed more colonoscopies than any other program participant in the state, working to continue the descending mortality trend of the nation’s second deadliest cancer. 

With funding from the Cancer Prevention, Education, Screening, and Treatment Program (CPEST), Baltimore residents aged 50 and older who are uninsured, underinsured and have limited income, may qualify for a no cost colonoscopy and treatment, if needed. Screenings are available at MedStar Harbor, MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals.

A colonoscopy is an outpatient procedure that enables a physician to find and remove polyps from the colon, before they turn into cancer.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately nine out of every 10 people whose colorectal cancers are found early and treated appropriately are still alive five years later.

Early detection has made a significant impact on the increased survival rates of Americans, and though preventable, data shows colorectal cancer remains a leading cancer killer among men and women.

“We’ve known for some time now that early detection is the key factor to all cancer treatments and we cannot stress how crucial regular screenings are in detecting colon cancer, which largely affects both men and women,” said Michael Sickler, program manager of the Colon Cancer Screening Program at MedStar Health. “We are committed to getting our community the information they need and connecting them with resources that could save their lives.”

The screening program will partner with the Susie’s Cause Health Festival at Mondawmin Mall Saturday, March 4, 2017

To learn more about the program or to find out if you are eligible for a free screening click here or call 410-350-8216.

 

About the MedStar Health Cancer Network

Comprised of four MedStar Health hospitals, the MedStar Health Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, oncology nurses and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the greater Baltimore region. Our goal is to provide evidenced based quality, care with a focus on service and easy access.

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
Phone: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Whitney Clemmons Brown
Office: 443-777-7417
[email protected]

SBIRT Program off to Successful Start in Baltimore MedStar Hospitals

Project Drives Early Intervention and Treatment for Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Baltimore, MD—(November 11, 2016)—   MedStar Health was awarded the largest grant in its history by Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, to fund tools, training and resources for emergency room staff to screen for risky substance abuse behaviors, and motivate patients to enlist treatment.

Known as SBIRT, (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment), the nationally recognized, evidenced based program was implemented in each of MedStar’s four Baltimore hospitals: MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospitals, in partnership with Mosaic Group, a Maryland healthcare consulting firm and an expert in SBIRT for the state.

“Substance abuse is a significant public health issue nationally and in Baltimore,” said Dawnavan S. Davis, PhD, Assistant Vice President of Community Health for MedStar. “Over 300 people died in 2014 from drug and alcohol abuse in Baltimore City. It’s an epidemic that impacts everyone so we are excited by the early progress we are seeing in the SBIRT program. We know that many who come through our emergency rooms who are challenged by addiction, want desperately to change their lives. They just don’t know where to get the help.”

The program’s three-part process starts with a universal screening. All patients are assessed for risky substance abuse behavior using standardized tools. If the screening indicates a moderate or high risk, a brief intervention by a peer recovery coach ensues, utilizing motivational interviewing techniques focused on promoting an individual’s own desire to change. Finally, a peer recovery coach provides additional evaluation and referral services for patients deemed high risk.

 At least three peer recovery coaches are employed in each emergency room with a goal of increasing the number of patients referred to and admitted into programs for substance abuse treatment.

Since Oct. 1, more than 27,000 MedStar patients have been screened, with over 5,200 testing positive for SBIRT intervention.

“Efforts like this are critical to our behavioral health efforts to improve patient care,” said Dr. Elias Shaya, Regional Medical Director for Behavior Health MedStar North.

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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.

 

Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-1260
[email protected]