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December

UMB Salutes Klein for Government and Community Affairs Leadership

Friends, colleagues, and family gathered at the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center on Dec. 16 to salute Barbara Klein, MPA, chief government and community affairs officer and associate vice president, who is retiring from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) after 17 years.

(Click HERE for photo gallery)

UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, called Klein his "wise counselor," and cited her work with the General Assembly to secure funding for the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, state Medevac System, and capital funding for new facilities for the schools of law, social work, dentistry, and pharmacy, and for Health Sciences Facilities II and III, as well as her community and student work with the Presidentýs Outreach Council.

"Barbara, being at my side when I needed advice, when I needed counsel in putting our best foot forward with leadership of this state, with legislators of this state, it's been invaluable to me," Perman said.

"You are responsible for so many accomplishments and so much advocacy on behalf of UMB and on behalf of our University System and we are eternally grateful."

Klein ensured that UMB has a unified voice in legislative matters and that its educational programs, research, patient care, and community service are recognized as valuable state resources. Among many other achievements, her efforts contributed significantly to securing state funds for UMB's operating budget, extensive support for cancer and tobacco-related diseases research, financing for graduate medical education, and more.

Prior to her arrival at UMB, Klein was a chief policy and fiscal advisor and an analyst to fiscal and special committees for the Maryland state legislature from 1980 to 1996. A certified public accountant, she also served as the chief of auditing for the Governor's Commission on Law Enforcement from 1976 to 1980.

Former State Senator Francis X. "Frank" Kelly Jr., a member of the University System Board of Regents, said if not for Klein's efforts before coming to UMB two "historic pieces of legislation" would not have been passed. He went on to detail the "backroom deals" that led to the 1984 privatizing of what was then University Hospital into the University of Maryland Medical System.

"If it wasn't for Barbara and her smarts, her knowledge, and her creativity," Kelly said, "that bill forming the University of Maryland Medical System wouldn't have happened. It turned a $200 million bankrupt hospital into what is now part of a $3.5 billion medical system."

Kelly also credited Klein with being a key player in 1988 legislation that created the University System of Maryland, "which took 12 state colleges and combined them into one system. Barb was there for seven or eight days and nights as we tried to craft the legislation. It wouldn't have happened without Barbara."

At UMB, Klein has been recognized for her leadership with legislators and advocates in addressing oral and primary health care inequities for underserved children. Her dedication helped lead to significant increases in Medicaid reimbursements to improve access to care and in achieving major policy changes in state law. She has worked collaboratively with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on many initiatives, including securing a major grant that led to the creation of the Institute for a Healthiest Maryland. Last year she was one of my co-authors on a report making recommendations to expedite and streamline operations of the Maryland Board of Physicians.

Pete Gilbert, MSF, chief operating officer and senior vice president at UMB, drew a laugh from the crowd when he introduced himself as "Barbara Klein's supervisor. You know what it really means? I do whatever she tells me to do. And Iýve talked to a couple people that she ýused to work for. And they said the same thing!"

He added that "it's rare to find someone as competent and as knowledgeable in their profession as Barbara Klein is in hers. She has that seasoned quality that says whatever comes up she can handle it and sheýs going to get you through it. I will miss you tremendously."

Klein's parting gifts included a Governor's Proclamation for her 37 years of service to the state and blue crab-themed porcelain enamel cookware and a collection of Maryland-themed recipes from friends and colleagues so she doesn't forget Maryland when she moves to a home she is having built in the Outer Banks, N.C.

Then Klein took the podium and quickly turned the attention from herself to others in the room. Perman, the deans, and vice presidents got a round of applause, as did her Government and Community Affairs (GCA) team. She pointed out that Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of Community Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, started out as a student intern in "our shop in Annapolis in 1999," a GCA student program that continues to flourish today.

Klein thanked her former legislative colleagues in attendance, with a special tribute to former General Assembly budget guru Bill Ratchford, "who has been a mentoring and guiding force to so many of us. Bill, you've elevated our careers and been a great friend so thank you."

Faculty, staff, and students were feted for "being such a great resource throughout the years and always being such great ambassadors for UMB. I appreciate everything from everybody. I will cherish the memories from each of you."
Posting Date: 12/17/2013
Contact Name: Chris Zang
Contact Phone: 410-706-2074
Contact Email: czang001@umaryland.edu