Bangor’s Acadia Hospital promotes longtime staff

Posted Oct. 21, 2010, at 11:51 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Acadia Hospital has announced the promotion of three longtime employees to key management positions. Although the administration of the 100-bed psychiatric hospital has been the subject of recent complaints from employees and others in the community, board president John Bragg said Thursday that the promotions do not reflect a move to shore up the leadership of CEO David Proffitt.

According to an announcement made Thursday afternoon, nurse practitioner Naomi Brown has been named director of magnet and research, Dan Johnson has become the director of education, and social worker Jeanne Wypyski has been promoted to administrator for adult inpatient services.

Brown will work closely with nursing leaders and with the new director of education to maintain Acadia’s level of clinical excellence. Brown began her nursing career at Acadia in 1994 and has worked in both inpatient and outpatient programs. She was appointed co-chair of the hospital’s nursing research committee in 2009. Nationally, she has served on a panel that guides the credentialing of advanced practice psychiatric nurses.

Johnson will work with all disciplines to meet the educational needs of the Acadia Hospital staff. Johnson has worked at the hospital for the past 17 years. He has multiple clinical counseling certifications. Additionally, Johnson has a doctorate in counselor education from the University of Maine and a master’s degree in education from Smith College. He began his clinical work at Acadia as a therapist on the children’s unit and later served as an inpatient clinical supervisor for children, adolescents and adults as well as in the outpatient substance abuse service.

As inpatient administrator, Wypyski will be responsible for the long-term growth and business operations for the hospital’s adult inpatient units. Wypyski has more than 15 years of experience managing clinical programs at The Acadia Hospital in inpatient and outpatient services. Wypyski holds a Bachelor of Science degree in social work from the University of Maine and a master’s degree from the University of Denver.

A spokesman for the hospital said Thursday that the three positions are not new.

CEO Proffitt, who has run the hospital since 2008, was not available Thursday to comment on the promotions. Proffitt’s leadership of the hospital has come under scrutiny recently after employees complained of unsafe working conditions related to a near ban on the use of restraints for patients whose behaviors pose a threat to staff and other patients. A recent investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been completed and a formal report is expected before the end of the year.

Board president Bragg said the promotions announced Thursday are not related to the debate over Proffit’s leadership. He said the board has been working closely with Proffitt since stories in the Bangor Daily News triggered a flood of employee complaints about staff and patient safety and the professional environment at the hospital.

“We are much more engaged than we have been in the past,” Bragg said. “We’re still concerned about the comments that have flared up.”

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