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April 14 - April 21, 2021

MedStar Health expanded the number of treatments rooms in the emergency department from 28 to 40.
Photograph courtesy MedStar Health

MedStar Health expanded the number of treatments rooms in the emergency department from 28 to 40.

New Emergency Department Opens At MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
$43 million project supported by MedStar Health associates aims to meet community’s care needs

MedStar Health

CLINTON, Md. (April 8, 2021)—MedStar Health is celebrating the opening of its newly-renovated emergency department (ED) at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The $43 million renovation expands the facility by 18,000 square feet, adding almost 50 percent more treatment space and several new services uniquely designed to meet the needs of surrounding communities like Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C.

“Emergency departments are important to the community because whether it’s a surgical emergency, a cardiac episode, or diabetic episode, when patients come to the ED, they’re often sicker than they’ve ever been,” said Chile Ahaghotu, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. “This new state-of-the-art emergency department gives us the ability to get patients in quickly, identify their issues, and provide our community with the best quality care that we can. In designing this new space we took into account the history of the kinds of medical conditions we see here at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, behavioral health and cancer. We made sure that we had the technologies and the physical features to support that type of care.” 

“Prince George’s County continues to grow rapidly, and its residents need seamless access to the most advanced care,” said MedStar Health President and CEO Kenneth A. Samet at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the grand opening of the new department. “MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center’s ED is a critically important access point. This facility is part of our wide-ranging efforts to improve care delivery across the region, with more specialty care located here, so patients don’t have to travel long distances to see their doctors, and population health strategies designed to keep people healthier and out of the hospital in the first place.”

Crews broke ground on the project in September 2019 and continued to work tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, starting April 8, emergency department patients have access to:

• Additional treatment rooms, which have been expanded from 28 to 40.

• A designated behavioral health area to help manage patients suffering from a behavioral health crisis or substance abuse issues in a quiet and therapeutic environment.

• Modernized ambulance access and patient waiting areas that emphasize patient privacy, including quick telehealth evaluations for all patients.

• Upgraded diagnostic imaging including a 128-slice Siemens CT scanner and a new MRI available in the ED for the first time.

• A new front entrance and two-story lobby space, including gift shop and 24-hour café.

This summer, the emergency department will complete the second phase of renovations, opening a new special pathogen treatment center used to diagnose and treat patients exposed to dangerous viruses or other microorganisms. The plan for the new pathogen center started long before the pandemic as MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center serves as one of Maryland’s five designated Special Pathogen Assessment Hospitals.

In other ways, COVID-19 did impact construction. Hospital leaders quickly adjusted project plans last year to make sure even more of the emergency department would be ready for the pandemic.

“We have 27 negative pressure rooms to keep the germs inside and keep them from getting outside,” said Kristen Quade, RN, nurse director of the Emergency Department. “MedStar Health also created what we’re calling pandemic response rooms, which we will be using in the new space as well. Those were really developed with the mindset to keep both isolation patients and the rest of the community safe.”

“Despite all of the challenges that we’ve had to deal with over the last several months, we were still able to take care of each other as a team and take care of our patients,” Dr. Ahaghotu said. “That’s really the heart of high reliability. You do it in a way that’s safe, you do it in a way that’s high quality, and you do it in a way that means a lot to the folks who are getting the care.”

One of the most special features of the upgraded facility is that more than $142 thousand of the cost was donated by MedStar Health associates in addition to donations from board members and others from the community. Through its Power to Heal campaign, MedStar Health empowers associates to financially support projects through philanthropic gifts as affordable as five to ten dollars. Often, associates choose to contribute to projects that will improve their own communities or workplaces. That was the case for both Operating Room Nurse Christine Young, RN, and Kevin Scales, who started as a volunteer in the Emergency Department at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center several years ago and worked his way up to become a radiology transporter.

“We are very appreciative that this new emergency department will assist our community because it’s gratifying to help those who need help such as the elderly, the homeless, and children,” Scales said. “To me, they are the most vulnerable in our society. As long as we give them proper care, I believe they will go on and live prosperous lives. We are at liberty to help people, so for us to be able to add to our community is a great thing.”

“I have been at the hospital for about 15 years and I am very involved in the community doing different things, like helping with women’s shelters, so donating to the Emergency Department project was a very natural thing for me to do,” said Young, who helped lead the Power to Heal campaign in her department. “I come from a background where I didn’t have a whole lot and to be in the position to help other people is very important to me.”

“I’m so grateful for how our associates, other donors and our entire community came together to support the hospital during this renovation and also during the pandemic. I am filled with gratitude and all I can say is a big ‘thank you,’” said Dr. Ahaghotu.




Andy Burton, Founder of Uncle Dell’s Mambo Sauce, Inspires Calvin Coolidge High School Students with His Entrepreneurial Journey
Entrepreneur is from Upper Marlboro, will attend PGCC this fall

Andy Factory

Washington (April 9, 2021)—At the age of 17, Andrew “Andy” Burton is the founder of one of the most popular “Mambo” sauces in DC—Uncle Dell’s Mambo Sauce. On Thursday, April 8, Andy visited students at Calvin Coolidge High School to share his entrepreneurial journey, and inspire freshman students to pursue their passions, overcome obstacles, and most importantly, believe in themselves.

