Adventist HealthCare & You Magazine (Spring 2021)

Page 1


COVERING THE BEAT How Specialized Surgery Fixed Wendy Rieger’s Heart Page 4









New Medical Pavilion Coming Soon


Covering the Beat


Protecting Women’s Hearts


Care from the Heart: One Woman’s Journey to a Healthier Heart During a Pandemic


The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Weight for Your Heart

10 11


Cardiovascular Exercises for a Healthy Heart Living Healthy Against All Odds – COVID-19 Patient Conquers Virus


COVID-19 by the Numbers


Giving Back to the Shady Grove NICU


A Powerful Partnership to Fight Cancer

18 20


Chronic Stress: Its Impact on the Body and Mind Building for the Future: Shady Grove Plans New Tower


Adventist HealthCare hospitals have been participating in research that could alter the way COVID-19 patients are treated. One of those studies was a clinical drug trial with manufacturer Merck & Co. Its SAC-COVID™ clinical trial enrolled 203 participants with severe or critical COVID-19. Adventist HealthCare was one of 15 sites in the phase III clinical trial, with patients participating at both Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville and Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring. Patients treated with SAC-COVID™ exhibited faster recovery and reduced disease progression than those receiving a placebo. Now, the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the findings.   “There are a lot of levels of excitement and gratitude about these results,” said Andrew Catanzaro, MD, infectious disease specialist at Adventist HealthCare. “This drug enhanced our compassionate care for COVID-19 patients because it had such a profound effect. It’s very exciting.” The Adventist HealthCare hospitals also participated in a Mayo Clinic study investigating whether patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms improved faster after receiving plasma from patients who had recovered from the virus previously. Meanwhile, research by Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation’s dedicated COVID-19 unit in Takoma Park, Maryland, has found statistically significant improvements in the outcomes for recovering COVID-19 patients who received physical, occupational and speech therapy.


Adventist HealthCare was recently honored as one of America’s Best-In-State Employers for 2020 by Forbes and market research company Statista Inc. The recognition comes as Adventist HealthCare has ensured a safe and stable working environment for its 6,500 team members, many of whom have been on the front lines of COVID-19, with enhanced programs to support their emotional and financial well-being. “This award recognizes the dedication, care and compassion that each one of our team members extends not only to our patients, but to each other as well,” said Brendan Johnson, Adventist HealthCare senior vice president for Human Resources. The award is based on an independent survey of approximately 80,000 U.S. employees at companies with at least 500 employees in their U.S. operations. The study assessed each company according to atmosphere and development, company image, working conditions, salaries and wages, and diversity.

More information on career opportunities with Adventist HealthCare is available at


A new Adventist HealthCare Imaging office is coming soon to serve patients in Silver Spring. The office will be located on Cherry Hill Road and will offer a full range of imaging services, including 3D mammography, ultrasound and MRI. The site, which will open this spring, brings even more convenience and services to community members who need preventive or diagnostic imaging. Last November, an Adventist HealthCare Imaging PET/CT center opened in the Medical Pavilion on the campus of Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.


Coming Soon

HEALTHCARE AT THE HARBOR Adventist HealthCare medical pavilion will serve Prince George’s County. October 2020, Adventist HealthCare broke ground on a medical pavilion at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. The new facility will become home to a full range of specialty and preventive care services, including a cancer and surgery center, wound care, interventional radiology, a cardiac catheterization lab, rehabilitation services, imaging, and other ambulatory services. The site will be easily accessible from the District, Maryland and Virginia, with a dedicated exit from the Capital Beltway. The facility will link residents to services at nearby Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center and its new primary care office, which – like the pavilion – is minutes away from the hospital. Together, the three locations will provide critical services to help meet the healthcare needs of southern Prince George’s County. “We are in a unique position to respond to the chronic healthcare challenges that affect southern Prince George’s County and extend to parts of Washington, D.C.,” said Terry Forde, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare. “We must look to create more convenient healthcare experiences in the communities we serve that are lacking comprehensive care.”


The services at National Harbor add to the $35 million earmarked for modernization and growth of Fort Washington Medical Center. The plan includes substantial upgrades to the hospital’s existing campus, IT infrastructure and surgical services. This investment is part of the commitment Adventist HealthCare made when it acquired the community hospital in October 2019. In summer 2020, the health system opened its primary care office in Fort Washington and simultaneously increased the number of intensive care beds at the hospital. “I am extremely hopeful about this multifaceted expansion,” said Eunmee Shim, president of Fort Washington Medical Center. “We are bridging healthcare gaps, improving health outcomes, providing our community with access to quality specialty services, as well as attracting highly skilled physicians and surgeons, and adding jobs to the economy. I am honored to help lead these efforts.”

For more information on Adventist HealthCare’s growing services in Prince George’s County, visit




Covering THE


How Specialized Surgery Fixed Wendy Rieger’s Heart

OR Wendy Rieger, journalist and TV news anchor at NBC4 Washington, each new day is demanding. There’s a constant stream of information, details and deadlines to manage to help keep the community informed and safe, especially with the events of the past year. To watch her newscasts, you see the expertise and heart Wendy brings to her work. But you would never have suspected that for many years, her heart wasn’t functioning at its best. During a doctor’s appointment a couple years ago, Wendy learned she had Atrial Fibrillation or AFib. AFib is a problem with the heart’s electrical system that upsets its normal rhythm and can cause the heart to beat fast. Her cardiologist explained that AFib can dislodge a blood clot and cause a stroke. She had a procedure to correct her heart rhythm and began regular visits with her cardiologist. This past summer, Wendy noticed something was wrong with her heart again. “I felt fluttering and my heart was going crazy all over the place,” she said. Wendy was back in AFib. This time her doctor told her that there was a second issue. Her heart’s mitral valve was in bad shape. “It was shredded and flapping around,” she added. Wendy had known since her 20s that she had mitral valve prolapse, a condition in which the flaps of the mitral valve don’t close tightly. In Wendy’s case, blood was beginning to leak backward through the valve. She needed surgery.


