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September 24 - September 30, 2020

ZAP-X exteriorPhoto courtesy MedStar Health
ZAP-X exterior


Maryland Woman First on the East Coast to be Treated With ZAP-X, a New Non-Surgical Cancer-Fighting Radiation Therapy
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Becomes Second Site in the United States to Offer New Gyroscopic Radiosurgery for Brain Tumors

MedStar Health

Clinton, Md. (September 18, 2020)—A Maryland woman has become the first patient on the East Coast of the United States to receive treatment with a new, non-surgical radiation therapy for brain tumors.

Zap-X® Gyroscopic Radiosurgery™ is now available at the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute (MGCI) at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

“For many primary and metastatic brain tumors, non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is proven to be as effective as surgery,” says Brian Collins, MD, medical director, Radiation Medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “ZAP-X is an outpatient procedure with no surgical incision and little to no recovery time for patients.”

68-year-old Patricia June of Largo, Md. was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2006. But unfortunately, her cancer recurred in her brain in 2020.

Neurosurgeon Amjad Anaizi, MD at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital removed June’s tumor in August.  The next step in her treatment plan—kill any cancer cells left behind, using ZAP-X.

The new ZAP-X technology uses gyroscopic motion to direct radiosurgical beams from hundreds of angles to precisely pinpoint radiation to both cancerous tumors and benign conditions in the brain. Using this approach, the radiation spares healthy brain tissue.

“In this patient’s case, ZAP-X radiosurgery is a superior choice compared to traditional radiation,” says Andrew Satinsky, MD, clinical director of Radiation Oncology at the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland. “The ability to offer this technology to the people of southern Maryland, in combination with access to NCI-designated care and cancer clinical trials through our research partners at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, provides access to the latest high-level treatments close to home.  There’s never been anything like this in our region before.”

“This world-class therapy is redefining radiosurgery for the brain,” says Dr. Collins. “It’s increasing the accuracy and the intensity of the radiation we can provide, while making precision radiation treatment more readily available to patients. Our community is fortunate to have access to this next-generation treatment.”

Preparations for ZAP-X continued through the COVID-19 pandemic, although its spring opening had to be postponed.  But dedicated teams of technologists from ZAP Surgical System who were prevented from flying, rented cars and drove cross country to the D.C. area from San Carlos, California and continued with the machine’s installation procedures.

“We are grateful to the teams from ZAP Surgical who helped us get this center open so we could begin to safely treat our patients with this amazing technology,” says Dr. Satinsky.





Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation Announces Partnership With Lerch, Early & Brewer to Support Small Business Community

PGC Economic Development Corporation

Largo, Md. (September 16, 2020)—Today, the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is pleased announce its partnership with Lerch, Early & Brewer, a full-service regional law firm that will focus in serving the EDC’s Innovation Station Business Incubator (ISBI) members and the greater Prince George’s County business community. As part of the year-long agreement, Lerch Early will host a series of four virtual workshops, each focusing on legal topics relevant to emerging and small businesses, with an emphasis on the elements of doing business in Prince George’s County and Maryland overall.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Prince George’s County EDC and Innovation Station, and we’re looking forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with Prince George’s businesses,” said Steve Robins, Managing Partner at Lerch Early. “Lerch Early & Brewer wants to be supportive of business owners and share our expertise on business and tax; labor and employment; company formation, contract law, bankruptcy, commercial lending, and land use among others.”

The first virtual workshop, Guidelines and Tips for Buying or Selling a Business, will take place on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 12 p.m. Lerch Early corporate attorneys Raymond Sherbill and David Kay will discuss what goes into moving a business, including business valuation, the role of brokers, tax considerations, and structuring the deal.

“The Economic Development Corporation welcomes Lerch Early to Prince George’s County and appreciates this opportunity to provide quality legal resources to the County’s business community,” said David Iannucci, President and CEO, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation. “By leveraging our Innovation Station Business Incubator, we are working to ensure companies of all sizes and backgrounds gain the knowledge and resources they need to foster business retention, expansion and recruitment opportunities.”

