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Letters to the UMB Community
Incident at UMMC Midtown Campus
Dear UMB Alumni:
Many of you undoubtedly have heard about the deeply troubling incident that took place at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) Midtown Campus last week. UMMC President and CEO Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, has since been addressing the incident with hospital employees and with the larger Baltimore community. His letter to UMMC staff is reproduced below my signature.
Yesterday, UMMC released a statement to the media, outlining steps the hospital is taking to ensure that such an incident never happens again. That statement may be read here.
I do have confidence in the moral and humane leadership of Dr. Suntha and his team, and I know first-hand the dedication, care, and profound compassion they show every day to the people of this community. Without doubt, the public's trust was breached terribly last week, but I am hopeful that the hospital's "thorough and unsparing" investigation and remediating steps will begin to repair that trust and heal this community.
Jay A. Perman, MD
These have been tough days for UMMC. I appreciate your continued focus on patient care and doing our important daily work while the organization is in the spotlight for failing to demonstrate basic humanity and compassion to a patient in our care as seen in the very widely circulated video. We are continuing our thorough root cause analysis of this aberration, are examining our policies and procedures, and are working to ensure that such a situation does not re-occur.
The UMMC Midtown Campus, formerly Maryland General, has a proud 137 years of service to West Baltimore, where we have embraced the community and taken care of their health care needs. What happened Tuesday night will not define or change who we are.
I have publicly apologized to the patient, her family, and to the entire community that we serve. After we provided medical care to her, we failed at the point of discharge to act compassionately and to meet her social needs. We must, and do, own this breakdown.
I have also thanked the individual who shot the video you've seen. I thanked him for taking steps to help someone in need, and for having the courage to post this video. While it's uncomfortable for us as an organization, I believe we will be better because of it.
I also addressed the news media this afternoon at the Midtown Campus. You can watch the full video of it here.
As difficult as it may be, this event has presented us with the opportunity to learn, be better, grow and improve. We must rededicate ourselves to providing the best possible care and compassion to every patient, every day.
Thank you for your continued commitment.
Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
University of Maryland Medical Center
The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Professor of Radiation Oncology
University of Maryland School of Medicine