RESOLVING TWO HEART ISSUES IN ONE SPECIALIZED SURGERY “The combination of the AFib and the progression of her mitral valve prolapse to a leaky valve started to cause a lot of symptoms. Wendy was short of breath, had a cough, migraine headaches and fatigue,” said Paul Massimiano, MD, heart surgeon at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Dr. Massimiano, a leading expert in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, and Niv Ad, MD, heart surgeon and a recognized leader in the specialized Maze surgery for AFib, worked together to repair Wendy’s heart during a complex surgery. “It’s like a well-choreographed ballet between the electrical part of the surgery to restore her normal heart rhythm and the structural part to repair the heart valve,” Dr. Ad said. Wendy’s surgery went very well. She stayed in the hospital for four days surrounded by an experienced care team. “I was blown



away by their capabilities. The surgeons were so confident and reassuring. They are the mechanics and electricians of the heart,” she said. Meanwhile, “the nurses at White Oak Medical Center care for your spirit. They do the healing. They kept me going and gave me hope,” Wendy said. “Whatever you need physically, psychologically, they are amazing.”

THE WAY FORWARD Recovering from open-heart surgery takes time, usually between six to eight weeks. Wendy describes highs and lows during that time, but had support. “Dr. Massimiano told me that you have to be patient with yourself and also encouraged me to go for walks and keep moving.” One week after her surgery, Wendy walked a mile with a friend. “I was stunned. It wasn’t fast but I did it,” she said. Her recovery also included cardiac rehabilitation at Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation in the Medical Pavilion at White Oak, during which she participated in medically monitored and individualized exercise instruction. The supervised workouts helped to condition and strengthen her heart, which was functioning at 100% for the first time in a long time.

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART Wendy is back to work and looking forward to long-distance bike rides outdoors, an activity she loves, as the weather gets warmer. “I’m feeling terrific; better and more normal than I have in ages,” she said. Wendy realizes that for a little while, she put off getting help for her heart despite some of the signs and symptoms she experienced. “Listen to your body is so cliché but so true,” Wendy advises. “It really is important how you feel. Ask yourself, ‘How is your heart and the health of me inside?’ See your doctor regularly and bring up concerns.” She added, “We take the fact that we are alive for granted. We are miraculous. Astonishing. After heart surgery, I have a whole new appreciation of that.”

For more information about our comprehensive, awardwinning heart care, visit






Women’s Hearts When it comes to heart disease, men and women are not equal.

D Q:

AISY F. LAZAROUS, MD, director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Program at Adventist HealthCare, answers questions about women’s heart health.

re women at higher risk for heart A disease than men?

Dr. Lazarous: Yes, in the United States, 1 in 4 women will die from heart disease each year. Heart attacks in younger women are on the rise and women are more likely to minimize their symptoms. Even now, only about 50% of all women know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, more than all cancers combined.

hat are the risk Q: W factors for women? Dr. Lazarous: There are certain conditions that only affect women and increase the risk for heart disease. They include menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, gestational diabetes and other pregnancy-related conditions such as preeclampsia, eclampsia and depression. Other risk factors include: • Smoking history • High blood pressure • Diabetes • Obesity • Unhealthy diet • Stress • Inflammatory disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis

ow are the Q: Hsymptoms of a

heart attack different for women?

Dr. Lazarous: Both men and women experience chest pain. However, women are more likely to experience atypical



symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness, as well as pain in the arms, jaw and abdomen.

hat can women do to protect Q: Wthemselves against heart disease? Dr. Lazarous: Nearly all heart attacks and strokes are preventable by simple lifestyle modifications such as, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising more and eating a balanced diet. It is important that you understand your risk for early heart disease and do not delay care.

To learn your risk, take our heart risk assessment at To make an appointment, call 240-637-7000.


Care from the Heart:

ONE WOMAN’S JOURNEY TO A HEALTHIER HEART DURING A PANDEMIC L’Ornya Bowie, 51, of Germantown, never thought she would need cardiac rehabilitation – much less during a pandemic. 2006, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She kept an eye on her numbers and they improved, including her ejection fraction, or, EJF – the percentage of blood being pumped out of the heart. But in January 2020, L’Ornya’s blood pressure spiked and she suffered from severe nosebleeds. Her primary care physician referred her to Dennis Friedman, MD, an interventional cardiologist with Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. After several tests, he determined that L’Ornya’s EJF had dropped again, to well below normal. Treatment for congestive heart failure includes medication, fluid management, dietary changes to limit salt intake and exercise. Dr. Friedman referred L’Ornya to the Center for Fitness and Health at Shady Grove for cardiac rehabilitation. In March 2020, she had her first appointments. Shortly after, COVID-19 hit and the center had to temporarily close under the state’s orders, L’Ornya says the staff never missed a day of checking in. “I was amazed at how well they translated my care from in-person to virtual,” L’Ornya said. For the first few months of the pandemic, her care included daily check-ins with the staff and a weekly virtual visit. “At the beginning of the first COVID-19 surge, we had to shut down, but that didn’t mean our care could stop. Our patients needed us,” said Amy Hernandez, nurse practitioner with the Heart Failure Clinic at the Center for Fitness and Health. “We immediately started having telehealth visits for our patients so that there was no delay in their treatment.” If patients did not have internet access or smartphones, the clinic loaned them a tablet for the appointments. Also, caregivers sent scales, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters and other equipment to patients’ homes so they could take vital signs every day. If patients needed bloodwork, the clinic staff arranged for visits from Adventist HealthCare Home Health or provided it in the clinic parking lot. “Even though we weren’t in person, I was able to do all the same checks and assessments that I would have done if they were in the


