DeVries to head EMS board

June 30, 1993|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Staff Writer

Gov. William Donald Schaefer picked a medical malpractice lawyer yesterday to head Maryland's new Emergency Medical Services Board, which will oversee the state's rescue network of MedEvac helicopters, ambulances and paramedics.

Donald L. DeVries Jr., 46, a partner in the Baltimore firm of Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Gray, will head the 11-member board. Nine of the members were announced by Mr. Schaefer yesterday.

The General Assembly enacted legislation this year that separated the Maryland Shock Trauma Center from its rescue network. Shock Trauma in Baltimore was put under the control of the private University of Maryland Medical System, while the rescue network was put under the control of the EMS Board.

In the past, starting with the late Dr. R Adams Cowley, founder of Maryland's emergency medical care system, one person ran both the trauma center and rescue network. Dr. Cowley's most recent successor, Kimball I. Maull, served a stormy 13-month tenure before being ousted, in part because he opposed the legislation breaking the system in two.

Mr. DeVries, whose law practice has concentrated on defending physicians in malpractice cases, has served since 1989 on Shock Trauma's board of visitors, and as its chairman since 1990.

Appearing with Mr. Schaefer at a State House news conference yesterday, Mr. DeVries said, "The board's objective, purely and simply, will be to maintain [the emergency system's] record of cooperative excellence and enhance it in the future."

Also picked for the board were: Dr. Sheila Rhodes, an emergency physician at Franklin Square and Carroll County General hospitals; Dr. Willie Blair, associate professor of surgery at the Prince George's Hospital Center; Dennis Jones, a clinical nurse specialist at Franklin Square; and John Frazier, staff chief for the Baltimore City Fire Department.

Others were: Philip Hurlock, director of the Queen Anne's County Emergency Operations Center; Victor Broccolino, president and chief executive officer of Howard County General Hospital; Dr. Donald E. Wilson, dean and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Nelson J. Sabatini, the state health secretary.

Mr. Schaefer still must pick a citizen member for the board.

His press secretary said yesterday that the governor intends to pick someone from Western Maryland, a region not now represented on the panel.

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