October 4, 2013

Barbara Klein Retirement

Dear Colleagues:

It is with sadness that I write to inform you that Barbara Klein, chief government and community affairs officer and associate vice president, has announced her decision to retire at the end of this calendar year after serving 17 years at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Ms. Klein has been an outstanding advocate on behalf of the University. I know I speak for our entire University family in saying that I will miss her wise counsel and expertise.

Ms. Klein has expertly guided our legislative advocacy and has achieved an outstanding record of accomplishments. She worked diligently to ensure that the University has a unified voice in legislative matters and that our educational programs, research, patient care, and community service are recognized as valuable state resources. Among many other achievements, Ms. Klein's 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, the Shock Trauma Center and 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. 

Ms. 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.

Ms. Klein has mentored a number of UMB students by providing rotations in her Annapolis and Baltimore offices and by coaching them in advocacy efforts. And as the chair of the President's Outreach Council, she has been a guiding force in the vision behind the Council's outreach programs for children and families in our West Baltimore community.  

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

Ms. Klein asked that I convey her deep appreciation to her colleagues for their generosity in sharing their expertise and wisdom, which has made her tenure here such a wonderful experience. She said it has been an honor to represent the University and our incredibly talented faculty, students and staff and she extends her heartfelt appreciation for your invaluable support.

A search will be conducted for Ms. Klein's replacement after the 2014 legislative session has ended next spring. After Ms. Klein's retirement, Kevin Kelly, director of government affairs, will lead the Office of Government and Community Affairs on an interim basis until a replacement is named. Pete Gilbert, chief operating officer and senior vice president, will lead the search.

The entire University community is grateful to Ms. Klein for her leadership and dedication to UMB. Please join me in extending best wishes to Ms. Klein. She will be missed by all of those who have had the privilege of working with her.


Jay A. Perman, MD