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Two more UMMS board members resign, four take leaves

Two more members of the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors have resigned from the board following the emergence of details about their financial conflicts with the system, the board announced Wednesday.

John W. Dillon and Robert L. Pevenstein resigned from the board Tuesday, board Chairman Stephen Burch said in a statement. Dillon is a strategic planning consultant; Pevenstein is a workforce consultant.

Four other members of the board with potential financial conflicts — August J. Chiasera, Francis X. Kelly, James A. Soltesz and Walter A. Tilley, Jr. — have taken voluntary leaves of absence at Burch’s request, pending a review of the system’s governance practices.

“Let me be abundantly clear, this is not a reflection on any of the affected board members or their businesses,” Burch said in a statement. “Our board members are incredibly talented professionals who bring invaluable expertise and perspective while advancing Maryland’s own world-class health care system.”

 The moves follow reports that these board members or their businesses benefited financially from the University of Maryland Medical System while serving on the system’s board. All members had filed conflict of interest disclosures with the state Health Services Cost Review Commission as required.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned from the board Monday, following reports that she benefited from a contract for a series of children’s books she self-published.

Burch and UMMS President and CEO Robert Chrencik will meet with Gov. Larry Hogan, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr. in Annapolis tomorrow following pointed criticism from each of those leaders.

The system will outline the steps it is taking to review its governance, Burch said in his statement.

“Not only have we taken these critical steps, we will evaluate how the board conducts business, including a comprehensive review of existing agreements and contracts, and will create a path forward, with a view toward enhanced governance and optimal transparency,” he said. “I, along with UMMS President and CEO Robert Chrencik, look forward to a healthy and productive dialogue with Governor Hogan, House Speaker Busch and Senate President Miller tomorrow.”


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