clinic,” Amy said. “It was pretty seamless – so much so that our numbers all remained steady with no increase in readmissions at the hospital.”

REOPENING Last June, when COVID-19 positivity rates fell and gyms could have partial capacity, the Center for Fitness and Health reopened. L’Ornya had some hesitations. “At first, I was scared to go anywhere, let alone a hospital or a medical facility,” she said. “But then I came to realize that because of all the measures they were taking, it was one of the safest places to be.” Those COVID-19 safety measures included limiting capacity, pre-entry temperature checks and symptom screenings, wearing masks, and encouraging patients to sanitize their hands during their appointments.

CARE BEYOND THE CLINIC L’Ornya completed her sessions in August 2020, but her journey to a stronger heart has not stopped. “I lost 25 pounds, I try to exercise three to five times a week and I feel really good physically,” she said. L’Ornya said that on top of wanting to be healthier for herself and her family, she owes it to the team at the Center for Fitness and Health to continue her heart health journey. “They invested so much of their time and energy into me. They went above and beyond their job – they treated me like family,” she said. “I realized that if they can care that much about me, then I absolutely need to care that much about myself.”

Learn more about your risk for heart conditions and how to care for them. Visit




The Importance of

Maintaining a Healthy Weight for Your Heart Your heart health is one of the most important aspects of your overall health. Maintaining a healthy weight is one way to keep your heart healthy. VNI JAIN, MD, family medicine doctor with Adventist Medical Group and medical director at CoreLife, a leader in weight management and nutritional counseling, said, “The main job of your heart is to pump blood throughout your body and the unhealthier you are, the harder your heart must work.” A healthy weight doesn’t mean you have to be thin, but that you


Exercise at least five times a week



Eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day

have the right body mass index (BMI) for your height and weight. Having a healthy BMI helps to decrease your risk for heart disease. Making small changes, such as taking more steps every day and avoiding sugary drinks, can have a positive impact on your heart health. Here are some other tips for maintaining a healthy weight:

Drink plenty of water

Watch your portion sizes



Need some heart-healthy recipe inspiration? Here is an easy dinner idea that tastes good and is good for you!



Make an extra batch of sauce and freeze it for other recipes.

For the chicken: ¾ cup whole-wheat panko or almond meal 3 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese 2 eggs

4 large chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise (about 8 ounces per breast) 8 slices low-fat provolone cheese

For the spaghetti squash: 1 large spaghetti squash Olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the sauce: 2 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 2 green peppers, roughly chopped 2 carrots, shredded

If you’re ready to make a change, but don’t know where to begin, CoreLife centers can help. They provide team support while you work towards your health goals. “CoreLife focuses on helping you make a lifestyle change,” Dr. Jain said. “We don’t focus on the number on the scale. We work to incorporate changes in your life by examining your behaviors, incorporating exercise and helping you make better nutritional choices.”

For more information about CoreLife, visit

1 can tomato paste 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add olive oil, garlic, green peppers, carrots, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to a large sauté pan. Cook until peppers are soft. 2. Blend cooked sauce until smooth using a traditional or immersion blender. Use caution, as the heated sauce will let off steam and expand in blender. 3. While sauce is cooking, use a knife or fork to poke holes in whole spaghetti squash. Then, microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften. 4. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise in half and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from oven and turn temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 5. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in shallow bowl or plate. Scramble raw eggs in another shallow bowl. 6. Coat each side of cut chicken breast with egg and follow immediately with breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts. 7. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread prepared chicken breasts out on sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Remove, top with a spoonful of sauce and one slice of low-fat provolone cheese and continue baking until internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 8. While chicken is cooking, use a fork to separate baked spaghetti squash into “noodles.” 9. To serve, spoon noodles onto plate, top with sauce and baked chicken breast. Add fresh basil for extra flavor. Source: Michelle Guarnieri, registered dietitian with CoreLife.

If you want more healthy eating tips and information, sign up for our healthy eating email newsletter at AHCYOU.COM/SP21





Exercising is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for 25% of American deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UST like the biceps in your arms and quadriceps in your legs, your heart is a muscle. When you engage in strength training, your muscles grow stronger. An active lifestyle strengthens your heart. A sedentary lifestyle, where your job and your leisure activities involve little or no physical activity, can double your risk of dying from heart disease. While COVID-19 significantly impacted our access to gyms, fitness centers and organized sports activities, your heart health doesn’t have to suffer. You can be just as active at home, even without equipment. Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation’s Lead Clinical Exercise Physiologist Lauren Conley recommends trying these exercises a few times a week to reduce your risk and improve your heart health.

J 1


Stand with your feet just outside your hips. Bend your knees into a squat position and come back up to standing. Raise your right leg out to side as far as your range of motion allows. Repeat the squat and switch to the other side for the leg raise. Repeat 10 times on each side. Use a chair for support or to modify the exercise.



