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October 24, 2008


Big shout-out to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington DC! Don’t miss their Faux Real Bash event at Madame Tussauds this Sat, Oct 25, at 7:00 PM. Attend and win a real diamond necklace!  For tickets, call 703-698-7080 or contact nanrmhc@comcast.net and for more info click here.


For six years, Georgetown’s been the only local hospital with a CyberKnife for stereo-tactic radiosurgery. How can they improve? Well, make it a double. We recently visited with CEO Joy Drass, who happily reports a second device is up and running and new protocols to treat prostate and pancreatic cancer are in place.


G’town acquired its first Cyberknife in ’02 and uses it to perform more outside-the-central-nervous-system surgeries than any hospital in the world. The CK advantage is its improved accuracy, from centimeters to millimeters. This allows for stronger radiation without fear of damaging surrounding organs. The best feature (in our humble opinion) is its ability to adjust to “respiratory changes” (in layman’s terms, breathing). Loose translation: No longer does a poorly-timed sneeze scatter radiation over parts of the body not in the mood for it. Sounds so easy, even we could do it. (Don’t worry; we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.)


Even though Joy recently helped open this Pediatric Transplant Unit, she tells us that division is still growing. Lynt Johnson, for example, has added living-related, minimally invasive liver resections, the only division on the East Coast performing the procedure. By offering shortened recovery time, it will likely increase donors. Overall, G’town is well past 500 liver transplants since Lynt’s arrival 10 years ago. Joy tells us there are plans for another unit in the spring, though the type is TBD. The space is certainly available, as the hospital is licensed for 609 beds and currently operates about 430.


Joy came to Georgetown in July ’02, after 15 years as a VP at Washington Hospital Center, and between the two stints picked up an MBA from Wharton. Outside the office, you can find her on skis, teaching her four grandkids the finer side of the slopes. Her preferred resort destination? Alta, UT, because “No snowboarders.” That disdain aligns with our own theory that snowboarders are the hypochondriacs of winter sports. They fall down a lot, but only for the attention.


It’s one thing to spot Bob Malson at a DCHA event (he’s the prez, after all), but now we’re seeing him everywhere. On Wednesday, Bob and Peter Rosenstein, executive director of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, joined 400 other democracy lovers at the Mayflower Hotel to recognize DC Vote’s 10th anniversary. If you look closely, you’ll see Bob’s sporting an “I Voted” sticker. He tells us he exercised his right early because on Election Day he’ll be poll-watching in North Carolina, making sure “nobody gets abused legally.”

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