Nationally Renowned Transplant Surgeon Matthew Cooper, MD to Lead United Network for Organ Sharing Board of Directors

Washington, DC – Matthew Cooper, M.D., FACS, Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital today begins his term as president of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Board of Directors. UNOS is the mission-driven nonprofit serving as the nation’s transplant system. Last year, the national transplant system set a record for the most lives saved by deceased organ donors.

“During the ongoing global health emergency, we are reminded again and again just how important organ donation and transplantation are to patients, families, and communities,” said Dr. Cooper, a professor of surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s academic partner, Georgetown University. “I am eager to work alongside the UNOS board, colleagues, physicians, policymakers and members of the community to improve and expand equitable access to this lifesaving care.”

Since 2004, Dr. Cooper has been closely involved with UNOS, serving as a representative on the Living Donor Committee, and later as Vice Chair and then Chair of that committee. In 2012, he began a 2-year period of elected service on the UNOS Board. He has served on the inaugural Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) subcommittee, the Policy Oversight Committee, the Membership and Professional Affairs Committee and as co-chair of the Ad-hoc Systems Performance Workgroup, among other roles.

“We are excited to have Dr. Cooper as the new president of the UNOS Board of Directors,” said UNOS CEO Brian Shepard. “His record of service to the transplant community, innovative work at the Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute, and ongoing advocacy for patients will help move UNOS and the donation and transplant community forward over the coming year.”

Dr. Cooper has devoted his career to advancing the field of organ transplant and to advocating for transplant patients and those in need of transplant. In addition to his service to UNOS, his leadership has included elected and volunteer positions with other leading transplant organizations, including the National Kidney Foundation(board member), Donate Life America (board member), The American Foundation for Donation and Transplant (president), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (councilor).

At MedStar Health, the Washington, DC region’s leading health care system, Dr. Cooper has led the kidney and pancreas transplant program at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute since 2012. He has guided the program to national prominence, developing it into what is now the leading kidney transplant program in the Washington, DC region. Under his leadership, the program is among the top 10 highest volume centers for kidney transplants and the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country; and is among the top three programs by volume for pancreas. In addition, Dr. Cooper provided critical testimony before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in support of H.R. 5534 regarding the “Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for the Kidney Transplant Patient’s Act” during the hearing on Legislation to Improve American’s Health Care Coverage and Outcomes. The legislation, which ensures life-long coverage for lifesaving immunosuppressants for transplant patients, became law in 2021.

Dr. Cooper received his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1994, where he also currently Professor of Surgery. He completed his general surgery training at the Medical College of Wisconsin, followed by a fellowship in multi-organ abdominal transplantation in 2002 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. After director positions at both Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland, he assumed his current role in Washington, DC in 2012.


Matthew Cooper, MD discusses his role as President of the Board of Directors at UNOS

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About MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, a systemwide program that is part of MedStar Health, the region’s largest health care system, is a multi-organ transplant program performing liver and kidney, pancreas, and small bowel transplant.  It is a leader within all these specialized groups, performs large numbers of living donor transplants, and operates the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country.    MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the base of operations for transplant surgery,  is a large, not-for-profit, tertiary-care teaching hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment. 

About United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the mission-driven nonprofit serving as the nation’s transplant system under contract with the federal government. We lead the network of transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to honoring the gifts of life entrusted to us and to making lifesaving transplants possible for patients in need. Working together, we leverage data and advances in science and technology to continuously strengthen the system, increase the number of organs recovered and the number of transplants performed, and ensure patients across the nation have equitable access to transplant.

Media Contact

Lisa Clough
Phone: 703-558-1287 | 571-400-1057
Email: [email protected]

Claire and Tom Joyce Make $5 Million Gift to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University to Advance New Medical/Surgical Pavilion
and Georgetown Scholars Program

WASHINGTON — MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University today announced a $5 million gift from Claire and Tom Joyce to support the construction of the new Medical/Surgical Pavilion at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Georgetown Scholars Program (GSP) Necessity Fund Endowment at Georgetown University.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous commitment from the Joyces to support the Medical/Surgical Pavilion at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Georgetown Scholars Program at Georgetown University,” said Kenneth A. Samet, president and CEO of MedStar Health. “Claire and Tom have always cared deeply about the community in which they live. Their support and philanthropic leadership will make a significant difference in the lives of our patients and first-generation Georgetown students.”