Stand with your feet under your hips. Raise up onto your toes and slowly come back down. At the same time, raise your shoulders to your ears, as if you are shrugging. Repeat both motions at the same time, 10 times through.





Sit on the front edge of a chair, feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and be sure you are sitting up straight. Slowly lower your back until it taps the chair then slowly raise up to your starting position. Repeat this motion at a slow pace 10 times. If the exercise is too difficult, slide back to the middle of your chair.

Scan for two more exercises and an instructional video to ensure you’re doing these moves properly or visit Experiencing pain or discomfort, especially during or after you exercise? Call Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation at 240-826-8940 to schedule a free 15-minute injury screening.


LIVING healthy

Adventist HealthCare offers classes, events and activities to support a healthy body, mind and spirit. For the most up-to-date information about our classes, visit

PRENATAL, FAMILY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH Adventist HealthCare offers online pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding classes so that you can prepare for baby in the comfort and safety of your own home. Classes include: • Childbirth & Infant Care • Breastfeeding To learn more and register, visit

Support Groups Adventist HealthCare offers several support groups for parents. To learn more or find a location near you, visit SP21Calendar or call 1-800-542-5096. BEST: Breastfeeding Education, Support and Togetherness When: Wednesdays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Preregistration is required. Where: Visit for more details. Discovering Motherhood: Adjusting to Your New Role When: Mondays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Preregistration is required. Where: Visit SP21Motherhood for more details. Navigating Fatherhood Meets one Saturday a month, check website for dates When: Noon – 1:30 p.m. Preregistration is required. Where: Visit SP21Fatherhood for more details. Perinatal Loss Support This six-week support group for those who have experienced a loss related to pregnancy is run by an experienced perinatal loss specialist.

When: 7– 8:30 p.m. Preregistration is required. Where: Visit for more details. Info: Call 1-800-542-5096 for dates and more information

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT GROUPS Virtual support groups are offered by the Outpatient Wellness Clinic and are open to patients and their families, community members and employees. Visit or call 301-838-4912 with questions. Grief + Loss Support Group When: Wednesdays from 4 – 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Where: Visit for more details. Info: You must be 21 years or older to participate. Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Depression When: Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – noon Pre-registration is required. Where: Visit for more details. Info: You must be 21 years or older to participate.

NUTRITION, FITNESS AND WEIGHT LOSS Weight Loss Program CoreLife and Adventist HealthCare’s unique program combines medical expertise, nutrition, fitness and behavior modification all under one roof to empower our patients to live healthier lives. Schedule your first appointment by calling 800-905-3261 and learn more by visiting us at

Weight-Loss Surgery Informational Seminars Learn about the life-changing weightloss surgery options offered at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. Info: Ongoing series, open to all; call 240-826-5278 for information.

Post-Op Weight-Loss Surgery Support Group This group provides ongoing support for those who have had weight-loss surgery. Registration is not required. Info: Call 240-826-5278 for more information.

CPR CLASSES Adventist HealthCare Life Support is an official American Heart Association Training Center offering CPR and First Aid education for our community. Some classes have returned with safety measures in place. Visit SP21Calendar, call 240-826-2673 or email for more information.

COMMUNITY HEALTH Let’s Talk Blood Pressure! Join us as we discuss what blood pressure numbers mean, the effects of high blood pressure on the body, risk and lifestyle factors. When: April 12 from 1 – 2 p.m. Where: Visit for more information. Stress Away Join us for a presentation and discussion on stress. We will explore what stress levels are normal and what levels are unhealthy and how to eliminate it from our daily life. When: April 6 from 1 – 2 p.m. Where: Visit for more information.




AGAINST ALL ODDS — COVID-19 Patient Conquers Virus

Last April, 53-year-old Gladis Sanchez woke up and wasn’t herself. She had a cough and was feeling feverish. Her body ached all over. By that night, her cough was uncontrollable.

ER daughter and husband urged her to go to the nearest hospital, Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with COVID-19. When she arrived, she never imagined she would spend the next five months fighting for her life. After a few days, her condition worsened. Gladis was moved to the Intensive Care Unit, where a ventilator helped her breathe for the next eight weeks. “Many people who are on a ventilator for that long generally aren’t able to recover,” said Andrew Catanzaro, MD, infectious disease specialist at Adventist HealthCare. However, Gladis kept fighting and she conquered every challenge that came her way. Over time, she was able to breathe without a ventilator. She continued to improve and regain her strength over the next three months with the help of nurses and respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapists.


FAMILY TIES “Her care team always kept me updated and were so responsive to our questions,” explained her sister, Mercedes. “Even when Gladis was on a ventilator and couldn’t talk to us, her nurses would hold a phone so we could tell her how much we loved her, and she could hear our voices.” After overcoming the worst of COVID-19 and spending five months in the hospital, she returned home. Her medical team celebrated with Gladis, clapping and cheering as she left. “Hearing those cheers felt so good,” Gladis said. “I couldn’t believe I was finally going home to my family.” Gladis continued her recovery from the comfort of her home with Adventist HealthCare Home Health, which provided her with physical and occupational therapy, as well as nursing care. Today, she is grateful to be alive and cherishes the time she spends with family as she regains her health.

