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Don't stop donating to the UM medical system because of problems with its board

Nygren Consulting of Santa Barbara, CA., will examine deals worth millions of dollars that led Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and two other board members to resign their seats and caused four others to agree to take voluntary leaves of absence.

In 1992, after news reports detailed United Way president William Aramony’s lavish lifestyle and questionable financial practices, fundraisers for local United Way chapters found they had to convince potential donors that they shouldn’t punish needy local nonprofits for the financial mess at headquarters. For those on the fence about giving, the Aramony story made it all too easy to say “no.” I fear the same thing might happen now, given the revelations about the dealings of some board members at the University of Maryland Medical System (“Maryland Senate follows House in approving legislation to reform UMMS board after contracting scandal,” Apr. 4). It should not, because the good work of the system’s medical professionals has nothing to do with board members’ financial dealings.

Five years ago, when my wife was stricken with metastatic breast cancer, a surgeon from the medical system performed a double mastectomy. When her pain medicine kept putting her to sleep, an oncologist reviewed her medications and suggested an alternative .As a columnist with the Hagerstown newspaper, I reached out to the medical system to do an interview with one of their trauma surgeons when those in my home town wouldn’t comment on their difficulties. The same day, I toured the Shock Trauma and was privileged to be on the helipad when the victim of a serious car crash was flown in. He was pretty banged up, but he was smiling, because he knew he was where he was going to get the best possible care.

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When it’s you or one of your friends and loved ones on that helipad, don’t you want Shock Trauma to have all the resources needed to treat them? The governor and the legislature will fix the medical system’s board rules. Please keep giving the medical professionals what they need to fix the rest of us.

Bob Maginnis, Waynesboro, Pa.

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