The Joyces’ gift supports MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s new Medical/Surgical Pavilion, which is currently the largest healthcare construction project in Washington, D.C., comprising 477,213 square feet that will feature 156 private patient rooms, a rooftop helipad with direct access to 31 state-of-the-art operating rooms, and 32 exam rooms in a modernized emergency department. The Medical/Surgical Pavilion supports MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s continued focus on providing both outstanding patient care and leading-edge advancements in medical technology, and will move the region’s healthcare capabilities an important step forward in support of the future healthcare needs of our region. The Pavilion is scheduled for completion in 2023.

The new pavilion will encompass three essential elements of a world-class academic medical center: excellent clinical care, a strong foundation in education, and leading- edge research. As a result, the Medical/Surgical Pavilion will foster growth and training in the specialty services for complex diseases that MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is uniquely qualified to deliver, including oncology, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, and transplant.

This is also a leadership gift in support of the Georgetown Scholars Program and specifically to the critical campaign to build out the GSP Necessity Fund Endowment. When fully funded, the endowment will provide a robust, permanent source of microgrants for undergraduates with the greatest financial need—enabling them to focus on academic achievement and the college experience.

Since its inception in 2004, the Georgetown Scholars Program has offered first- generation and low-income students resources and programming to support their success at Georgetown, including mentorship, professional development, and assistance with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, GSP serves as an on- campus community, connecting students with staff and peers dedicated to their success.

"Both the Medical/Surgical Pavilion at MedStar and our Georgetown Scholars Program are vital expressions of our University’s most deeply held values: to advance research and care that contributes to the common good, and to support every member of our community in their work of formation,” said Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “We are profoundly grateful to have Claire and Tom’s generous support for these programs, and their commitment to our entire University community."

Tom Joyce has served on the MedStar Health Board of Directors since 2018 and was CEO of Danaher Corporation before retiring in 2020. Claire has been a member of Georgetown University’s Board of Regents since 2017, and previously served as the founding Director of the GSP Alumni Mentor Program.

Together, they share the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Georgetown University vision of providing expertly delivered, compassionate care, combined with leading-edge innovation and scholarly achievement.


About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer, and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

About Georgetown University
Established in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States. Located in Washington DC, Doha, Qatar, and around the world, Georgetown University is a leading academic and research institution, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. For more information about Georgetown University, visit Georgetown.edu or connect with Georgetown on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

Media Contact

Lisa Clough
Phone: 703-558-1287 | 571-400-1057
Email: [email protected]

NKF Health Policy Director Becomes Living Donor During Donate Life Month;
Chooses MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to Give the Gift of Life

Miriam Godwin and Matthew Cooper, MD

WASHINGTON– While COVID-19 continues to dominant the United States healthcare system, nearly 100,000 Americans are still on a waitlist for a kidney transplant and each day 12 patients die waiting for a kidney. National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Health Policy Director Miriam Godwin knows these statistics all too well and made the altruistic decision to take action and help others by becoming a living donor during National Donate Life Month in April. Like all incredibly selfless living donors, Godwin made a conscious choice to help others, but please don’t call her a hero.

“It’s difficult to live with the knowledge that some of the most vulnerable people in our society such as the elderly, communities of color, and those with limited financial means are waiting for kidney transplants, especially when kidney patients have been at such exceptionally high risk from COVID-19,” said Miriam Godwin, NKF Health Policy Director and a kidney transplant living donor. “It’s my job to make kidney transplants more accessible, but the tools to create system-level change are limited and take time. No one should be denied the opportunity for kidney health because of the circumstances of their birth. I became a living donor because I knew I could help one person right now, so I did. It was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made.”

Health inequities in the U.S. are well-documented for Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander people, who are all at increased risk for developing kidney disease. Black or African American people comprise 13% of the U.S. population yet represent 35% of those on dialysis for kidney failure. Hispanic or Latino people are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic or non-Latino people to have kidney failure. Additional risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and family history.