As another important aspect of the partnership, Lerch Early will provide one-on-one counseling to ISBI members and COVID-19 Business Recovery Initiative applicants. The second workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 22nd and will focus on the ABCs of Business Formation., Lerch Early attorneys Paul Alpuche and Emily Hagan will lead this webinar.

You can register for the free webinar here:

For more information, visit and search Lerch Early. 




Brighter Bites Begins School Year by Increasing Access to Fresh Produce and Food Literacy in Prince George’s County

$40,000 grant from Amerigroup to support ongoing COVID-19 distributions and Brighter Bites expansion in the fall

Brighter Bites

Prince George’s County, Md. (September 16, 2020)—Brighter Bites is pleased to begin its general programming in the Washington, D.C. area this month as schools open during the continuing COVID-19 outbreak and food insecurity among families continues.

Food insecurity in Prince George’s County was already a massive problem prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, with an estimated 10.3% of residents identifying as food insecure. Now, more than 30,000 residents in the county have filed for unemployment since March 14 and food access disparities across the county have skyrocketed.

To address these rising levels of food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19, Brighter Bites and Amerigroup have partnered to expand access to fresh produce and nutrition education to residents in Prince George’s County, MD. Brighter Bites will use the $40,000 grant from Amerigroup to support ongoing emergency community distributions, which are currently serving more than 9,000 families with 20-25 pounds of fresh produce per week, as well as expansion of the organization’s school-based programming in the fall.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a glaring light on how those living in economically disadvantaged communities without reliable access to fresh, healthy food are bearing the heaviest burden of COVID-19 infections,” said Northeast Regional Director of Brighter Bites Melanie Button. “We are thrilled to join forces with Amerigroup to expand our reach throughout Prince George’s County and address food insecurity as a major social determinant of health. Together, we’re ensuring that families are not only able to put food on the table, but more importantly consume the right foods to keep them nourished and their immune systems strong.” 

Brighter Bites is one of dozens of nonprofits in the area that have experienced a surge in demand for services during the pandemic, and the demand will continue as schools begin this week. The organization is currently distributing 9,050 boxes of fresh food per week to more than 20 schools, churches, and community centers but demand has increased more than 500% since the beginning of March. In addition to the fresh produce, Brighter Bites also provides families with digital and printed nutrition education resources to promote long-term, sustainable changes in dietary behavior.

“At Amerigroup, we understand the vital role that healthy food can play in promoting the overall health and well-being of the communities we support and it is especially important for local youth,” said Vince Ancona, Amerigroup Maryland Medicaid Plan President. “We know that the food access gap for low-income Maryland residents has widened during the pandemic and our goal in partnering with Brighter Bites is to ensure that residents can obtain the food and resources they need to help them during this health crisis.” 


Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschool, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided nearly 30 million pounds of produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 350,000 individuals (including teachers) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit


Amerigroup Maryland has provided health care coverage since 1999. Statewide, we serve approximately 288,000 members in the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Amerigroup Maryland is one of the state’s largest Managed Care Organizations (MCO) and is one of the largest MCOs in Baltimore City and the counties of Baltimore, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel. Employees share genuine pride in making a difference in the lives of people who might need a little extra help.





Highland Park Elementary Named a 2020 “America’s Healthiest School”

Prince George’s County Public Schools

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (September 15, 2020)—Highland Park Elementary is among 517 schools nationwide to earn a spot on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s (Healthier Generation) 2020 list of America’s Healthiest Schools for their commitment to promoting quality nutrition, regular physical activity and strong wellness policies. Highland Park, which serves 258 students, is among seven schools in Maryland to receive the recognition for promoting good health before and during the pandemic through:

• Offering fresh fruit and healthy snacks throughout the day and free breakfast provided for all students.

• Morning Movement announcements and stress reduction exercises 

• Art projects focused on unity and inclusivity

• Free wellness classes for staff

• A community health and wellness night

• After school physical engagement programs.

“The teachers, parents, students and staff at Highland Park Elementary recognize the critical role that health plays in learning and are honored to receive this national recognition,” said Principal Wanda L. Robinson. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering environments where all members of the school community can succeed.” 

As members of Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program, Highland Park Elementary will work to implement wellness policies and practices that meet federal requirements and support a comprehensive approach to kids’ health.

To view the complete list of America’s Healthiest Schools, visit


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