The medical staff at Calvert Memorial Hospital has elected Dr. Barbara Estes as its new chief of staff. In private practice for 13 years with Calvert OB/GYN Associates of Southern Maryland, she has opted to focus exclusively on gynecology beginning Jan. 1. Nephrologist Dr. Ciaran Browne was chosen as vice chair and pediatrician Dr. Sara Lukban was selected as secretary and treasurer.
“Dr. Estes has considerable knowledge in medical staff leadership,” said CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis. “Her communication skills are excellent and she is a consensus builder who will help lead our organization into the next decade.”
She chaired the obstetrics department and was medical director of the woman’s wellness program. Additionally, she served on the Credentials Committee that reviews each physician’s qualifications before they are appointed to the medical staff. Physician credentialing is a key element in protecting patient safety.
“My priorities are to foster an environment where we can recruit and retain excellent doctors,” said Estes, “ and to be accessible to listen when people are encountering challenges.” Since she joined CMH in 1997, the medical staff has nearly doubled in size.
There have been other changes as well. She noted that technological advances have been critical in helping to attract the best and the brightest doctors to Calvert Memorial. According to Estes, collaborative partnerships with tertiary facilities like Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital are bringing the region’s top specialists in vascular surgery, neurosurgery and breast imaging to our community.
She pointed to the addition of pediatric hospitalists as a major improvement in the Family Birth Center. These board-certified pediatricians provide round-the-clock coverage for sick children who are admitted to CMH. They are immediately available for emergency deliveries and cesarean sections. Estes said this is very reassuring for the mothers who choose Calvert Memorial.
In the short-term, Estes said, she wants to develop a system for the medical staff to communicate to each other more easily. She said that improved communication creates a better care environment and creates cohesiveness among the medical staff.
“My long-term goal,” she added, “is to take whatever steps are needed to help local physicians thrive as independent practitioners.” Estes, who earned her MBA from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, said today’s doctors need business training to successfully operate their own practice.
“I want the community to know how much our physicians care about our patients,” she said. “They are truly dedicated to the hospital and are passionate about helping people be healthier.”