“We consistently say the ability to save a life through living organ donation is within all of us, yet we’re uncertain if people hear our message. To have Miriam – someone who has supported the transplant community throughout her career with her work at NKF – choose to make this life saving gift is truly inspiring,” said Matthew Cooper, MD, Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute and a member of NKF Board of Directors. “As the region’s leading transplant program, we are honored that Miriam purposely chose MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute on her journey to provide this gift of life.

Approximately 785,000 Americans have irreversible kidney failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. About 555,000 of these patients receive dialysis to replace kidney function, 230,000 live with a transplant. Depending on where a patient lives, the average wait time for a kidney transplant can be upwards of three to seven years. Living donations were responsible for a total of 5,726 transplants in 2020. Living organ donation not only saves lives, but it saves money too. Each year, Medicare spends approximately $89,000 per dialysis patient and less than half, $35,000, for a transplant.

“Kidney disease is a public health crisis estimated to affect 37 million adults in the United States, yet 90% don’t even know they have it,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant recipient. “Miriam doesn’t want to be considered special and just wants living donation to be more commonplace, but what she did is incredibly special. The demand for kidney transplantation is so great that we are asking all adults in the U. S. to be more like Miriam and consider becoming a living donor.”

Miriam’s generous gift facilitated two transplants through a program called Paired Kidney Exchange. If a kidney patient and potential living donor don’t have compatible blood types, the donor may consider donating through this program and here’s how it works. If the recipient from one pair is compatible with the donor from the other pair, and vice versa– the transplant center may arrange for a "swap"–for two simultaneous transplants to take place. This allows two transplant candidates to receive organs and two donors to give organs although the original recipient/donor pairs were unable to do so with each other. This has been extended to allow chains of donors with multiple linked donor and recipient pairs, often facilitated by a good Samaritan donor, as Miriam did. These donations can take place within a single center or across the U.S., allowing these generous gifts to help many more patients in need.

Please consider becoming a living donor. To learn more about living organ donation, and kidney disease, go to MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute or www.kidney.org/livingdonation.


Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and approximately 90 percent don’t know they have it.  1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history. People of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. Blacks or African Americans are almost 4 times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment. MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer, and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership. The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute  is a top 10 highest volume transplant center in the nation for all organs (excluding thoracic); the regions’ only 5-tier liver transplant program for 1-year organ survival; is among the top 10 highest volume centers for kidney transplants and the second largest paired kidney exchange program (through the National Kidney Registry) in the country; is among the top 3 programs by volume for pancreas and pediatric liver transplants; and, is among the top 2 intestinal transplant programs by volume in the country.

About National Kidney Foundation Living Organ Donation Resources
THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free help line 855-NKF-CARES, peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a living organ donation. www.kidney.org/livingdonation.

About the National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.

Media Contacts

Lisa C. Clough
Phone: 571-400-1057
Email: [email protected]

Julie Kimbrough
Phone: 212-889-2210, ext. 136
Email: [email protected]

Karla Thomas
Phone: 212-889-2210, ext. 133
Email: [email protected]

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and DC Fire and EMS team up to save lives from stroke – leading cause of disability

Washington, DC – When Harun Addrey, age 70, reported for work as a parking area security guard at a DC grocery store the morning of February 5, 2021, he started experiencing facial paralysis and other stroke symptoms but did not recognize what was happening – and then it was almost too late. When he collapsed and good Samaritans came to his rescue by calling 911, the results of a partnership between MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and DC Fire and EMS saved his life.

“The EMS first responders immediately recognized that Mr. Addrey was experiencing a stroke and called our team to be on alert for his arrival,” said Dr. Andrew Stemer, Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center and Regional Director, Tele-stroke, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “Time is brain when someone is experiencing a stroke, so by the first responders having the education and training though our partnership, they recognized quickly that Mr. Addrey was experiencing a stroke, notified us, and we were ready when he arrived to administer the highest level stroke care to help ensure the best possible outcome,” added Stemer.

That level of care is what has earned MedStar Georgetown the Comprehensive Stroke Center designation by The Joint Commission, and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. MedStar Georgetown earned these recognitions by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at the evidence based highest level of care for a designated period of time. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most current evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, stroke patients also receive education on managing their health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions including stroke specific physical therapy.

