COVID-19 shouldn’t put a stop to important screenings

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. Throughout the crisis, many patients found themselves putting off routine medical care—including annual physicals and imaging appointments.

group of women wearing pink for breast cancer awareness With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the fall is a popular time to schedule mammograms—and whether or not you postponed your annual check-up earlier this year, there’s no need to delay again. Outpatient Imaging at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital remains open and ready to serve our patients.

For everyone’s safety, new protocols include staggered scheduling of appointments, frequent disinfecting, social distancing, sanitizing stations throughout our facilities, enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, and mask requirements for all.

Because many women have no symptoms of breast cancer (and it’s most treatable when caught early), it’s important to undergo regular screenings based on your age and family history.

Women at average risk for breast cancer don’t have a personal or strong family history of the disease, nor a genetic mutation known to increase the risk of breast cancer (such as the BRCA gene), according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Experiencing any of those factors would place a patient at higher risk, including those who had chest radiation therapy before age 30.

For those who remain at average risk, the ACS recommends:

  • Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms annually.
  • Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or choose to continue annual mammograms.

COVID-19 shouldn’t put a stop to important screenings. Speak with your primary care provider or gynecologist to determine your risk factors and action plan.

Time for your mammogram? Call 301-475-6399 to schedule your appointment at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Outpatient Pavilion.

Media Contact

Holly Meyer
Public Relations & Marketing Director
[email protected]
Phone: 301-475-6010

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital nationally recognized as a Best Maternity Care Hospital by Newsweek

LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND – MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has been named to Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. The distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns, and their families, as verified by the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

“Patient safety is at the heart of all we do,” said Christine Wray, president of MedStar St. Mary’s. “Following best practices and evidence-based procedures, we strive to provide the highest quality care for all patients. We’re also committed to providing a positive patient experience—most recently by completing major renovations on suites in the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center. It’s very important to us that our patients feel safe, supported, and comfortable during their stay.”

Hospitals named as a Best Maternity Care Hospital have fully met The Leapfrog Group’s standards for maternity care on evidence-based, nationally standardized metrics. This includes lower rates of early elective delivery, NTSV C-section, and episiotomy, as well as compliance with process measures including newborn bilirubin screening prior to discharge and blood clot prevention techniques for mothers delivering via C-section.

Best Maternity Care Hospitals showcases an elite group of hospitals from across the country. These facilities stand out for the care they provide to women and families, and for giving babies a strong start to life,” said Nancy Cooper, global editor in chief of Newsweek. “Particularly in these uncertain times, we are honored to share this list of top-ranked facilities with Newsweek’s readership.”

Best Maternity Care Hospitals is part of Newsweek’s Best Health Care series, powered by data from The Leapfrog Group. MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital was one of only three hospitals in Maryland and 250 nationwide to receive this accolade. Learn more and view the full list by visiting

Holly Meyer
Public Relations & Marketing Director
[email protected]
Phone: 301-475-6010

Interventional Radiology Helped Lexington Park Woman Overcome Monthly Pain

Scott Kuo, MD, Interventional Radiologist

A Life-Changing Outcome

For 42-year-old Mara Cutchember of Lexington Park, having her menstrual cycle every month was excruciating. With heavy bleeding and excessive pain, she often found herself bedridden due to symptoms caused by fibroids. “I felt like I was in labor for three to four days a month,” Mara said. “It had gotten worse, so that’s when I said, ‘I really need to do something about this.’ ”

After years of suffering, Mara began conversations with her gynecologist about what she could do to alleviate her pain. She had discussed a hysterectomy with her doctor, but, luckily, she had also read about uterine fibroid embolization and her gynecologist recommended the procedure.

Scott Kuo, MD, of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Interventional Radiology team performed Mara’s surgery in December 2016.

“It is life-changing,” said Mara, who no longer struggles with monthly pain. “Sometimes I forget I am having my menstrual cycle now.”

Uterine fibroid embolization is typically a quick, procedure - 60 to 90 minutes - performed with minimal sedation. The minimally invasive, image-guided procedure allows patients to recover more rapidly than if they had to undergo a full hysterectomy. Mara’s recovery was four to five days versus six weeks for a more extensive surgery.