For more information about COVID-19, visit





At the beginning of 2020, no one could have imagined the months ahead would present Adventist HealthCare with one of the biggest challenges in our 113-year history. Our caregivers have stepped up to the plate, going above and beyond to ensure every patient received excellent care. We’ve tallied some of the ways our amazing team provided physical, mental and spiritual healing to our community during this extraordinary time.

by the Numbers A Snapshot of Adventist HealthCare’s Response


patients receiving care related to COVID-19

62,801 $617,000 in emergency funding COVID-19 tests administered


given to community non-profits

telehealth visits, with 11,966 for mental health

89% of inpatients supported through spiritual care


provided COVID-19 home monitoring


caregivers assisted by support groups


exams for abuse or neglect in our Forensic Medical Unit

Support the work of our hospitals with a gift to our COVID-19 Community Response Fund at

—Figures as of December 2020




Giving Back

to the


When Wendy Hembrough went for a sonogram, she knew there could be some hard news. She had a history of miscarriages. When the doctor hesitated, she expected the worst. asked him if he saw a heartbeat,” she said, “and he shook his head and said, ‘I see two.’” With two children already at home, Wendy and her husband, Todd, couldn’t believe they were expecting twins. Her doctors began monitoring her pregnancy closely. In December 2002, about two months before her due date, Wendy experienced 10 contractions close together. Her doctor urged her to go to the hospital. Shortly after arriving at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, Wendy’s water broke. That evening, Wendy gave birth to two boys: David at 9:20 p.m. and Scott at 9:26 p.m. The moments after were a whirlwind, but Todd said the couple felt secure because of the team members in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. “Immediately after the boys were born, I felt like it was going to be absolute chaos,” he said. “There were neonatologists, nurses, so many people in and out of the room. But it wasn’t chaos; it was amazing to watch the efficiency of the team and the attention they gave in those moments to make sure the babies were okay.” Though two months early, the babies each weighed over 5 pounds. They were admitted to the NICU to monitor their weight gain and lung development. “People asked me if I was scared, leaving them there,” Wendy said, “but I always told them no. I knew the boys were in the best place, the best hands they could be in.” David and Scott were in the NICU for two-and-a-half weeks, which included Christmas. One of the NICU nurses gave Wendy and Todd two snowflake ornaments with the boys’ names and birthdates on them to take home and put on the tree. “They’re the first two ornaments I hang on the tree every year,” Wendy said, “and I get teary-eyed every single time.”


LOOKING FORWARD AND GIVING BACK Now, both boys are active high school seniors, Eagle Scouts and deciding on which colleges to attend. As they approached their 18th birthday, Wendy and Todd wanted to find a way to give back. “We believe really strongly in charity,” Todd said, “and we have taught our children that they should always prioritize that whenever they can.” As Todd and Wendy decided where to make a donation, the NICU at Shady Grove Medical Center seemed like a no-brainer. “Those weeks our boys spent in the NICU was such an emotional time,” Wendy said, “and knowing that our boys were with people



who cared about them was something we have carried with us for their entire lives. So, Todd and I decided that we wanted to help people who would be going through the same things that we went through.” In December 2020, Todd and Wendy donated $10,000 to the NICU. With guidance from the unit and the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center Foundation, they directed their gift to the purchase of an Arctic Sun™ Blanket. “The Arctic Sun™ cooling system is used for babies who were deprived of oxygen during delivery,” said Laura Speer, clinical nurse manager of the NICU. “Oxygen deprivation puts these babies at risk for brain injury, so the cooling blanket helps keep their core temperature down to prevent damage to the brain.” The cooling blanket is used over 72 hours, cooling the baby’s temperature to 92.3 degrees. “The technology of this system is one of the most superior on the market right now,” Laura said, “so we feel so fortunate to have this in the NICU.” The Arctic Sun™ system works with an amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) machine, which monitors electric activity in a baby’s brain to help detect early seizures. The Foundation was able to purchase the required aEEG machine by pooling other gifts to the NICU, including a donation from Howard Vogel, chair of the Shady Grove Foundation Board, and his wife, Kimberly. “Having this new technology allows us to be incredibly precise in our treatment with these babies,” Laura said. “We now have the best of the best.” The Shady Grove NICU team began using the Arctic Sun™ system in October 2020, after caregivers were trained. The first baby treated with the blanket had a great outcome and went home a few days later, Laura said. “It’s so nice to know that these machines will save lives,” Todd said. “It’s a good feeling knowing that we could help parents who are going through a tough time like we did.” As David and Scott look forward to college and their futures, their parents can’t help but look back on their start in the NICU at Shady Grove Medical Center. “Back then, it took a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that our boys were in such good hands,” Wendy said. “They had the best chance of surviving and thriving because they were there. The NICU staff made our family complete.”

Learn more about our health services for women and children. Visit AHCYOU.COM/SP21



A Powerful Partnership

to Fight Cancer Adventist HealthCare has joined forces with leading organizations to provide comprehensive and compassionate cancer care services to the community. you are diagnosed with cancer, knowing that you can count on a team of compassionate and experienced medical providers with access to the latest information and technology is critical. That is the kind of care you can expect to receive at the White Oak Cancer Center. Located on the campus of Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, the White Oak Cancer Center is a collaboration between Adventist HealthCare, Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH) and The US Oncology Network (The Network). Together, these organizations are on a mission to deliver comprehensive care.




“Adventist HealthCare is excited about working with The U.S. Oncology Network and Maryland Oncology Hematology of Silver Spring,” said Anthony Stahl, president, Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. “Together, we are providing our patients with a full range of high-quality, interdisciplinary cancer care services, including high-tech and innovative approaches, additional expertise and coordination, all while keeping each patient’s well-being at the center of their care.”