While the effects of stroke have the potential to be devastating, life-long disability or death is no longer a given due to new procedures and treatments found at Comprehensive Stroke Centers, including urgent care; the latest technologies for diagnostics and treatment, including removing the clot causing the stroke; and cutting-edge clinical trials and advanced stroke-specific rehabilitation.

Couple this world class care with the education and training provided to DC Fire and EMS by the DC Stroke Collaborative, of which MedStar Georgetown and MedStar Washington Hospital Center are both leading members, and DC residents experiencing stroke have an increased opportunity for both survival and the best possible outcomes from a multi-disciplinary team of stroke care experts.

“The DC Fire and EMS Department works with the DC Stroke Collaborative -- made up of the areas’ leading hospital stroke centers and other partners -- to ensure the highest level of education and training for pre-hospital stroke screening,” said DC Fire and EMS Medical Director Dr. Robert Holman. “We focus on identifying large vessel occlusion (LVO) strokes because they can lead to dramatic long-term disability. The good news is that these patients can now be treated quickly at Comprehensive Stroke Centers if we do our part in screening the patient and notifying the emergency department ahead of time.”

The morning of February 5 the partnership paid off as DC Fire and EMS Paramedic Kenneth Lyons and EMT Yvette Reid correctly identified that Mr. Addrey was having an LVO stroke and called MedStar Georgetown University Hospital en route so that their expert stroke team could be ready to remove the clot from his brain.

“It’s because of this training partnership and MedStar Georgetown’s stroke care expertise that Mr. Addrey has recovered from a potentially devastating stroke,” added Holman.

At an event reuniting Mr. Addrey with those who saved his life he said, “I am forever grateful to the people who called 911 and to the exceptionally trained EMS responders and stroke team at MedStar Georgetown for saving my life.” “Like many people, I did not recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke, so I am truly thankful for the timely, expert care that made it possible for me to be here today to thank them all.”

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May is National Stroke Awareness Month, a time designated to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke, how to prevent stroke, and what to do if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a stroke. When it comes to stroke, time is brain!

Signs and symptoms of a stroke:

  • Sudden numbnessor weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.

Act fast! Call 9-1-1 right away if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.

What should you do?

The stroke treatments that work best are available only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within 3 hours of the first symptoms. To BEFAST can help stroke patients get the care they need to survive and reduce damage to the brain.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, B.E.F.A.S.T. and do the following simple test:

B – Balance – if they can stand, check their balance

E – Eyes – sudden change in vision, loss of vision or blurry vision

F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop

A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward

S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange

T—Time: If you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away.

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About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licenses for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment. MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

Media Contact

Lisa Clough
Phone: 703-558-1287 | 571-400-1057
Email: [email protected]

Largest single gift to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital catalyzes new Medical/Surgical Pavilion campaign

WASHINGTON — MedStar Georgetown University Hospital announced today a $10 million gift from Shelley and Allan Holt to support the construction of the new Medical/Surgical Pavilion, one of the largest health care projects in the region. The leadership gift – the largest ever received by MedStar Georgetown and the largest gift to the pavilion campaign to date – will provide revolutionary technology to assist surgeons with planning and performing complex procedures, improve the quality of care for patients, and create unparalleled training opportunities for tomorrow’s surgical leaders. 

Specifically, the Holts’ gift will advance the hospital’s world class care with one of the first intraoperative MRI (iMRI) surgical suites in the region. The iMRI suite will be housed in the new Medical/Surgical Pavilion currently under construction at MedStar Georgetown which is scheduled for completion in 2023.

“We are deeply grateful to the Holts for the generosity of this transformative gift that will advance our preeminent clinical and research environment,” said Kenneth A. Samet, president and CEO of MedStar Health. “Their gift has already catalyzed our philanthropic efforts and motivated other philanthropists to join this endeavor. This is truly an investment in the future of medicine, one that will benefit patients across the Washington, D.C. region and beyond.”

“Our commitment holds great significance for me because I started my career at Georgetown University Hospital and am honored now to serve on the MedStar Georgetown Board of Directors,” said Mrs. Holt. “Allan and I have been impressed by their perpetual drive to advance the future of medicine, scholarly achievement, and access to care for all. We hope our gift for the new pavilion will encourage others to support it as they can.”

