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Hogan makes final University of Maryland Medical System board appointments after scandal

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the last round of appointments Monday to the University of Maryland Medical System board, part of a leadership overhaul required after a contracting scandal that led to the resignation of Baltimore’s mayor and several top hospital officials.

The board came under intense scrutiny in March when The Baltimore Sun reported that a third of its 30 members had deals with the 13-hospital system, some not competitively bid.

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One of those deals was with then-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling amateurish children’s books to the system. She resigned from the board in March and her city post in May, and pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion last month.

State lawmakers passed a bill after the “Healthy Holly” ordeal mandating several reforms, including requiring the resignations of all board members by year’s end. The governor has now made all the appointments to the board of 22, plus six ex-officio that include system officials and leaders from the affiliated University of Maryland School of Medicine; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University System of Maryland; and the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center.

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All the appointees are new except for James “Chip” DiPaula, R. Alan Butler and Alexander Williams, Jr.

“I’m certainly encouraged by the dedication and commitment of the new members,” said Williams, a retired judge who is serving as interim vice chair of the system board. “We will continue to implement improvements to make sure whatever happened before, according to the investigations and reports, are cleared up and corrected and modified.”

Williams said the majority of the previous board was not involved in any impropriety, and said he was gratified that Hogan chose to reappoint him. He said he and others already had begun to increase transparency and accountability. He also said new members have backgrounds in health care delivery, law, public service and other areas to ensure proper procedures on a host of matters.

He said the board would continue to comply with outstanding reviews.

Hogan’s nominations of new board members take effect Jan. 1, when the last third of the current board’s terms are set to expire. Appointees are subject to Senate confirmation but can serve until votes are taken during the session that begins in January.

Board members can serve up to two five-year terms, a rule disregarded in the past if a governor didn’t replace them.

In the latest round of appointments, Hogan appointed or reappointed:

  • James “Chip” DiPaula, a former state budget secretary and chief of staff to then Gov.-Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. who later founded a Baltimore e-commerce firm. He was appointed by Hogan to the system board in 2016 and is now serving as the interim board chair.
  • Edward P. Nevin, a managing partner at the accounting firm Deloitte LLP’s Baltimore office.
  • Keary M. Nance, an administrative officer with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda.
  • Brianna D. Bowling, the founder of Zekiah Technologies in La Plata. She was nominated by University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, where she serves as a member of the finance committee.
  • R. Alan Butler, the CEO of Erickson Living, a Catonsville-based operator of retirement communities. He was nominated by the University of Maryland Medical Center and is a current system board member.
  • James M. Harkins, a former Harford County Executive and Maryland legislator. He was nominated by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, where he serves as a board member.
  • R. Kent Schwab, a philanthropist and an insurance professional from Anne Arundel County. He was nominated by the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he serves on the board.
  • Alexander Williams, Jr., a retired judge and a lawyer for the Baltimore firm Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White. He was appointed by Hogan to the system board in 2015 and serves as interim vice chair. He was nominated by University of Maryland Capital Region Health, where he also serves as board chair.

“Governor Hogan continues to appoint board members who will focus on reform and accountability as UMMS moves forward under a new CEO,” said Kata Hall, a spokeswoman for Hogan.

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