ELLSWORTH, Maine — The Maine Coast Memorial Hospital board of trustees has named a long-time health care administrator as the interim CEO of the hospital.
Board Chairwoman Karen Stanley announced Friday that John J. “Jack” McCormack, a former CEO at the Carey Medical Center in Caribou, will begin his duties as interim CEO on Monday.
McCormack, 70, is well-known throughout the state, Stanley said in an e-mail announcement.
“He’s perfect for us,” Stanley said Friday in a telephone interview. “He’s not looking for a full-time position, he knows the staff here and he knows the issues at this hospital, and he’s ready to go immediately.”
Financial terms of his hiring were not released.
Stanley said the decision to hire McCormack grew out of the Maine Hospital Association meeting last week.
“There were a lot of former and current CEOs present as well as search firms all convened in one location,” she said. “Everything just came together.”
McCormack will take over for former Maine Coast Memorial Hospital CEO Douglas T. Jones who retired from the post this week. Jones subsequently was named as interim CEO at the troubled Down East Community Hospital in Machias, which earlier this week was placed in receivership.
“I’m very excited,” McCormack said Friday in a telephone interview. “I’m here to reassure the staff and the public that the hospital will continue on. This is a good hospital and I’m here to continue the good work that Doug Jones and the board has done.”
McCormack has 40 years of experience in senior leadership in Maine hospitals and served for almost 19 years as CEO of the Carey Medical Center in Caribou.
In a telephone interview Friday afternoon, McCormack said he left the Caribou hospital after his children had grown and took a position as a vice president with the Quorum organization, which had provided administrative services for the hospital, as it had for Maine Coast.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t really enjoy it, traveling to nine different hospitals each month,” he said.
After four years, he left Quorum to take an administrative post at Mercy Hospital in Portland. He left Mercy to start his own hospital consulting business, Tundra Health Care Consulting, which he runs part-time from his home in Gorham.
McCormack also has worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston and has been active in the Maine Hospital Association serving on the board, the executive committee and as chairman of the association from 1989-90.
McCormack said he enjoyed working with the MCMH staff while he was with Quorum and noted that the hospital has had a good reputation.
Although McCormack said he will not bring any major shakeup to the hospital, he said he anticipated a busy time during his interim tenure. He pointed out that the hospital is due for another regular inspection soon, which he said is a “major undertaking,” and the hospital also will have to negotiate another contract with the health insurance company Anthem soon.
Maine Coast also is in the midst of a major capital campaign and a construction project to create a new emergency department at the hospital.
“There will be a lot of business to be done,” he said. “I’m there to make sure things remain stable. I’m not going to make a lot of changes; I’ll be there to reinforce the good things they’ve done and to help them search for a new CEO.”
Stanley said earlier this week that the board of trustees will not rush to hire a new chief administrator, but will take its time to find someone who will be a good fit for Maine Coast.