The Medical/Surgical Pavilion supports MedStar Georgetown’s continued focus on providing outstanding patient care, leading-edge advancements in medical technology, and will take the region’s healthcare an important step into the future. The new pavilion is comprised of three essential elements of a world-class academic medical center: excellent clinical care, a strong foundation in education, and leading-edge research. As a result, the Medical/Surgical Pavilion will foster growth and training in the specialty services for complex diseases that Medstar Georgetown is uniquely qualified to deliver, including oncology, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, and transplant.

The pavilion is currently the largest health care construction project in Washington, D.C., comprising 477,213 square feet that will feature 156 private patient rooms, a rooftop helipad with direct access to 31 state-of-the-art operating rooms, and 32 exam rooms in a modernized emergency department.

“I am indebted to the Holts for their visionary investment to support the iMRI suite in the new pavilion,” said Christopher Kalhorn, MD, co-director of the Movement Disorders Program and Director of epilepsy, pediatric, and functional Neurosurgery Program at MedStar Georgetown, and MedStar Health board member. “Intraoperative MRI allows for real time brain imaging while the patient is in the operating room, which improves accuracy and shortens surgical time. This technology will greatly benefit our patients with Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, epilepsy, and more.”

“The Holts’ exceptional commitment will enhance the landscape of patient care in the region so that patients receive tomorrow’s treatments today. We are at an exciting stage in our pavilion campaign and we know their gift will galvanize future investment. Shelley and Allan’s continued generosity, including a recent major gift to provide COVID-19 relief assistance to the hospital, is extraordinary and we are grateful for Shelley’s service on the board,” said Michael C. Sachtleben, president, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

The Holts reside in Georgetown and are devoted philanthropists to causes that focus on innovation, education, and advancing the community in which they live. They have supported the National Air and Space Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, among other institutions.


About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options in a trusting and compassionate environment. MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer, and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

Media Contact

Lisa Clough
Phone: 703-558-1287 | 571-400-1057
Email: [email protected]

Cirq Robotic Arm Enhances Spine Surgeries and Increases Precision

Cirq-Robotics-Spinal-Surgery-SupportMedStar Georgetown University Hospital, along with MedStar Washington Hospital Center, is now offering an innovative technology that improves accuracy and speeds recovery time for patients who undergo spine surgery. Cirq is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm, designed to increase precision in navigating complex spinal surgeries. Learn more about the Cirq® arm.

 

Faheem Sandhu, MD
Faheem Sandhu, MD
Director of Spine Surgery
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Jean-Marc Voyadzis, MD
Jean-Marc Voyadzis, MD
Co-director of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sandhu or Dr. Voyadzis, call 301-856-2323 and select option 2.

Media Contact

Nicole Vowell
[email protected]
Cell: 801-919-4251

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital acquires first and only robotic navigation system for spine surgery in Washington, D.C., region

WASHINGTON — MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery continues its commitment to delivering leading-edge care by acquiring a unique robotic guidance and navigation system that improves surgical accuracy and speeds recovery time for patients who undergo spine surgery. Globus ExcelsiusGPS is the first and only spine robot of its kind in the world and complements the hospital’s advanced technological capabilities for minimally invasive neurosurgery.

There have been tremendous advances in spinal surgery with the use of less invasive techniques and new technologies over the past 10 years.  The ExcelsiusGPS’ robotic guidance, navigation and imaging compatibility provides unique benefits for patients and surgeons.

The navigation system in the ExcelsiusGPS, is similar to what is found in a smart phone or car. Like mobile GPS, it provides real-time visualization of the instruments and screws with relation to the patient’s unique “map”, created from preoperative images, and adjusts accordingly if the patient moves. Merging preoperative CT images of the patient with just a few X-rays taken during surgery allows surgeons to pin point a location on the spine and instruct the robot to aim for the exact location.  The robotic guidance ensures surgical instruments are positioned in the correct trajectory, so implants are precisely placed with the robot’s rigid arm. The imaging systems also provide surgeons with the best visualization during surgery eliminates the need for the surgeon to look back and forth between the patient and a separate x-ray image.

