University of Maryland Medical System board OKs new conflict-of-interest policy

The board of directors for Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System has approved a new conflict-of-interest policy amid a scandal involving board members who made money from deals with the medical system while serving on the board, the system announced May 31.

The policy — which takes effect July 1 — prohibits sole-source contracting with a medical system board member and includes a process for the disclosure of interests by board members, officers and management-level employees, according to a news release. It also includes rules for addressing conflicts of interest.

A scandal involving the medical system erupted after reports found the health system paid then- Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh $500,000 for 100,000 copies of her "Healthy Holly" children's books while she was a member of the medical system board. The scandal also involved other board members who made money from deals with the medical system while serving on the board. Several board members, including Ms. Pugh, have since resigned.

System interim President and CEO John Ashworth said the conflict-of-interest policy is "another major step forward as we improve board governance, change corporate culture and put UMMS on a strong path forward."

The policy follows legislation passed by Maryland lawmakers. It was delivered to the Maryland governor and Maryland lawmakers, per state law, according to the medical system. The system said it also will be considered by system affiliate boards for review and approval within 60 days.

 

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