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UMMS cleans house at top, announces senior leadership changes

The University of Mayland Hospital at 22 South Green Street in Baltimore. MF 12/16/04.

The University of Mayland Hospital at 22 South Green Street in Baltimore. MF 12/16/04.

The beleaguered University of Maryland Medical System has announced multiple changes in senior leadership, including the resignation of four officials and the promotion of another to chief of staff.

Kristin Jones Bryce, previously vice president of external affairs and system integration, was promoted to chief of staff and senior vice president of external affairs. Before joining the system, she was chief of staff to former Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who served on the system’s board until his death this year.

“My goal is to create long-term, sustainable change that enhances our core mission of effectively serving the health care needs of the people of Maryland,” John Ashworth, the system’s interim president and CEO, said in a statement. “I am grateful to each of these individuals for their contribution and tenured service to the organization. I am keenly focused on building a strong foundation for the future for our patients and team members.”

In addition to Jones Bryce’s new role, four members of senior leadership resigned, Ashworth announced.

Those staffers include:

  • Megan Arthur, senior vice president and general counsel;
  • Christine Bachrach, vice president and chief compliance officer;
  • Keith Persinger, senior vice president and chief improvement officer; and
  • Jerry Wollman, senior vice president and chief administration officer.

The leadership changes are effective Friday, June 21.

There was no word on Mark Wasserman, who had served as senior vice president for external affairs, the role Jones Bryce now holds.

The medical system has been dogged by scandal since reports in March that members of its board had received contracts from the system.

In the spring, it was disclosed that almost one-third of the UMMS board members had some sort of financial relationship with the system. While the lion’s share of the attention focused on now-resigned Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who received $500,000 for her “Healthy Holly” children’s books, other board members also took leave or resigned. Two audits have been launched and a federal grand jury probe has begun.

UMMS CEO Robert Chrencik resigned from the board in April.

Board members Stephen Burch, John W. Dillon, Kevin O’Connor, Robert L. Pevenstein and Dr. Scott Rifkin have resigned from the board.  Burch and O’Connor’s resignations are effective July 1.

Four other board members with potential financial conflicts involving either themselves or businesses they own or are employed by — former state senator and insurance broker Francis X. Kelly, James A. Soltesz, M&T Bank executive August J. Chiasera and Walter A. Tilley Jr. — have taken voluntary leaves of absence.

Legislation signed last month by Gov. Larry Hogan aimed at strengthening oversight of the board and requiring more transparency to its operations. It included a provision that will eventually replace all current members of the board.

The law also will prohibit members from engaging in sole-source contracting with the medical system and require them to submit annual financial disclosures.

The system announced last month that the board had voted to adopt a new conflict of interest policy that included some of the law’s mandates.

The system has contracted Nygren Consulting to review its practices, a review that could be completed this month. Nygren will also work with the system to implement its recommendations, the system has said.


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