The 192 bed full-service hospital was founded in 1977 and includes sister facilities MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
“It is really a culture of excellence that MedStar strives for,” Threat said. “We have an innovation institute that’s always great because it means that the latest technology and things are brought there within the system. I think we’re very evidence-based in terms of our practice and having a teaching institution is also wonderful. You always have that fresh perspective and that passion that comes with being a new provider in the organization.”
Speaking of a fresh perspective and striving for excellence, Dr. Amjad Nasr Anaizi said the hospital has undergone a number of changes that has helped to improve the quality of care.
“It feels the same as it did before we were recognized,” said Anaizi, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Georgetown University Hospital, in an earlier interview. “We’ve been able to assemble a team at Southern Maryland Hospital that has really been able to take outstanding care of the patients and get them home quickly and reduce their pain. Without even knowing about the U.S. News and World Report [recognition], our patients are realizing the quality of the care that they are receiving at Southern Maryland.”
Anaizi, a New York native who received a biomedical engineering degree from the University of Rochester, said medicine has always been something he felt was his calling. Having completed an extensive educational background which includes six years of residency training at Georgetown University Hospital, Anaizi discovered a passion for neurosurgery and innovative, minimally-invasive surgical techniques.
“Nothing intrigued me and interested me more than the potential of having a job where I truly make a substantial difference in people’s lives,” he said. “I enjoy interacting with patients. Within neurosurgery specifically, you have the ability to make such a drastic difference in the quality of an individual’s life. I consider it very much an honor that patients are willing to trust me with their care.”
For Anaizi, taking care of patients is a privilege. Many of the procedures done at Southern Maryland Hospital are minimally-invasive spine surgeries where physicians use innovative technologies to address patients’ needs precisely, striving to reduce blood loss, infection rate, any pain and their overall stay in the hospital, he said.
“We utilize these minimally-invasive techniques which require tubular retractors. So a lot of times we’re able to decompress the nerves in someone’s spine through a metal tube that is less than an inch in diameter, through an incision that’s less than an inch in size,” Anaizi said. “These are operations that typically required much larger exposures in the past and now patients are discharged home within hours — this applies to both lumbar spine [lower back] and cervical spine [neck]. We’re also able to do larger operations with much less blood loss by utilizing these minimally-invasive techniques.”
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center was also rated a high-performing hospital in the areas of diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics and nephrology; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure procedures. It was also ranked among the top 40 hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery, according to a press release.
Anaizi said being a part of a winning team is a reflection of the quality healthcare that the community deserves. Such recognition is not only wonderful for MedStar system employees, but important for other communities within the region and state as well, he said.
“There’s really no reason for those patients to feel like they have to travel to other [medical] institutions when such a highly-ranked institution is in their backyard,” Anaizi said.
“Frankly, we’re delighted to have that ranking. It’s a validation of steady, good work,” said Dr. Faheem Sandhu, a native of Pakistan who also attended the University of Rochester and completed his neurosurgery training at Georgetown University Hospital. “Since MedStar has come in and kind of taken the helm, it’s really made a big difference. I think people can be rest assured that this is a much nicer and better hospital that it was in the past. Hopefully, this will make a big difference for local people in terms of choosing their hospital and healthcare— they don’t have to go as far as they once used to.”
As for next steps, Threat said MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center plans to expand its community outreach work and continue its investment in providing quality, world-class healthcare. That entails not only capitalizing on its strengths, but expanding those services that benefit its patients, she said.
“MedStar is really a wonderful organization. We are a trusted name and I think that’s important,” Threat said. “We are part of the community and the community needs to see that we are an invested partner in their healthcare. This [ranking] is an acknowledgment, but it really serves as motivation to continue on our journey toward success.”
Yvette Johnson-Threat is the vice president of medical affairs at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center who works to expand and improve the delivery of healthcare services to the community. Most recently, she served as chief medical officer for both Richmond Community Hospital and Memorial Regional Medical Center in Virginia. Threat is currently a board member of the Daily Planet Community Health Center and has served as an associate clinic professor at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2001.