University of Maryland Medical System CEO resigns amid board scandal

Robert A. Chrencik, president and CEO of Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System, has resigned, effective April 26, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The health system's board placed Mr. Chrencik on a leave of absence March 25, as a scandal unfolded involving board members profiting from contracts with hospital networks they oversee.

In March, three medical system board members, including Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, resigned and four others took a leave of absence. Ms. Pugh stepped down for failing to disclose a $500,000 business deal she had with the medical system, which involved the health system purchasing Ms. Pugh's Healthy Holly book series and distributing them to schools in the city.

Two other board members resigned for personally profiting off deals with the health system while serving on the board.

Mr. Chrencik defended the health system, including its purchase of the books, and he voiced opposition to a state house proposal that would prevent no-bid contracts between the health system's board members and the hospitals they oversee as well as force board members to resign and reapply if they want to return to their positions, according to the Baltimore Sun. The measure passed.

Mr. Chrencik has had a tumultuous time at the helm of the health system. He served as its CFO prior to becoming CEO in 2008. Since then, several of the system's hospitals have been embroiled in controversies, including a patient-dumping accusation in January 2018 at University of Maryland's Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore. CMS cited the hospital for patient safety violations in March 2018.

However, Mr. Chrencik's tenure also saw St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md., regain financial stability after joining the health system in 2012.

After Mr. Chrencik was placed on leave, the health system tapped John Ashworth, senior vice president of network development at the health system and associate dean at the Baltimore-based University of Maryland School of Medicine, to serve as interim leader.

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