The procedure Dr. Kuo performed is called Uterine Artery Embolization, which allows embolic agents to be delivered to the uterus and fibroids. The arteries providing blood to the fibroids are blocked causing the fibroids to shrink, thus eliminating the painful monthly symptoms.

 “Many people do not realize that MedStar St Mary’s has an interventional radiology department that is ready to serve the community with different types of procedures and treatment options,” said Dr. Kuo. “Mara’s story is a great example of how we are using state-of-the-art technology to give patients faster recovery times and better outcomes through less invasive procedures.”

What is Interventional Radiology (IR)?

Advanced imaging such as ultrasound, X-rays, CAT scans, MRI scans and other methods, allow interventional radiologists to see inside a patient’s body in order to treat complex conditions with minimally invasive procedures.  IR can reduce hospital stays, lessen the chance of complications and save lives.

IR Procedures Performed at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

  • Angiograms/Venograms
  • Dialysis interventions
  • Line placement (ports, dialysis catheters)
  • IVC filter placement/removal
  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty
  • Thoracentesis/Paracentesis
  • Percutaneous image-guided biopsy
  • Embolization
    • Chemoembolization
    • Radiofrequency
    • Uterine artery
    • Varicocele/Ovarian
  • Varicose vein ablation
  • Feeding tube placement
  • Biliary and nephrostomy tube placement

Visit to learn more about Interventional Radiology.

Helping Little Hearts: More than 400 Hats Donated to MedStar St. Mary’s in Support of American Heart Month

Leonardtown, Maryland (Feb. 12, 2018) – A call for red newborn hats at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has resulted in a tremendous turnout.

Through the American Heart Association’s “Little Hats, Big Hearts” campaign, families who welcome babies at the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center in February will receive a handmade red hat instead of the traditional pink or blue. More than 400 caps have been generously donated by community members so far.

The special hats are meant to create awareness of congenital heart defects during American Heart Month, plus emphasize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

“We are humbled by the generosity of our community,” said Mary B. Cheseldine, volunteer services coordinator for MedStar St. Mary’s. “Hats have been arriving almost daily, and the creativity and talent are so impressive. These donations ensure that every child born at the hospital this month will have a warm red cap to wear, plus receive valuable resources for parents.”

“Knitters and crocheters are just the most loving group of people,” said Ellen Lewis, owner of Crazy for Ewe in Leonardtown. Lewis’ store served as a drop-off point for red hats through January, when she brought more than 80 to the hospital on Feb. 2. Contributions from Crazy for Ewe were donated to honor Jacob Medrano, who has had three major open heart surgeries and 28 minor procedures to repair a congenital heart defect. Jake, a local pre-K student, celebrated his fourth birthday in January.

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center would like to thank the many crafters who donated their time and skills to this project, especially members of the Fifth District Homemakers Club and Crazy for Ewe of Leonardtown.

“The kindness shown by members of our community — too many to name — is very appreciated by the hospital and, more importantly, by our patients and families,” added Cheseldine.

Visit to learn more about the campaign. Learn about more ways to give back to the hospital here.


Holly Meyer
Director, Marketing, PR & Philanthropy
Phone: 301-475-6010
Email: [email protected]

About MedStar St. Mary’s

MedStar St. Mary's Hospital (MSMH) is a full-service community hospital, delivering state-of-the-art emergency, acute inpatient and outpatient care in Leonardtown, Maryland. Nestled in a waterside community, MedStar St. Mary's provides advanced technology with a dedication to excellence in all services provided. The not-for-profit hospital has been named among the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals™ and is an eight-time recipient of the prestigious Delmarva Medicare Excellence Award. In addition, MSMH received the Maryland Performance Excellence award at the Platinum level in 2014 – the highest in the state. Our staff is committed to providing quality and compassionate medical care for all patients by coupling innovation with our outstanding team of Medical Staff members, associates, and volunteers.

MedStar St. Mary's community outreach department of the hospital offers regular tours of our Women's Health and Family Birthing Center and various parent-to-be classes. Call our community outreach department, Health Connections, at 301-475-6019 or visit our online calendar of events for more information. 

To find a women's health specialist at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, call 301-475-6088

Helping Little Hearts: Donations Requested for Red Newborn Hats

Newborns at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will sport a different look for the month of February. Casting aside traditional pastels, the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center is participating in the American Heart Association’s Little Hats Big Hearts campaign to raise awareness of congenital heart defects.

