Georgetown University Hospital president leaves for new MedStar gig

The president of the Georgetown University Hospital, Dr. M. Joy Drass (left), recently got a new gig: executive vice president for operations of MedStar Health Washington, the company that operates the hospital.

In her new position, Drass will be responsible for “overseeing all operations, market strategy and program development of Georgetown University Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, National Rehabilitation Hospital and Montgomery General Hospital,” according to the Georgetowner.

Drass started in her new position last Wednesday and is no longer serving as president of the hospital, according to GU Hospital Director of Communications Marianne Worley. Dr. Richard Goldberg, who has been with the GU Hospital’s psychiatry department for the past 20 years and graduated from Georgetown Medical School, will be serving as interim president of the hospital.

14 Comments on “Georgetown University Hospital president leaves for new MedStar gig

  1. Hopefully, the new President of Georgetown University Hospital will correct the system that allowed a tragic mistake and caused my beloved sister to die. She was a patient on the 5th floor at GUH awaiting a liver transplant. When a donated liver became available, GUH called my beloved sister at HOME 3 times and left messages on her answering machine telling her to come to GUH for a liver transplant, when she was already a patient in their hospital. No one got the messages until 2 days later and by then the donated liver had gone to someone else. My beloved sister died 2 weeks later on Thanksgiving Day after suffering liver/kidney failure. There is never an hour, hardly a minute, that I don’t relive this nightmare. I will never recuperate. God have mercy on their other patients.

  2. I only stumbled across this post recently and could not agree and sympathize with Dorothy more โ€“ I am so sorry. I have similar stories โ€“ but fortunately no harm done โ€“ and wrote a four page letter to Dr. Drass outlining everything that happened to me while being treated for cancer and some other unrelated issues at GUH. There were some very caring and competent professionals who I also recognized in the letter at the same time. Some of the issues were being spoken to abusively and humiliated by staff while recovering form cancer surgery, not being able to make appointments because no one returns calls and not being called to schedule my surgery by the promised deadline until I faxed a letter to the surgeon. The letter is too long to post but if anyone would like a copy, please email me at
    I also hope the new president corrects this as some of the best medical expertise is known to be at GUH.

  3. I was astonished at the level of unprofessionalism and lack of care and respect from a physician in the Gyn Department at Georgetown University Hospital who ignored 4 telephone calls, over nearly a month, in an attempt to get results for a sonogram. He shall go unnamed for the time being. I only heard back–from a supervisory physician–after sending an e-mail to the Communications Department. Three months after seeing this Georgetown doctor, I learned that I had endometrial cancer, Adenocarcinoma, Grade 2 (diagnosed at a different hospital, with much better patient care). An e-mail letter written to GUH and Medstar leadership (not the board, yet) regarding this abysmal quality of care has yet to receive a response.

    Is the lack of response from the top leadership due to the arrogance of a hospital with a seemingly trusted name? The Values listed on its Website (“Service; Patient First; Integrity; Respect; Innovation; Teamwork”) fall far below my experience with this man who wears the title of doctor, and for whom the Hippocratic Oath is clearly meaningless. Whether this man is simply following unwritten Georgetown rules of neglect, lack of respect, lack of integrity for all is yet to be determined. From the post above, a lack of returned telephone calls to patients is–to me– a sign of a hospital in disarray, and of a team for whom lawsuits must be par for the course.

  4. Georgetown University Hospital recalled my mother’s body from the funeral home. After she died at the hospital, the hospital told the funeral home to pick up her body, which it did. Later, the hospital phoned the funeral home and asked them to bring her back to the hospital, explaining that it had released her body by mistake, before conducting planned tests. The funeral home saw this request as highly unusual, but they complied and returned her to the hospital and then picked her up again after the tests.

    The two extra transfers increased the transportation bill to nearly a thousand dollars, which I had to pay. The hospital apologized to me for its error, but is refusing to address the issue of who should pay for its mistake. I submitted a copy of the $950 bill and asked the hospital to pay its share, but it has not done so and it will not even explain why.

    I wrote to Georgetown University Hospital president Dr. Richard L. Goldberg [personal information removed by editor] and to his boss, Dr. Mary Joy Drass [personal information removed by editor], who is executive vice president of Washington region operations for MedStar Health, which operates the hospital. They both responded initially, but as soon as I mentioned what the issue was, they refused to respond any further.

    — Jeff Schmidt, Washington, D.C. (

  5. I tried to get an appointment in depart OBGYN and left many telephone messages with voice mail secreatry on their
    appointment secretary. No call back, no call back, no call back. Well, I guess they do not care if I die. I have lost
    trust in Georgetown Mediciane. So bad. So indifferent to patients. Failure. Bad operation.

  6. Pingback: Vox Populi ยป Richard Goldberg named GU Hospital President

  7. ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) — A woman who was waiting for a liver transplant at Georgetown Hospital never got the chance because the hospital apparently couldn’t reach her, even though the women was a patient at Georgetown at that time.

    This is all according to her sister, Dorothy Roy, who is now suing Georgetown University Hospital for medical negligence.

    “This is one year from the day she died,” Dorothy Roy said as she held a picture of her beloved sister Donna Roy who died Thanksgiving day 2008. She was 59. She had non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and had been on the transplant list at Georgetown University Hospital.