“We’re thrilled to be able to have our students hear first-hand from Andy about his experiences starting his own company at such a young age,” said Jonte Lee, a Chemistry teacher at Calvin Coolidge High School. “I was recently introduced to Andy and we immediately connected, sharing a passion for entrepreneurship and inspiring our next generation of leaders. I’m so glad we could bring his story—and his sauce—to our students.”

Jonte Lee’s class hosted a barbeque lunch, sponsored by A Better You Today, LLC, where students got a taste of Andy’s unique Mambo sauce paired with chicken wings and french fries. Dessert was donated by Mr. Bake Sweets. Following the lunch, Andy presented to students in the classroom, as well as those tuning in virtually from home. The most popular topics he covered included how to start your own business and giving back to the community.

“I’m so glad to not only share my story with people my age but also share the culture I grew up with—driving around DC to experience ‘mumbo’ sauce and wings from my mother’s favorite places,” shared Andy. “I hope that my presentation today inspires at least one student to pursue their passion and that many students walk away with a new fondness for Mambo sauce!”

Andy first founded his company, Andy Factory, at five years old. He made cookies for a homeschool project and his mother assigned him and his siblings to create a business. He continued to keep the name and evolve the business, landing on the world of sauce. Soon after he perfected Uncle Dell’s Mambo Sauce, it was a hit and sold out within hours. With his older brother by his side, they continue to innovate the world of sauce and are prepared to launch two new sauces this spring.


Andy Factory is the creation of Andrew Burton and has been operating informally since 2008. With brothers Andrew and Nyles Burton at the helm, Andy Factory specializes in making unique and flavorful sauces. Currently, Andy Factory has three sauces available online and in select stores in the DC region. For more information on the sauces and where to purchase them, visit


Cicadas Will Soon Invade the State of Maryland

Capital News Service Annapolis Bureau

Brood X, a new generation of cicadas, will begin to show up in Maryland in the next few weeks,  after a 17-year-long hiatus.

These periodical cicadas— cicadas that emerge every 17 years—are only found along the eastern half of the United States, according to experts.

The red-eyed, “straw-nosed” bug will begin to show up as early as late April, will fully emerge by the beginning of May and last until June, experts said.

Michael Raupp, professor emeritus of entomology at the University of Maryland, said this will be one of the largest groups of cicadas the states have seen.

“It’s called the Great Northern Brood,” Raupp told Capital News Service. “There will be literally billions, if not trillions, of these periodical cicadas emerging more or less simultaneously.”

This brood of cicadas are found in 15 states, ranging from Georgia to Northern Virginia, as well as along the state of Mississippi, Raupp said.

This group is made up of three different species—Magicicada septendecim, Magicicada cassini and Magicicada septendecula—according to The Washington Post.

During their hibernation period, these cicadas have been feeding off the liquid found on plants and leaves known as sap, experts said.

“Their immature stages, which we call nymphs, feed on a liquid diet,” Raupp said. “When the adults emerge they will also feed on this same fluid.”

After the bugs emerge from the ground, typically at night, they will fly to vertical structures and shed their skin, Raupp said. By the next morning their exo-

skeleton will have hardened, and they will be able to fly, leading them to the treetops, he continued.

This is where the noise begins, the distinct mating calls of cicadas are some of the reasons most people find these bugs annoying, according to experts.

According to Raupp, the cicada’s sound levels can get as high as 80 to 100 decibels, which is the volume of a lawnmower or a jet aircraft going by.

During their time in Maryland, they will become a delicacy to many animals and even some people, cicada experts said.

“Birds will eat them, raccoons will eat them, turtles will eat them,” Raupp continued, “I will surely be snacking on a few as well.”

These bugs are highly nutritious and high in protein, according to experts.

Even though there is a lot of anticipation for the new wave of these unique bugs, there are also some negative connotations that come with them.

Dawn Biehler, associate professor in the department of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who studies the social impacts and cultural connotations of insects, said she’s gotten different responses from the anticipated invasion.

According to Biehler, Marylanders are either excited about the opportunity to reconnect with these bugs or they aren’t looking forward to one more thing adding to the tumultuous year.

“People get really grossed out about the way they emerge from the ground, they seem like zombies in a way,” she said.

Biehler recommends that Marylanders prepare themselves by learning a little bit more about the bugs in advance, or prepare for another couple of months of isolation.

Raupp also recommended that Marylanders cover their small trees and shrubs from the cicadas with netting gear.

“They are going to damage the branches,” Raupp said. “The trick here is the netting should have a mesh size of one centimeter or less, that’s about three-eighths of an inch.”

Raupp stressed that these bugs are a natural phenomenon, so there should be more of an embrace for these bugs than hatred.

“It only happens a few times in your lifetime, so get out and enjoy these things,” Raupp said.

Jenna Jadin, Raupp’s former student, created “Cicada-Licious: Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas” a cookbook manual, in 2004, incorporating cicadas into modern recipes.


Banana Cicada Bread

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

2 bananas, mashed

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 eggs

1/4 cup dry-roasted cicadas


After combining all the ingredients together, bake them in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.






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