Members of the community are invited to knit or crochet newborn-sized hats using red cotton or acrylic yarn. These donations will be shared with the families who deliver babies during February at MedStar St. Mary’s. Parents will be given resources about congenital heart defects and can add the hashtag #littlehatsbighearts to their social media posts. Sample hat patterns and more information are available at

Donations are appreciated throughout January and February and may be dropped off at the Volunteer Services office in the hospital’s main building in Leonardtown. Please include the crafter’s name, address, and phone number with all donations.

For more information, contact Mary B. Cheseldine, volunteer and student services coordinator, by emailing [email protected] or calling 301-475-6453.

American Heart Association Photo

Abnormal Mammogram Results – What Do They Really Mean?

Negativing Breast Health

Cheryl Pauley, RN, CN-BN, left, and Christine Taylor, RN, CN-BN

Christine Taylor, RN, CN-BN, and Cheryl Pauley, RN, CN-BN, have a message for women who are told their mammogram results are abnormal – there is hope.

“Just having a certain reading on a mammogram doesn't necessarily mean a woman has breast cancer,” said Cheryl, who points out that about 80 percent of biopsies results are benign.

Cheryl and Christine recently became certified breast patient navigators. Career nurses, Cheryl has extensive experience in radiology and Christine was an operating room nurse before becoming a care coordinator.

 “Cheryl knows all of the radiology pieces and I’ve been in the operating room and have seen the actual surgery and then recovered those patients,” said Christine. “And as a care coordinator, I am familiar with a lot of resources that can benefit patients.”

Christine said most women are shocked when they receive abnormal results, and they don’t know what questions to ask or what to do next. Having a patient navigator to assist them by offering  education about breast health and procedures, collecting test results, providing information about doctors and other resources, has been shown to help improve patient outcomes.

Some of the greatest challenges patients face may not be medical. Patients might need help with childcare, finances, marital issues and transportation. Christine can also connect breast cancer patients who are uninsured or under-insured to resources offered through the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Pink Ribbon Project.

 “We would both like to encourage women to get their yearly mammograms and follow the doctor’s instructions,” said Cheryl. “If something shows up, don’t be afraid. Early biopsies and early recognition can be life saving.”

Visit for more information.

MedStar St. Mary’s Receives Recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated Birth Facility

MedStar St. Mary's Hospital Receives Prestigious International Award

Albany, NY - Baby-Friendly USA, announces that MedStar St. Mary's Hospital has received prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility. Baby-Friendly USA, Inc is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are only 405 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States.  The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

Further information about the U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative may be obtained by contacting:

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
125 Wolf Road, Suite 402
Albany, NY 12205 

Press Contact
Charmaine Tompkins
518-621-7982 PHONE
518-621-7983 FAX
[email protected]

Meet Your Breast Care Team

When you make an appointment to visit the MedStar Women’s Specialty Center in Leonardtown, our team of doctors and providers experienced in women’s health will make sure you get the care you deserve. With more than 15 years experience working in a multi-provider practice, Angela Borger, DNP, NP-C, has spent the past year focused on women’s health in the same office with fellowship-trained breast surgeon Patricia Wehner, MD. Both belong to the MedStar Breast Health Program at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and provide women in our community with exceptional service and peace of mind.

Self Exams and Mammograms

When it comes to the facts about breast cancer and managing your own health, both Angela and Dr. Wehner believe that self awareness and understanding the facts are vital risk reducing strategies, along with self exams and getting your annual mammogram. “Mammographic screening recommendations have currently changed and are determined by personal and family history,” said Dr. Wehner, “but all females aged 45 to 55 will need an annual mammogram.”

Detecting a breast lump during a self exam can be scary, but not all breast lumps are cancer. Many people can have abnormalities in their breasts that are benign or non cancerous. However, if a lump is found during a self exam, it should not be ignored and seeing a provider is advised. “A clinical breast exam is the next step in finding out if a lump needs further medical attention,” said Angela, “and mammogram imaging and other testing may be necessary as well.”

At MedStar Women’s Specialty Center, Angela and Dr. Wehner offer comprehensive breast care for women from routine procedures to surgery. Dr. Wehner performs oncoplastic breast surgeries using new techniques designed to minimize changes in the physical appearance of the breast. “With advances in modern medicine, it is easier now to remove a tumor without disfiguring the surrounding breast tissue,” said Dr. Wehner, who brings the latest advancements in breast surgery to our hometown.  