    “She was desperate for a liver,” said Roy.

    In November of 2008, a liver match was apparently found, and a Georgetown employee tried to reach Donna at her Alexandria home… twice.

    Message number 13 on the answering machine: “Hello this is Martha calling from Georgetown transplant. I’m calling to offer you a liver. A liver offer…”

    That would’ve been great news, except Donna didn’t get it, because she was a patient at Georgetown at that time. Dorothy found the messages on her sister’s answering machine too late.

    Roy said, “I returned Martha’s call and she said, ‘Oh no! Someone else got the liver!'”

    Dorothy says she spent every night at the hospital with her sister.

    “It’s just unreal. She had been seeing dozens of doctors at Georgetown. Everyone knew she was at Georgetown. How could they have called her at home?

    “I was the emergency point of contact. They had my cell phone and my home number. They did not call.”

    Georgetown Hospital declined to comment on the case because it’s in litigation. 9NEWS NOW called the number Martha left and confirmed it reaches the on-call coordinator for the Georgetown Transplant Institute.

    Dorothy hopes someone who needed the liver more than her sister got the liver but says she’s never been given any answers.

    “I want to know why Donna didn’t get the liver, and what happen to it.”

    The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. A computer system is used to match organs to patients. Before a match is approved, the patient’s physician has to OK it. It’s not known if Donna Roy was the first on the list for this liver, but a UNOS spokesperson says generally a patient would not be called about a match unless that person was first on the list.

    A Georgetown spokesperson said late Friday afternoon that it’s too early to comment on the case because they were just served the lawsuit yesterday.

    Roy is seeking $5 million from Georgetown. She says she mostly wants the hospital to change is procedures so another person doesn’t go through this. Roy says if she gets any money, she’ll send it to Haiti, because that’s what here sister would do.

    Written by Peggy Fox
    9NEWS NOW &

  8. I have worked at Georgetown for many years, since Medstar took over we have had plenty of work, which we did not have before. After reading the above comments, I can say as an insider that The workers and Doctors Do care, but the impersonal corporate structure is profoundly indifferent and insensitive to its workers. Medstar is not for profit but they pinch pennies so tightly that one penny at Medstar will split into five. I think that all the workers at Georgetown R over worked, most Departments R understaffed. It is all, most of us can do just to get the days work done. It makes it very difficult to keep your eye the most important aspect of our Mission, our patients. Medstar is quietly working to get rid of many older workers, we R paid more than the average worker in our given job. I was at a Christmas party recently and met other Medstar hospital workers and they all agreed that Medstar is trying to unload the workers that have worked at their hospital long term. Older workers R a medical insurance liability and R highest paid because of their longevity on the job. So much for experience!
    I feel very bad for the above who’s experience was bad, we need to look at the process that allows big corporations to buy up hospitals and convert them to health care factories

  9. Isn’t this a good Catholic hospital? They have the same concern for their patients as they have for the children that have been molested by priests for thousands of years. Have you looked at the D.C. Superior Court website to see how many lawsuits they have against them? I swear to God I was in the GUH emergency room with a family member, and I saw and heard the doctors looking/laughing while checking a patient’s symptoms on Google. Can you even imagine how much of our insurance money goes to their attorneys. If I have a choice of life or death, I will take a fast death instead of being admitted to Georgetown.

  10. I left my post over a year ago above and am amazed how badly this hospital treats patients in need based on the responses. Keep them coming as I noticed a significant improvement.

  11. I have been looking at articles on this topic for quite some time now and I have loved the post you have shared here. Bloggers like you are keeping the blogging experience alive. I find these website development guys important worth mentioning here. They have created some great blogs recently. You should consult them too.

  12. Hello Friends

    WOW!!!!! this is a lot to read and I’m not surprised at all. I’m not to happy this morning because how I was treaded on yesterday at Georgetown. Let me say I have been going to this hospital since my boys were babies and now they 18 and 12 I have never read anything like this until now. I had an appointment 8/7/13 at 11:30 (Foot Pain) so they said that I needed a referral to see this doctor ( call requesting one). Going to my doctor office on the 6th floor trying to get my referral do you not know I did not get this form until 2:00pm and because of this I had to make another appointment for next week. My problem may not be so sad and hurtful but the mistreatment of patients it does not make since to me. The lady said she was waiting for a doctor to sign off on the form it took that long. Then someone from the back came to talk to me and she told me that my insurance did not require a referral ( I will find that out today) but the point was the run around and mistreatment of patients. I had now idea that one of the best hospital was this ugly at heart. I pray that they get it together but I will be sending a letter to Goldberg and Drass.

    I pray that everything works out for all of you.

  13. After our visit for serious medical matter and total lack of attention, compassion and follow up, I can only recommend that you stay away from the G’twon hospital liver institute . I believe the culture of an organization is top down and this one is in need of a revamp! If I had not accompanied the patiend and asked at each step to get the tests and follow up done, she would totally be ignored and in trouble…

  14. In utter shock over how this hospital is run. My wife had a nightmarish ICU experience followed by a complete lack of courtesy and response from the medical team which seems to be stressed and overworked. As a result of a series of “miscommunications”, my wife had lost a chance for a transplant a few months ago, and
    subsequently, a chance for a life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>