MedStar Harbor Hospital to Host Annual Drive-Thru Flu Vaccination Clinic

BALTIMORE—Approximately 30 volunteer clinicians at MedStar Harbor Hospital (3001 S Hanover St, Baltimore, MD 21225) will be administering free flu shots Saturday, Oct. 3, at their fourth annual drive-thru flu vaccination clinic. The on-campus event starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. or when supplies run out.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is more important than ever during the pandemic, to be vaccinated for flu to reduce the spread of respiratory illness, especially among vulnerable populations.  

Last year, the CDC estimates there were 38 million flu illnesses across the United States, with 400,000 flu-related hospitalizations. They released data estimating flu vaccines prevented 7.5 million more illness and 6,300 deaths.

“We will be following all CDC recommended protocols to ensure safe delivery of the vaccines,” said Dawn R. Owens, chief nursing officer and vice-president of patient care services at MedStar Harbor Hospital. “This is a quick and easy way to get immunized. We have an experienced team who are very proficient to keep the traffic flow moving as quickly as possible, and people do not even have to get out of the car.”

Clinicians will be ready to administer the shots to adults aged 18 and older who don’t have a known allergy to the vaccine.

Those who are getting the vaccine should remember to wear short sleeves or clothing with easy access to the upper arm.

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About MedStar Ʊ

MedStar Ʊ 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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarƱ.org.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Ʊ Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

MedStar Harbor Hospital Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation

BALTIMORE  – MedStar Harbor Hospital has achieved the international Baby-Friendly hospital designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, an organization known for setting the highest standards for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
While there are 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, only 604 hospitals in the US have achieved the designation.

The standards are built on ten evidence-based practices recommended by the World Ʊ Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant nursing support in the first days of life. These include skin-to-skin care in the baby’s first hours, rooming-in with the mom while at the hospital, avoiding pacifiers (to prevent nipple confusion) and no formula except when medically necessary.

MedStar Harbor Hospital provides an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

“We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members to achieve this designation,” said David Ghadisha, MD, OB hospitalist and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Harbor. “We are committed to providing the support, education and resources moms need to breastfeed while here, and continue nursing when they get home. It speaks to our commitment to making sure every woman who delivers a baby here be given the resources, information and support needed to help her and her baby get the healthiest start in life.”

The hospital will hold the designation for five years and will then be reevaluated.

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About MedStar Ʊ
MedStar Ʊ 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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarƱ.org.

About Baby-Friendly USA
As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Ʊ Baltimore
Phone: 410-274-1260
Email: [email protected]

MedStar Ʊ to Host 13th Annual Drive-Thru Flu Shot Event

BALTIMORE—Baltimore-area residents can once again get a free flu shot without leaving their cars at two MedStar Ʊ hospitals this fall.

The 13th annual drive-thru and walk-up flu shot clinic will be held at MedStar Harbor Hospital on Saturday, Oct. 5; and at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (on the ) on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Details are as follows:

MedStar Harbor Hospital Drive-Thru Flu Clinic

When: Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or when supplies run out
Where: In the Orthopaedic Center Parking Lot, 

MedStar Franklin Square Drive-Thru Flu Clinic

When: Sunday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to noon, or when supplies run out
Where: , Rossville Boulevard and College Drive

To learn more about the 13th annual drive-thru and walk-up flu shot clinic, please click . 

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Ʊ Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

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

MedStar Ʊ Hospitals are First in Maryland to Offer Fentanyl Test Kits

BALTIMORE—MedStar Ʊ’s three Baltimore City hospitals are the first hospitals in the state to offer patients in the Emergency Department free test kits to detect the presence of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid fueling an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses.

The fentanyl test kits initiative, which launched today, is part of a larger effort in recent years by MedStar Ʊ to identify patients at risk of drug overdose and pair them with a peer recovery coach who can connect the patient with recovery resources. The test kits will be distributed at MedStar Union Memorial, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Good Samaritan hospitals.

Fentanyl, which can be added to heroin, cocaine or pills without the person being able to detect it, is linked to most drug overdose deaths in Maryland, . Fentanyl was linked to 1,888 overdose deaths in Maryland in 2018, with 2,143 opioid overdose deaths overall, according to the MDH. Baltimore City had 758 deaths linked to fentanyl in 2018, by far the largest number of any jurisdiction in the state.

