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January 11, 2019

Central Maine Healthcare names new president for Bridgton, Rumford hospitals

Courtesy / Central Maine Healthcare Peter J. Wright, most recently president and CEO of Valley Regional Healthcare in Claremont, N.H., has been named president of Bridgton and Rumford hospitals.

LEWISTON  A New Hampshire hospital administrator has been named president of Bridgton and Rumford hospitals, replacing David Frum, who resigned in August, Central Maine Healthcare announced Thursday.

Peter J. Wright, 46, begins the job in mid-March.

Frum, who had been head of Rumford Hospital since 2010 and Bridgton Hospital since 2011, resigned after medical staff at the two hospitals voted no confidence in Jeff Brickman, CEO of the health care system.

Wright was most recently president and CEO of Valley Regional Healthcare in Claremont, N.H.

“Highly regarded for his service-oriented leadership and ability to create connections with communities of all sizes, Wright also demonstrates outstanding knowledge and understanding of the unique nature of rural healthcare. His entire career has been spent in northern New England,” CMH said in a news release.

Dr. David Tupponce, CMH executive vice president, said in the release that Wright has “proven highly successful instilling a strong clinical culture and prioritizes heightened communication, transparency and accountability.”

“He understands the importance of rural hospitals to the communities they serve,” Tupponce said.

Bridgton Hospital, with 23 beds, and Rumford, with 25 beds, are both critical access hospitals, which means they provide acute care in an area that doesn’t have immediate access to a larger urban hospital.

Bridgton serves western Cumberland County and Rumford serves Oxford County, and both were among seven in Maine and 17 nationally in 2018 to be named a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog association.

During his time at Valley Regional Healthcare, Wright led two strategic planning processes to prepare the organization for health care and payment reform, engineering an operating margin turnaround while elevating empowerment-based decision-making at all levels, the release said.

Valley Regional is the only four-star critical access hospital in New Hampshire’s upper valley and a strategic partner of the statewide Dartmouth-Hitchcock healthcare system, the release said.

"For 18 years, I have dedicated my career toward working with communities to add value and improve health in rural areas of northern New England,” Wright said. “I feel strongly that the key part of `community hospitals’ is `Community.’ We are there to serve, and it is critically important that we are an integral part of every aspect of what happens locally.”

Wright previously was chief operating officer at Littleton (N.H.) Regional Hospital; senior director of planning, development, and medical group operations at Copley Health Systems in Morrisville, Vt.; and managing director of the Stowe (Vt.) Marathon.

He earned a bachelor of science in business administration from Lyndon State College in Vermont, a master of science in administration from Vermont’s St. Michael’s College and a master of health care delivery science from the Tuck School of Business/Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

He is on the board of trustees of the American Hospital Association and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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