“We have built a very strong reputation in spine surgery, particularly in minimally invasive spinal surgery,” said Dr. Faheem Sandhu, director of Spine Surgery at MedStar Georgetown. “In the past, spinal surgery relied heavily on X-rays. This new robot not only helps with more precise placement of implants, it also replaces the need for multiple X-rays during surgery reducing the patient’s and surgeon’s exposure to radiation. 

 “A spine robot with a navigation system is a game changer because it allows for the effortless placement of spinal implants with great precision,” said Dr. Jean-Marc Voyadzis, co-director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “The ability to place each implant with precise accuracy through even smaller incisions avoiding broad exposure of the spine and long scars result in patients recovering faster, having less postoperative pain and reduced risk of infection or the need for blood transfusions.”

John Buie, had spine surgeries before coming to MedStar Georgetown for treatment of disk degeneration in his L4 and L5. “I was in quite a bit of pain,’ Buie said. “This robotic surgery really helped me recover faster than I did with my previous two surgeries.  I was back to normal in about 3 weeks.”

The neurosurgeons at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are leading specialist who work across disciples to provide patients with exceptional leading-edge care. The department of Neurosurgery includes a Joint Commission designated Primary Stroke Center with a 24hour emergency stroke team, the Neurosurgery Multidisciplinary Spine Center offering minimally invasive spine surgery, a Comprehensive Epilepsy Center offering epilepsy surgery an Interventional Neuroradiology Department that research new treatment and diagnostic methods, a Specialized Acoustic Neuroma and Skull Base Tumor Center and a Comprehensive Pediatric Neurosurgery Program.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.  MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

Media Contact

Nicole Vowell
[email protected]
Cell: 801-919-4251

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital named one of the Best Maternity Care Hospitals in the U.S.

WASHINGTON —MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has been nationally recognized as one of the Best Maternity Care Hospitals in the United States by Newsweek and The Leapfrog Group; an independent non-profit organization that monitors healthcare organizations in the U.S.  The list recognizes facilities that have excellence in providing care to mothers, newborns and their families as verified by the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

“We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to excellence in women’s health and maternity care,” Dr. Helain J. Landy, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Georgetown said. “It represents a strong testament to the outstanding contributions of everyone associated with the care of our patients and their babies, including physicians and nurses from Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics and Neonatology, Anesthesiology, as well as the outstanding administrative support which represents the foundation of our efforts,” she noted. “This designation also validates our dedicated efforts to apply evidence-based medicine and the philosophy of cura personalis (care of the whole person) for mothers and their infants.” 

The evidence-based, nationally standardized metrics met for this distinction include: 

  • Low early elective delivery dates (hospitals effort to limit births prior to 39 weeks of gestation without medical necessity)
  • Lower rates of cesarean sections for first time mothers
  • Low episiotomy rates
  • High rates of newborn screenings for jaundice prior to hospital discharge
  • High rates of prevention techniques to prevent blood clots of mothers delivering via C-Section

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital was among an elite group of hospitals from across the country that passed these standards of excellence to earn this recognition and is the only Hospital in the District of Columbia to earn this ranking. 

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.  MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

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Nicole Vowell
[email protected]
Cell: 801-919-4251

 

Inflammasome activation linked to T-cell dysregulation and poor outcomes in comorbid COVID-19 patients, according to MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute led study

WASHINGTON –A study led by the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute (MGTI) and published today in the Journal of Hepatology shows that inflammation, resulting from heightened inflammasome activity, leads to immune dysregulation and ultimately severe disease for comorbid patients with COVID-19.

Early publicized risk profiles related to COVID-19 warned patients with inflammatory comorbidities including: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease were at increased risk of morbidity and mortality due to coronavirus. Included in these populations are patients with liver disease and liver transplant recipients, who are likely to have a co-occurrence of comorbid illnesses.

The study’s lead authors, Dr. Alexander Kroemer, transplant surgeon and MGTI scientific director, Dr. Khalid Khan, medical director of the Islet Cell Transplant Program and Dr. Thomas Fishbein, executive director of MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, recognized early on that transplant candidates and recipients were especially vulnerable populations when it came to COVID-19 and decided to better understand how to provide specialized care and treatment.