“Studies have proven that individuals experiencing substance use disorder will change behavior and interactions with substances if the presence of fentanyl is known,” said Ryan Moran, the director of community health for MedStar Ʊ’s three Baltimore hospitals. “If they know fentanyl is present, they can take steps to reduce the risk of overdose, such as taking less of the substance, not using alone, using with a naloxone rescue kit nearby, or complete abstinence. This initiative will save lives and will allow our peer recovery coaches more time to build a rapport with patients so that they can assist them in seeking and/or continuing treatment and recovery. It is a key aspect of our mission to serve our communities in addition to providing harm reduction services and evidence-based healthcare.”

The initiative is part of a larger strategy to provide support to individuals experiencing substance use disorder. In 2016, MedStar Ʊ launched the SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) program, in which patients are screened in Emergency Departments for drug overdose risk factors and given referral and resources for treatment. In 2018, MedStar Ʊ started the Opiate Overdose Survivor’s Outreach Project (OSOP), a program to connect opioid overdose survivors with peer recovery coaches who have lived experience with substance use disorder in their past. The coaches stay in touch with patients after they leave the hospital, providing support and education.

MedStar Ʊ has bought 2,000 test kits so far to distribute and intends to continue the program if supplies run out.

The test kits will be distributed in the Emergency Department by peer recovery coaches who work one-on-one with high risk patients. Patients can take a small portion of the drug substance and mix it with fluid in a tube, dipping the test strip inside. The strips don’t indicate how much fentanyl is present, instead giving a positive or negative result. Even if the test is negative, individuals should be aware that they can still overdose.

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About MedStar Ʊ

MedStar Ʊ 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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarƱ.org.

MedStar Harbor Hospital Joins Safe Streets Initiative

Hospital-Based Responders Will Work to Reduce Violence in Community, Help Victims

BALTIMORE—MedStar Harbor Hospital has joined Baltimore’s Safe Streets initiative, an evidence-based violence interruption and prevention program, as part of a larger effort to serve its community. Two responders are installed in the hospital’s emergency department to intervene with victims of violent crime.

Safe Streets is a Baltimore health department initiative that funds community-based organizations to employ “street smart” community members whose own experience with violence gives them a personal connection to victims.

The two responders at MedStar Harbor Hospital will deescalate and mediate disputes that could otherwise lead to violence and work to prevent retaliation. The responders will also serve as positive role models and help connect victims and perpetrators with jobs, education and other resources to help them live better lives.

“Violence is a public health crisis and we at MedStar Harbor Hospital want to do our part to try to reduce it,” said Ryan Moran, MedStar Ʊ Director of Community Ʊ – Baltimore City. “Safe Streets is an established, evidence-based program that has been proven to be effective. This is another tool for us to improve the health of our community.” 

MedStar Harbor Hospital has hired one full-time responder and one part-time responder who will work out of the emergency department on evenings and weekends. The hospital’s program launched in March and is connected to an established program in the nearby Cherry Hill community.

The initiative follows other recent efforts by MedStar Harbor Hospital to provide holistic, wrap-around services to its community. In the last three years, MedStar Harbor Hospital has started a program to connect patients to substance abuse treatment, installed community health advocates to work directly with vulnerable patients and help them navigate social services, offered free trainings in the overdose prevention drug Narcan, and provided weeks of home-delivered, healthy food.

“Instead of simply treating patients and sending them home, MedStar Harbor Hospital is a true community resource and a positive force for good,” Moran said. “The community should feel that this hospital isn’t just a good place to go when they’re sick – but a hub and anchor where they can access resources to help them live better lives.”

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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 Ʊ Cancer Network Hosts Cancer Survivors’ Luncheon

Annual Event Honors Survivors, Loved Ones and Highlights Ongoing Challenges

About 600 cancer survivors, their caregivers and their loved ones will gather June 2 for the 5th annual Cancer Survivors' Luncheon, an event hosted by the MedStar Ʊ Cancer Network that highlights the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face and honors their journey in treatment. .

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Ʊ Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

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

MedStar Ʊ Launches Program to Help Provide Ʊy Food to Patients

Patients Can Receive Fresh Produce for Eight Weeks

BALTIMORE—(November 2, 2018)—Some MedStar Ʊ 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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’s Baltimore Hospitals to Offer Free Narcan Training

Community Members Will Learn How to Administer the Overdose Reversal Drug

BALTIMORE—(June 6, 2018)—MedStar Ʊ’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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’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 Ʊ’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 Ʊ’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 Ʊ

MedStar Ʊ 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 Ʊ 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 Ʊ’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit .

Media Contact

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

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