One month after the University of Maryland Medical Center came under fire for denying care to a 22-year-old woman and discharging her into the frigid night wearing only a hospital gown, the healthcare facility continues to make changes meant to prevent such an incident from happening again. Earlier this week, the Baltimore hospital announced the appointment of longtime staff member Alison Brown as its new president.
“She understands the University of Maryland system because she has spent the bulk of her career here,” Mohan Suntha, MD, CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, explained in making the announcement, according to The Baltimore Sun. “She can hit the ground running, understanding our culture and our mission.”
Suntha previous served as both CEO and president of the hospital. He noted the division of roles was part of a previously developed long-term strategic plan, but conceded the recent troubling incident instilled greater urgency for implementing the leadership shift.
Brown has worked as a clinical nurse. Her primary roles during a 25 year tenure within the University of Maryland System have been in the areas of marketing and strategic planning. She will retain many of those duties while also taking a lead in improving the patient experience.
In addition to an ongoing probe by federal regulators, officials at University of Maryland Medical Center insist internal investigations have been made into the January incident that went viral when Imamu Baraka recorded video of the discharged patient, underdressed, disheveled, and incoherent after being escorted out of the hospital.
“I saw the unthinkable, another human in a wheelchair being wheeled out in the dead of cold,” Baraka told the Associated Press.
New policies have reportedly been put in place at the facility and employees have been disciplined, but hospital officials have thus far declined to share details.
According to the Sun, the family of the discharged woman are still exploring the possibility of legal action against the hospital.