“Looking into the clinical courses and immune responses of our COVID-19 patients led us to explore the link between immune dysfunction and inflammatory comorbidities,” said, Dr. Kroemer. “Our preliminary data points to that link. The inflammasome and resulting inflammatory cell death, which may contribute to low lymphocyte and T-cell counts, has also been seen in other viral diseases such as HIV.”

The MGTI study, in collaboration with Amerimmune, a CLIA-certified laboratory, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, examined the potentially critical role of the inflammasome in COVID-19 patient outcomes. The inflammasome, an intracellular protein complex, monitors and mediates the body’s inflammatory responses to injury or illness. Upon activation, it can induce a form of highly inflammatory cell death called pyroptosis which has two implications. First, it leads to release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, potentially contributing to the so-called cytokine storms that have been reported in severe cases of COVID-19. Second, it can drive immune dysfunction via T-cell and lymphocyte depletion, which prevents the adaptive immune system from mounting an effective antiviral immune response. Viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which can further activate the inflammasome, could exacerbate and accelerate this detrimental immune response in patients who already have chronic activation.

The study is based on eight COVID-19 liver patients from the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute (MGTI), and eight matched COVID-19 non-liver patient controls from SUNY Downstate Medical Center (SUNY). The eight control patients from SUNY were matched based on age, gender, race, comorbidities, and COVID-19 outcome during the same time period.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.  MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

Media Contact

Debbie Asrate
Director of Media Relations
Office: 703-558-1287
[email protected]

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute Implemented New Transplant Protocol and Performed More Kidney Transplants than any Other Hospital in U.S. During COVID-19 Pandemic.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute performed more kidney transplants than any other hospital in the U.S., and successfully safeguarded all its transplant recipients and living organ donors, from contracting COVID-19.

From March to May MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute performed 115 organ transplants – 90 of which were kidney transplants with 23 of them from living donors. This record number is nearly equal to the total number of transplants performed by all regional hospitals combined. bar graph of kidney transplants in the Washington, D.C. sourced by UNOS.org

In collaboration with MedStar Georgetown’s infectious disease team and the coordinated efforts across the MedStar Health System, the Transplant Institute took early and aggressive measures to implement the highest safety protocols to safeguard the health and wellness of vulnerable transplant recipients and living donors during the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Patients with organ failure are among the most vulnerable populations, and life-saving transplants are critical. While caring for patients with COVID-19 was an urgent mission, we could not abandon equally critical transplant patients. We surveyed best practices across the nation, evaluated which centers were surviving and which were not, and developed a systematic approach that was individualized for us. Working quickly and involving everyone from the top of the organization down lead to our success," Executive Director of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, Dr. Thomas Fishbein, said. 

Many transplant programs around the country temporarily halted or significantly reduced the number of transplants they performed during this time. “It’s easy to say no,” said Dr. Matthew Cooper, director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation and a Professor of Surgery at Georgetown University School of Medicine, said. “We are fortunate that with the hard work of the Institute, the administration here at MedStar Georgetown, and the overall MedStar Health system, we were able to say yes to keeping the open sign up.” 

The enhanced safety and infection prevention protocol included: priority COVID-19 testing for transplant recipients to rule out recipients who had the virus before they were transplanted, COVID-19-free units in the hospital to minimize infection risk for transplant patients, use of telehealth to reduce hospital visits for pre-screenings and post-transplant management and deploying travel nurses to patient homes for laboratory testing. These quick-actions reduced the risk of exposure before, during, and after transplant surgery.  

A significant number of transplant patients traveled from various parts of the country for their life-saving care at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute. 

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute is headquartered at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and provides life-restoring care to patients with end-stage organ failure. As one of the highest volume transplant programs in the United States, the Institute has performed more than 7,598 liver, kidney, pancreas, small bowel, colon, stomach, and multi-organ transplants to date. Additionally, the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute offers outpatient kidney evaluations at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, and other locations in Maryland and Virginia.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital licensed for 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment. MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer, and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research, and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership.

 

Media Contact

Debbie Asrate
Director of Media Relations
Office: 703-558-1287
[email protected]

Nicole Vowell
Communications & Media Specialist
Office: 703-558-1593
[email protected]

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