BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Shock Trauma hosted its annual gala honoring the state’s emergency medical service system members on Saturday, but many of the University of Maryland Medical System’s (UMMS) reforms were at the front of the minds of some of the attendees.

“I’m a little saddened by the way in which things have come down,” Stephen Wantz said. “I’m hopeful they’ll get a hold of everything and turn it back around into the positive way they should.”

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The General Assembly passed a comprehensive reform bill this week forcing the medical system board members to resign and reapply.

This follows the news of inside deals among the board and its members with Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Pugh sold the system $500,000 worth of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books when she was both a State Senator and Mayor of Baltimore.

She resigned from her board position and remains on leave of absence from City Hall.

“If you’re going to be in an elected position, you have to be an open book and to do things that are not quite ethical and a little bit behind the scenes is not okay,” Kathy Wantz said. “It’s not okay for anybody, but especially I think you’re held to a little bit higher standard when you’re in office.”

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Attendees at the event are hopeful changes will be positive.

“It may be a little tighter grasp on what’s happening with money and relationships and all those things,” Wantz said.

For the night, attention shifted to those who do patient care work.

“I don’t want it to out shadow the good work that happens,” Barry Glassman said. “The nurses, the doctors, the EMT’s, the paramedics that save lives every day.”

The medical system board hired a California firm to audit its practices.

A key part of the reform bill passed this week requires mandatory audits moving forward.

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Paul Gessler