NEWARK, NJ - A deputy chief counsel for Governor Phil Murphy has been picked to serve as the chief legal officer of University Hospital in Newark.

Mary K. E. Maples was taped for the high-profile post at University Hospital, which was placed under the control of a state monitor by the governor over concerns about the quality of care and the financial health of the institution.

University Hospital President and CEO John Kastanis said Maple's addition is part his effort to reshape his senior leadership team. 

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“Mary joins University Hospital at a crucial time as we reaffirm our commitment to the communities we serve even as we strive to reestablish the institution’s financial health,” said Kastanis. 

In July, Murphy announced that he was appointing Judy Persichilli as state monitor to oversee the hospital. Persichilli has broad authority to assess the level of care provided by the hospital and to gain a deeper understanding of the financial affairs of the hospital.

University Hospital received a failing grade on quality of care from the Leapfrog Group, had its bond rating downgraded four notches due to financial difficulties, and attempted to reduce the number of pediatric beds without state approval.

“Having served in senior roles in both federal and state government, Mary’s leadership, knowledge, and experience will be valuable assets to our entire organization," Kastanis said. "We are lucky to have her as a guiding force as we continue to set a course for the future.”

Maples is the fifth high-profile executive Kastanis has brought to University Hospital since he was recruited in March of 2016 to revitalize the 136-year-old institution, which is the main teaching hospital for the medical and dental schools at Rutgers University and the only Level 1 Trauma Center in North Jersey.

Other recent hires in the C-suite include Chief Operating Officer Eve Borzon, Chief Experience Officer Joan Dauhajre, Chief Administrative Officer Annette Hastings and Chief Medical Officer Lawrence Ramunno.

“I am excited to focus my broad government experience on the needs of University Hospital and the community it serves,” said Maples. “Thank you to John and the Board of Directors for placing their confidence in my ability to help the team establish the Hospital as a place where residents and patients trust they will receive the highest quality of care.”

In addition to the traditional duties of the general counsel’s office, Maples will lead all internal and external investigations, and supervise the Chief Compliance Officer and the work of the Office of Ethics and Compliance. 

In addition, Maples will supervise the Office of the Board of Directors and serve as Secretary to the Board. Kastanis said Maples will also focus on continuing to advance the hospital’s workplace diversity goals regarding employment and promotional opportunities.

As deputy chief counsel to Murphy, Maples led the Authorities Unit, where she represented the governor’s interests before various State and bi-state boards, commissions, and corporations, including University Hospital. She was initially appointed to the office by Gov. Chris Christie. 

Maples is an 11-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, where she served the majority of her time as assistant general counsel before returning to New Jersey. 

“I look forward to working with the leadership team to make a meaningful impact on our patients and the lives of those who live in our communities,” Maples said.

Maples succeeds former University Hospital Vice President and General Counsel Paul Matey, who left for private practice.

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