House bill to reorganize Shock Trauma advances Private medical system would run facility STATE HOUSE REPORT

April 02, 1993|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Staff Writer

The House of Delegates cleared the way yesterday for the Maryland Shock Trauma Center to become part of the University of Maryland Medical System, defeating amendments to a reorganization bill supported by the governor.

The fight over who controls Shock Trauma became part of the controversy last month surrounding the departure of Dr. Kimball I. Maull as its director. After he had been ousted from his job, Dr. Maull testified at a legislative hearing against giving the center to the private university medical system.

The governor's proposal -- expected to get final House approval today -- would mean that no person would ever have the same job as that held by Dr. Maull and the late Dr. R Adams Cowley, who founded the center.

Those men were in charge of not only Shock Trauma, but also the state's rescue network of MedEvac helicopters, ambulances and paramedics.

Instead, the bill calls for those emergency services to report to a separate public agency, while Shock Trauma would be controlled by the private medical system.

Del. Lawrence A. LaMotte, the Baltimore County Democrat who has sought to keep Shock Trauma and the emergency services together, continued that fight on the House floor yesterday with a series of amendments to the bill.

"Dr. Cowley is probably spinning in his grave right now," Mr. LaMotte said, arguing that keeping the center and the rescue network together is an essential part of the state's trauma system.

"Everything he worked for is on the line at this moment," Mr. LaMotte said.

Supporters of the bill, however, argue that taking away the rescue network would remove an apparent conflict of interest because Shock Trauma could no longer be seen as directing patients to its own facility.

Mr. LaMotte's chief amendment was defeated, 76-23, while a series of other amendments he offered went down by larger margins.

The Senate is expected to approve similar legislation on the governance of Shock Trauma, which was proposed by the Schaefer administration after a commission studied the matter last year.

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