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those ef­forts.”

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...

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