The chief executive of University of Maryland Capital Region Health resigned Friday, saying she has accepted a new position in another state. It’s the latest leadership change to come in the wake of a self-dealing scandal on the main University of Maryland Medical System board, though a UMMS spokesman says the move is unconnected.
Sherry Perkins, who led Capital Region Health since 2016, said in a statement that she is relocating to Delaware for job in health care. Her resignation came one day after interim UMMS chief executive John Ashworth said he was prepared to make “significant changes” in personnel and management in the system, which includes 13 hospitals and has been harshly criticized by Maryland’s top officials following revelations that some of its board members had lucrative contracts with the hospital system they oversaw.
UMMS formally took over Dimensions Healthcare in Prince George’s County in 2017. Perkins had been chief operating officer at Dimensions.
A new hospital is scheduled to open in Largo in 2021.
“I am leaving the organization knowing it has a bright future ahead,” Perkins said in a statement.” “I also look forward to continuing my career, having a positive impact on patient care, which is the hallmark of my professional career.”
A spokesman for UMMS, Michael Schwartzberg, said Perkins’s resignation had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the contracts, or the ongoing audits of the medical system and its board. Perkins did not respond to a request for comment.
Ashworth thanked Perkins for her leadership and said she was “instrumental” in the Prince George’s agreement. He said he will work with the local board to name an interim replacement until a national search is conducted.
Ashworth, who met Thursday with Gov. Larry Hogan (R), said the culture at the hospital system needs to be “tightened up.”
Criticism of the contracts that involve some board members, first reported by the Baltimore Sun, have led to an exodus among the system’s top leaders and the resignation of Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D). Perkins is the first executive at Capital Region Health to resign.
The hospital system is a public-private partnership that received nearly $25 million in state funding in the past two years. It is the subject of multiple audits mandated by the General Assembly.
Ashworth, a senior vice president with the system since 2004, became interim CEO in April after Robert A. Chrencik resigned in the wake of the scandal. Pugh, who was paid $500,000 for her “Healthy Holly” books, resigned, along with the board chair and four other members.