Protecting yourself is simple. Perform routine breast exams at home, visit your provider for annual well-woman exams, which include clinical breast exams, and schedule routine mammogram screenings.


Angela Borger, DNP, NP-C, is a certified nurse practitioner and a provider in the MedStar Breast Health Program. She sees patients at the MedStar Women’s Specialty Center in Leonardtown. Angela earned her doctorate in nursing practice and master of science in nursing from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. She also holds a bachelor of science in psychobiology & women’s studies from Albright College in Reading, Pa.




wehner1Patricia Wehner, MD, is a board-certified surgeon and an attending physician in the MedStar Breast Health Program. She performs surgeries at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Wehner earned her medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed her general surgery training at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, followed by a surgical breast oncology fellowship at the University of Southern California.


Checkered Tumblers CMYK

Love Yourself, Get Checked

Mammogram appointments for first time visits and annual exams are available at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. Come in for a scheduled appointment beginning in October and receive a free pink and white Breast Cancer Awareness insulated tumbler, available while supplies last.

Call 301-475-6399 to schedule an appointment.

Breast Health Fair

College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown CampusPink breast cancer ribbon isolated on white
Located in the Wellness Center – Bldg. D
Oct. 18, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

MedStar Women’s Specialty Center providers will be offering information and giveaways.

10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding


Are you a new mom or going to be? MedStar St. Mary's Hospital offers a variety of maternity services to the public, including support groups, Birthing Center tours, lactation consultants, and CPR. You can find out more about our events and classes online by visiting, as well as learn about our hospital's guide to breastfeeding below.

MedStar St. Mary's...

  1. Has a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  1. Trains all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.

  1. Informs all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

  1. Helps mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

  1. Shows mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.

  1. Advises mothers to give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically necessary.

  1. Practices rooming-in (allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day).

  1. Encourages breastfeeding on demand.

  1. Advises mothers to give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.

  1. Fosters an establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refers mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

MedStar St. Mary's Hospital upholds the World Health Organization/UNICEF “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” published in a joint statement entitled: “Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The Special Role of Maternity Services”. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding form the basis of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide breastfeeding quality improvement project created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes by offering parents support, education, and educational materials that promote the use of human milk rather than other infant food or drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breast milk substitutes, nipples, and other feeding devices.

Delivering Healthier Babies

We Make Healthy Babies Our Top Priority

A healthy baby is all any expectant mother wants, which is why MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center strives to make every mother’s birthing experience at our hospital the healthiest possible.

Babies Graph

Reducing Early Deliveries

We are proud to partner with the March of Dimes to ensure the health and safety of babies born at our hospital. Because prematurity continues to be the No. 1 killer of babies in the United States, the March of Dimes works to educate mothers about the importance of waiting until 39 weeks, if possible, to deliver their babies.

Premature births:
• Affects more than 450,000 babies each year in the United States
• Is the leading cause of death for children younger than 5
• Can cause lifelong health challenges

Last fall, our hospital was recognized by the March of Dimes Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter for reducing births before 39 weeks. MedStar St. Mary’s has specific policies and procedures in place to prevent scheduling deliveries before 39 weeks, except when medically necessary.

Baby Friendly Hospital

Breastfeeding continues to be recognized by the World Health Organization as the best choice for newborns. We are striving to become a Baby Friendly Hospital with the goal of promoting optimal newborn health by developing knowledge and confidence for new mothers who plan to breastfeed. 

Hospitals who are Baby Friendly promote successful breastfeeding by:
• Helping mothers begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth
• Rooming in – Allows mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
• Encourage breastfeeding on demand
• Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and encourage mothers to attend them

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global effort by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Our Birthing Center Offers the Comfort of Home

Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center features five birthing rooms designed with the mother-to-be’s comfort in mind. The center’s 12 private postpartum suites were specifically created to accommodate families during this special time. Tours are available the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Participants must register by calling 301-475-6019. 

Baby on the Way? We Can Help!

Health Connections, the hospital’s community outreach program, offers a variety of educational opportunities for expectant parents including classes on breastfeeding, childbirth, baby care, and infant CPR. Visit for class information or call 301-475-6019.