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November 15, 2019

Northern Light Health CEO to step down for role with trade association

File Photo Northern Light Health President and CEO Michelle Hood said Thursday she is resigning and will leave the health care system in 2020.

The president and CEO of Maine’s second-largest health care system, Northern Light Health,  is resigning to take another job.

Michelle Hood said Thursday that she will leave Brewer-based Northern Light “in the new year” to become executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Hospital Association. She did not give a specific date for her departure.

Hood has served for the past three years as a trustee of the national industry group, which represents nearly 5,000 hospitals and whose headquarters are in Chicago. 

Hood joined Northern Light, then known as Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, as president and CEO in 2006. Since then, she has overseen the rebranding of the health network last year, and its expansion to include Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth, Mercy Hospital in Portland and a pharmacy subsidiary with five retail locations.

Northern Light now includes nine member hospitals, including its flagship, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor; eight nursing homes; 37 primary care sites; and a variety of health care services throughout Maine. The system employs more than 12,000 people.

Northern Light Board Chair Barry McCrum said in a news release Thursday he is “proud that the AHA would select our system’s leader for such an important national role" and is "reassured knowing Northern Light is in a solid position both strategically and financially.”

McCrum said a search committee will be formed to identify Hood's successor.

Hood, 62, has more than 30 years of health care management experience. She holds a master’s degree in health care administration from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University. In 2010, Mainebiz selected Hood as the large-company Business Leader of the Year.

In the release, Hood said she is leaving with mixed emotions. “I have had the honor of working with so many talented and dedicated people at all levels of the organization,” she said. “My time here has truly been an experience I will always treasure.”

The transition announcement comes as Northern Light’s larger competitor, MaineHealth, makes leadership changes of its own.

In October, MaineHealth announced that its top two executives, CEO Bill Caron and President Richard Petersen, will retire at the end of 2020 and in June 2021, respectively. A search committee is now looking for their replacements.

Last week, MaineHealth named presidents at two of its subsidiary care providers to succeed Timothy A. Churchill, who holds both positions but is retiring at the end of the year.

Trampas D. Hutches will serve as president of Franklin Community Health Network. At Western Maine Health Corp., Andrea (Andy) Dodge Patstone, now the chief operating officer, will be promoted to president.

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