ELLSWORTH, Maine — Maine Coast Memorial Hospital has named a veteran hospital administrator from Connecticut as its new president and chief executive officer.
The MCMH board completed a contract on Monday with Charles Therrien, now CEO of Sharon Hospital, a 78-bed acute care community hospital in Sharon, Conn.
According to Robert Merrill, chairman of the hospital board, Therrien was the board’s unanimous choice after a nationwide search.
“Charlie was a perfect fit,” Merrill said Thursday. “He’s had a lot of experience as a CEO and a [chief operating officer] and he’s very involved in the community. Community involvement is important to the hospital and to the board because our community has supported us so much.”
Therrien will replace Doug Jones, who retired from the hospital last July to take a similar post at Down East Community Hospital in Machias. John J. “Jack” McCormack, a former CEO at the Carey Medical Center in Caribou, has served as interim CEO since then.
Therrien has more than 30 years of health care experience including seven years at Danbury Hospital. He joined the Sharon Hospital in 2001 and, in addition to serving as president and CEO, he also served as director of business development, vice president of operations and chief operating officer. He has served as CEO since September 2005.
Therrien has been a board member on a number of local and regional organizations including the Housatonic Youth Service Bureau, Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation, Primary Healthcare Network, and SPARC, or Sickness Prevention through Re-gional Collaboration.
He played a key role when the hospital was purchased by Essent Healthcare in 2002. During his tenure, he oversaw the expansion of the emergency and radiology departments, the opening of a birthing unit, the recruitment of new physicians and the installation of cutting edge diagnostic technology. Sharon Hospital’s revenue grew by 75 percent over the last eight years. Sharon Hospital, which has approximately 425 employees, also has received national awards for quality and customer service.
Maine Coast faces the same types of challenges that most hospitals in Maine do, Merrill said, including tough contract negotiations with Anthem and low reimbursement from the state for MaineCare patients. Therrien, he said, has the experience to deal with those and other issues.
He noted that Therrien oversaw the change of Sharon Hospital from a nonprofit institution to a for-profit venture. While he stressed that Maine Coast is not planning any such change, Merrill said that experience has given Therrien a different view of hospital operations.
“He comes with a different perspective on things,” he said. “He looks at things in a different way and looks for different ways to do things. Hospitals can’t do things the way we did them 10 years ago.”
Therrien will begin his employment at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital on July 6. He will move to the Ellsworth area with his wife, Ellen. They have two grown children.