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Gray Calls for Probe of UMC Board, Contractor

Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray said Wednesday that he’s seeking an investigation into the United Medical Center’s board and contractor over the closure of the obstetrics unit at the embattled Southeast hospital.

Already this week, Gray has convened a roundtable on the decision to permanently close the obstetrics unit.

“I intended to question United Medical Center Board Chair LaRuby May about the events surrounding the decision to close the UMC obstetrics unit,” Gray said in a news release. “The UMC board took action in a meeting that was closed to the public. Additionally, at least one hospital official, who has since resigned, made statements to the Committee on Health that appear to be misleading.”

May, who did not attend the roundtable, could not be reached for comment.

Gray contends that May previously has refused to provide vital information and called her lack of action and that of hospital officials, a “blatant obfuscation.”

The former mayor also plans to convene a meeting of the council’s health committee on Friday, when he said he’ll request his colleagues to grant the oversight powers needed to get to the bottom of what is going on at UMC.

Gray said he will ask the committee to launch an investigation that includes subpoena authority.

“The east end of our city is experiencing a health care crisis,” Gray said. “Obstetrical services have ceased to exist at United Medical Center and at Providence Hospital. At the same time, infant mortality, which was at record lows, is starting to increase. This is a crisis with life and death consequences.

“There is no comprehensive health care system on the east end of the city,” he said. “We will conduct an investigation and at the same time continue to work unceasingly until every District resident has access to reliable, first-rate health care,” he said.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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