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS MOH is the biggest independent oncology practice in the state

of Maryland. With more than 45 practicing clinicians on the team, MOH is committed to delivering comprehensive, high-quality cancer care with compassion. They are devoted to the concept that cancer therapies should be delivered close to patients’ homes and networks of support in their communities. Specialties of MOH include medical oncology and hematology, as well as cancer genetic risk assessment and patient ancillary programs. MOH also participates in research and clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has been involved with more than 95 cancer therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MOH is included in The Network community. Supported by McKesson Corp., The Network is designed to help local practices improve cancer care, maintain independence and thrive. The Network does this by bringing together more than 1,200 independent clinicians who are committed to providing integrated and value-based care in the communities of the patients they serve. Clinicians in The Network share expertise and resources with one another in a collective effort to enhance local cancer care and improve patient outcomes. This integrated structure frees up physicians to focus on patient care, trusting that McKesson is concentrating on the health of their businesses.

A STRUCTURE FOR SUCCESS The White Oak Cancer Center resides in the Medical Pavilion at White Oak Medical Center, a state-of-the-art 180-bed acute care hospital that is also a research partner of the FDA. The White Oak Cancer Center serves eastern Montgomery and other communities in the region. “The dynamic location and diverse community is supported by a strong infrastructure,” said Kashif Firozvi, MD, medical director for the Center and an oncologist with Maryland Oncology Hematology. “The future vision for the White Oak corridor as a hub for science and technology places the White Oak Cancer Center in a position to be a tremendous benefit for our patients and community.” Dr. Firozvi is just one of the clinicians and support staff who serve patients at the White Oak Cancer Center. Together, they provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary care, including: • Genetics • Medical oncology/hematology • Nutrition • Palliative care • PET/CT imaging • Physical, occupational and speech rehabilitation • Radiation oncology • Research • Social work services • Surgical oncology

ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF ADVANCED RADIATION ONCOLOGY Oncology specialists at the White Oak Cancer Center have an array of advanced radiation therapy treatments available in their toolkit, including: • Brachytherapy • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) “We’re providing cutting-edge, evidence-based, patientcentered care to this community and beyond,” said Luqman Dad, MD, radiation oncologist with Maryland Oncology Hematology. “Radiation oncology is an important component in this program of comprehensive cancer care.” The Varian TrueBeam™ is an advanced, noninvasive tool that is the heart of The Center for Advanced Radiation Oncology at White Oak Cancer Center. The Varian employs the use of the latest beam delivery, imaging and motion management capabilities to provide cancer treatment that is efficient and precise. TrueBeam technology is an option to treat a variety of cancers and target tumors throughout the body, including the: • Lung • Abdomen • Pelvis • Brain and spine • Prostate • Breast • Gynecologic areas Your treatment with TrueBeam can be tailored to meet your individual needs. The process begins by capturing threedimensional diagnostic images of your tumor with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using these images, our medical team will create a model of your tumor and use this model to prepare your customized course of treatment. When it is time to receive your individual treatments, which will typically take just a few minutes per day, you will recline and stay still as the TrueBeam linear accelerator rotates around your body and delivers targeted radiation from multiple angles.

The Center for Advanced Radiation Oncology at White Oak Cancer Center is accepting patients. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 240-471-3800.

The all-encompassing spectrum of care provided by the medical professionals at the White Oak Cancer Center complements the other specialized programs offered at White Oak Medical Center. The full range of health services includes emergency care, maternity care, a nationally-recognized heart program and a wealth of surgery services.

The White Oak Cancer Center, located at 11886 Healing Way, Suite 101, in Silver Spring, is now offering a complete scope of cancer care services. To learn more, visit AHCYOU.COM/SP21



Chronic Stress: Its Impact on the Body and Mind The symptoms of chronic stress are as diverse as the people they affect.

VERYONE experiences short-term stress from time to time, and that’s not always a bad thing – temporary stress can spur you to do your best work, rise to a challenge or avoid danger. For some people, however, the stress response gets stuck in the “on” position for days, weeks or months. That’s chronic stress. Left untreated, chronic stress can increase your risk for a host of serious health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Chronic stress is on the rise as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and associated concerns. T Newsome, MD, an internal medicine physician with Adventist Medical Group, estimated that, during 2020, 75% of his patients reported elevated stress levels. Just because more people are dealing with chronic stress, however, doesn’t mean it’s easy to recognize. This condition takes many forms, both physical and mental.



“ SPRING 2021

WHEN WORRIES GET PHYSICAL Chronic stress isn’t like a cut, a broken bone or another physical injury, but it can have physical symptoms. A backache that won’t go away, a sore neck, a stiff jaw, or sudden, unexplained weight loss or gain could be signs of chronic stress. “Patients with chronic stress may report fatigue or overall malaise,” Dr. Newsome said. “Migraines and tension headaches can result from stress, as can neck pain, back pain, insomnia and oversleeping. Erectile dysfunction can affect men who are dealing with long-term stress.” What do the physical manifestations of stress have in common? Nearly all of them could be attributed to other causes, which is why it’s important to seek help from a medical professional. Start with your doctor, who can determine whether chronic stress is present and, if so, what to do about it – including whether you would benefit from a referral to a mental health professional.

