The Board of Directors at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital is a volunteer body dedicated to fulfilling the mission, vision, and values of the hospital. The board consists of community members, MedStar Health leaders, and representation from our Medical Staff.
Board members have experience on other boards or public committees, many related to the healthcare industry. They also have extensive professional and business achievements, as well as strong leadership skills. Their objectivity, commitment of time, and dedication to the community all play an important role in the success of the Board of Directors and MedStar St. Mary’s as a whole.
Since its inception, the board has guided the hospital toward many important goals. At the recommendation of its members, the hospital has expanded the array of medical specialties on staff and directed the hospital toward the acquisition of many cutting-edge technologies, such as our fully integrated electronic medical record system.
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Directors
Jennifer Blake, chair of the Board of Directors, is the services team lead for Naval Aviation Enterprise Sustainment Vision 2020 at the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command. A graduate of Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, Blake holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics and Spanish literature as well as a master’s degree in business administration from The George Washington University. She is a graduate of both the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for Democratic Society and the Naval Air Systems Command Senior Executive Management Development Program. Blake has been a member and chair of the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, as well as a member and current chair of the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Directors.
Anna H. Choi, MD, is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She completed her internship and residency at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, followed by a residency and fellowship at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Center. Dr. Choi is board certified in radiology and diagnostic radiology.
Joy Drass, MD, is executive vice president and chief operating officer for MedStar Health for the Washington region with responsibility for system-wide human resources and nursing functions. Dr. Drass previously served as president of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. An alumna of Georgetown University Medical School, Dr. Drass worked for 13 years as an intensivist in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and the MedSTAR Trauma Unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where she also held a variety of clinical leadership roles. In addition to her medical credentials, she received a master’s in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
Karen Garner was president of Rational HealthCare, which focuses on improving the integration of humans and technology to reduce health care costs and increase safety, until her retirement in 2016. She spent 17 years at Research and Engineering Development, Inc., and 25 years as an engineering psychologist for the U.S. Navy. Garner holds a master’s in business administration from University of Maryland University College.
Tracy A. Harris, PhD, is vice president and dean of the College of Southern Maryland’s Leonardtown Campus. Dr. Harris has served and presented on leadership, enrollment management, student assessment, and stress management on state and national levels, and published peer-reviewed research articles on the persistence of first-year college students, among other topics. He holds a doctorate of philosophy, community college leadership, from Walden University; a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh with certification in personnel and labor relations; and a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from The Pennsylvania State University.
John Harvey, MD, is a board-certified vascular surgeon and general surgeon with MedStar Shah Medical Group, also serving as vice chief of staff at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. After earning his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Dr. Harvey completed his residency in general surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. His fellowship in vascular surgery was completed at Englewood Hospital & Medical Center in New Jersey.
Krishna P. Jayaraman, MD, is a board-certified urologist affiliated with MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital since 1982. He and his wife, Dr. Nilima Jayaraman, have been caring for patients at Jayaraman Medical Associates in Mechanicsville since 2003. Dr. Jayaraman attended medical school at the University of Bombay, completing his residency at Prince George’s Hospital Center and DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Micheline Lopez-Estrada is the vice president of strategic solutions and capture management at ECS Federal, Inc. She is a systems engineer and product manager with more than 25 years of experience supporting agencies within the U.S. Department of Defense. Lopez-Estrada received her MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology and holds a master’s degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University.
Conor F. Lundergan, MD, is the chief of medical staff at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital. He is board certified in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine. Dr. Lundergan is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his residency and two fellowships at Duke University Medical Center. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in physiology and biophysics from Georgetown University. A member of MedStar Cardiology Associates, Dr. Lundergan is a fellow in clinical cardiology with the American Heart Association and a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center.
Kenneth A. Samet is president and CEO of MedStar Health. With more than 30 years of experience in healthcare administration, Samet provides strategic oversight and management for MedStar Health. He served as president and chief operating officer of MedStar Health from 2003 to 2008, previously serving as the system’s first chief operating officer since MedStar’s inception in 1998. He has dedicated his career to healthcare, receiving his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan. Samet is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).
Capt. Stephen Schmeiser has lived and worked in Southern Maryland for many years, retiring from his post as commanding officer of Patuxent River Naval Air Station in 2011. During his 27-year career with the U.S. Navy, Schmeiser attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School before studying systems engineering at Johns Hopkins. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), he is vice president and Naval Aviation Account Lead at Engility Corporation. Schmeiser also serves as a member of the Southern Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Avani D. Shah, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and an internist with MedStar Shah Medical Group. Dr. Shah earned her medical degree from N.H.L. Municipal Medical College in Ahmedabad, India, and completed her residency at Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She served as the chief of medical staff at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital from 2011 to 2014, and has served on the hospital’s Board of Directors since 2011.
Rick Tepel is the chief executive officer of Raley, Watts & O’Neill Insurance and Financial Services, headquartered in California, Maryland. Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in American studies from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and has also served on the Hospital Foundation.
Christina Broom Via holds a bachelor’s degree in management (specializing in Human Resources) from the Florida State University and a master’s degree in systems management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Christina’s expertise in HR encompasses recruitment, staffing and retention; benefits and compensation; employee and management training and development; employee relations; ethics compliance; regulatory compliance; diversity; and stock ownership. And while 20 consecutive years of her career were with one large Department of Defense (DoD) contracting agency, today Christina offers her HR and administrative expertise to small contracting DoD firms, small non-DoD consulting companies, and to the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Board. Christina, her husband, and three children live in St. Mary’s County, where they are active with her band, their children’s never-ending activities, their extended family, their church, and various outreach ministries.
Krista Wall is a corporate administrative resident for MedStar Health. She is a 2017 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, where she earned her master’s degree in healthcare administration. Wall recently completed an administrative internship with Intermountain Healthcare, where she worked on a number of operational initiatives primarily related to surgical services. She is also a certified pharmacy technician.
Vince Whittles is the owner of SERVPRO of St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties, a Lexington Park-based cleanup and restoration business recently marking 34 years in the community. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Whittles is the varsity wrestling coach at St. Mary’s Ryken High School and has served as a member of the Hospital Foundation.
Christine R. Wray is president of MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, a position she has held since 1992, and senior vice president of MedStar Health since 2011. She serves as a representative to state healthcare organizations and actively engages hospital leadership in shaping and developing industry policy. Wray earned a bachelor’s degree in public health from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a master’s degree in health planning and administration from The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and a member of the Maryland Hospital Association.