Many people are surprised by how much taking time for themselves each day can help reduce stress.” — T Newsome, MD, an internal medicine doctor with Adventist Medical Group


Chad Lennon, MD, a psychiatrist at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, recommends contacting a mental health professional if you experience the following symptoms for several days or weeks and they don’t go away after seeking help from your primary care doctor: • Physical changes such as dry mouth, tremors, sweatiness, a pounding or racing heartbeat, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, muscle tension, headache, or dizziness • Anxiety, fear, irritability, anger, resentment or loss of confidence • Difficulty making decisions, confusion or repetitive thoughts • Loss of sleep or nervous habits, such as eating too much or too little, nail biting, or drinking more coffee or alcohol than usual

“The moment you feel like symptoms are interfering with daily life, such as your ability to work or attend school, it’s time to seek medical attention,” Dr. Newsome said. “That doesn’t mean you’ll need to take medication. Sometimes, receiving advice on how to manage stress is all patients need.” For patients dealing with chronic stress and associated depression, Dr. Newsome often prescribes a combination treatment – an antidepressant and therapy with a mental health professional. This can produce better outcomes than either treatment alone, according to Dr. Newsome. Talking with a mental health professional can help patients identify stressors and learn how to focus their thoughts away from them.

STRESS ON YOUR MIND Stress can cause a variety of mental symptoms. They can be just as disruptive and debilitating as their physical counterparts – and equally as varied.

ONE NATION, UNDER STRESS In a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in late June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use issues. Twenty-six percent of respondents reported feeling trauma and stressor‑related disorder symptoms. People with this disorder experience behavioral health problems that may stem from distressing childhood events.

“The physical effects of acute stress do not last long, but some people find themselves in a constant state of heightened alertness, which is chronic stress,” said Chad Lennon, MD, a psychiatrist at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. “Untreated chronic stress manifests itself through behaviors and emotions, cognitively and physically, and it affects the whole body. As a result, symptoms put pressure on the body for an extended period of time, which is very unhealthy.” Chief among the mental manifestations of chronic stress are depression and anxiety, but others include forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and poor motivation. Dr. Lennon agrees it’s important to speak with your doctor about possible symptoms of chronic pain, especially if you notice certain red flags. If symptoms continue after your initial treatment, Dr. Lennon recommends seeing a mental health professional. “Long-term stress can affect you not only physically but mentally as well,” he said. “Knowing when you should see a mental health professional will help improve your health physically and mentally. If you develop serious health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure or a weakened immune system, it is time to seek out professional help.” A mental health professional will assess your symptoms, recommend treatment and keep you on track with a course of care so you can be mentally and physically well.

Adventist HealthCare primary care and mental health physicians can help you cope with stress. Visit to connect with a caregiver. AHCYOU.COM/SP21


Z IP C O 4 3 973









Adventist HealthCare complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. For more information, see link on our homepage at ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 301-315-3333. 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助 服務。請致電 301-315-3333。

This publication does not serve as a substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.


Building for the Future:

SHADY GROVE PLANS NEW TOWER Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center has taken a crucial first step in modernizing its Emergency Department and providing patients with all-private rooms by applying for a Certificate of Need with the Maryland Health Care Commission to build a tower addition. HE filing in October 2020 outlines the hospital’s plan to construct a 150,352-square-foot, six-floor patient care tower and renovate 25,696 square feet of existing space. The tower will be located on what is now the surface parking lots outside of its Emergency Department, immediately east of the existing hospital and adjacent to its parking garage. Upon its estimated completion in 2024, the project will give Shady Grove Medical Center all-private medical/surgical inpatient rooms; larger replacements for its Intensive Care Unit and Emergency


Department; and a Clinical Decision Unit for the safe, efficient care of observation patients. The plan focuses on upgrades that will bring Shady Grove more state-of-the-art care spaces to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. In the months ahead, the commission will review the application and allow public comment. “The changing needs of our patients and caregivers make this project essential to serve our community, now and in the future,” said hospital President Dan Cochran.

A fundraising campaign will help fund the planned expansion of Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. To make a gift for the future of the hospital, visit







COVID-19 VACCINES ARRIVE, Marking Turning Point in Pandemic On Dec. 17, 2020, a breakthrough arrived in the battle against COVID-19. DVENTIST HealthCare hospitals received shipments of 975 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, some of the first vials distributed from the state of Maryland to hospitals for frontline healthcare workers.



CONTINUED FROM PRECEDING PAGE That afternoon, Dannin McClenahan, RN, was the first employee in the Adventist HealthCare system to receive a dose of vaccine. Her coworker Karla Hudalla, RN, administered the shot at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center as a small group of team members in the Birch Conference Room clapped and held back their emotions. “I got into this profession as a nurse to be able to take care of my patients, and I know that the only way I can do that is if I am safe and I am protected from this virus,” Dannin said about her decision to receive the vaccine, which was granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 11. Dannin is hopeful the vaccine will bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and finally allow her and her fiancé to have their postponed wedding this fall. “Everybody’s been working so hard and dealing with so many things. To have this light at the end of the tunnel is really exciting,” said hospital President Dan Cochran right after the first shots were administered. “We are happy this day has come.” After administering doses to its healthcare workers, Adventist HealthCare in late January 2021 opened three community vaccine clinics. Like other leaders in the health system, Dan encourages community members to get vaccinated as they become eligible under state guidelines. “This pandemic has impacted about every aspect of everyone’s life. We now know we’re getting to the end of that and this vaccine will get us there.”

GET THE FACTS AND STICK IT TO COVID Vaccines are protecting our community members from COVID-19. More are on the way. Let’s take a look at the facts. VACCINES ARE SAFE It seems like the COVID-19 vaccines were developed on a rapid timeline, but research on other types of viruses that started many years ago helped aid scientists in their work. Efforts to control recent outbreaks like Ebola and Zika gave the scientific community a foundation, and financial resources dedicated to a COVID-19 vaccine’s development helped the process move quickly. With three vaccines approved and many in development, COVID-19 vaccines have been studied in tens of thousands of people and been shown to be safe.

VACCINES ARE EFFECTIVE Approved vaccines have been shown to be effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was shown to be 95% effective. The Moderna vaccine was shown to be 94.1% effective. The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine was shown to be up to 85% effective. All of the approved COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to minimize your chances of getting infected, becoming very sick and spreading the disease to others. With vaccine supplies limited, the best vaccine is the one you can get first.

HOW THE VACCINES WORK The first COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA that help our bodies recognize the virus and fight it off if we are exposed. Most vaccinations available today use a weakened or inactivated virus to initiate an immune response. mRNA vaccines work differently. They work by teaching our cells to make a specific protein or part of a protein that will start an immune response. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus that causes COVID-19 enters our systems. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine and others still in development use different methods to help build immunity and protect us. No matter which vaccine you receive, it’s an important step to protecting yourself and others.


Pharmacy manager Betsy Hasegawa places the first vial of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a refrigerator to thaw at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. COVER PHOTO: Emergency Department nurse Dannin McClenahan, RN, left, receives Adventist HealthCare’s first dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Karla Hudalla, RN.

The threat of COVID-19 remains even after the first doses of the vaccine are given. The virus will remain in our population and it will continue to be important to protect ourselves and each other until most people in our communities have been vaccinated. Even with a vaccine, proper use of face masks, social distancing and good hand hygiene remain our best tools to stop the spread of the COVID-19.

Michael and Charlotte Smith were eager to encourage others to be vaccinated after receiving their shots at Adventist HealthCare’s Rockville COVID-19 vaccine clinic.



The first two COVID-19 vaccines were tested in a diverse group of people. About 30% of U.S. participants were Hispanic, African American, Asian or Native American. About half were older adults. There were no significant safety concerns identified in these or any other groups.

No COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children under age 16. Both Pfizer and Moderna are now studying their vaccines on children 12 and older. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes, “Based on the current pace of research, it is potentially achievable that we will have a vaccine for at least some age groups of children and adolescents before the 2021-22 school year begins.”

PREGNANCY AND VACCINATION Pregnant women, those trying to become pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can choose to be vaccinated when they are eligible. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problem with pregnancy or lactation. If you’re expecting or a new mom, your obstetrician can help answer questions as you decide whether to be vaccinated.

VACCINATION AFTER COVID-19 If you have recovered from COVID-19, you still should be vaccinated when you become eligible. Researchers do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again. If you were treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID VARIANTS Scientists are working to learn about new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 and how well current vaccines protect against them. Knowledge of the characteristics of new variants is rapidly growing. You can find the latest updates about the variants and what’s known about them at Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


JULY 2020

DEC. 11

DEC. 17

DEC. 18

JAN. 22

Research intensifies on Middle East respiratory syndrome and other coronaviruses

Phase 3 clinical trials began for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines

FDA granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech

First vaccine given to AHC frontline healthcare workers

FDA granted emergency use authorization to Moderna

First vaccines given at AHC community clinic in Takoma Park, Maryland

ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINATION AT ADVENTIST HEALTHCARE DVENTIST HealthCare has moved quickly and safely to vaccinate members of our community at clinics in Rockville, Takoma Park and Fort Washington. Vaccine supply is extremely limited. Our system will vaccinate community members as it receives doses from the state of Maryland. Vaccination is done by appointment only and vaccine sites cannot serve walk-ups.


WHERE TO LOOK FOR APPOINTMENTS Adventist HealthCare will post all information about COVID-19 vaccination and appointment opportunities on our website: On our vaccine site, you can: • Sign up to be alerted by email about vaccination opportunities • Schedule an appointment as spots become available • See who’s currently eligible for vaccination

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL VACCINE APPOINTMENT • Talk to your doctor ahead of time about any underlying medical conditions. If you have allergic reactions or other concerns, ask whether a community clinic is the best healthcare setting for your vaccination.

• Make sure its been more than 14 days since you’ve received any other vaccines. • Review fact sheets by the vaccine manufacturers. Also, visit for the latest educational information about COVID-19 vaccines. • Make sure when you make an appointment that you will be available to return for the required second dose of vaccine. Second doses are required at 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days for the Moderna vaccine for optimal protection. • Make sure you meet the current criteria for the vaccine clinic at which you are making an appointment. Clinics are moving through the government’s phased vaccination plans differently to best serve their communities with a limited number of doses. • If you are returning for a second dose appointment, please bring the white CDC card you receive at your first appointment. • Plan to wait at your vaccination site for 15 minutes after your shot, so healthcare workers can observe any reactions you might experience.

To check for other vaccine locations throughout the state, visit


Adventist HealthCare is glad to help vaccinate our neighbors against COVID-19. Here’s what they are saying about their experiences and reasons for getting the vaccine.

Today was the first day my 102-year-old grandmother, Eleanor, has been out since the pandemic began. She is living through her second pandemic, and I feel so grateful to have the opportunity as a teacher to receive my vaccine alongside her.” — Andrea Gillespie, vaccinated in Takoma Park

I got the vaccine shot today, and I feel great!” — William Kilby, vaccinated in Fort Washington