Acadia Hospital announces leadership changes

The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine.
The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine.
Posted Sept. 22, 2011, at 3:49 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 22, 2011, at 7:24 p.m.
Dr. Anthony T. Ng speaks about the dangers of bath salts at a recent Bangor forum.
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Dr. Anthony T. Ng speaks about the dangers of bath salts at a recent Bangor forum.
David Proffitt, former CEO of Acadia Hospital.
John Clarke Russ | BDN
David Proffitt, former CEO of Acadia Hospital.
Allen W. Schaffer
Courtesy photo
Allen W. Schaffer
Jamie Morrill
Courtesy photo
Jamie Morrill

BANGOR, Maine — Two top-tier executives who served at The Acadia Hospital with former CEO David Proffitt will leave their leadership positions, the hospital announced Thursday afternoon.

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jamie Morrill will leave Acadia altogether. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Schaffer has been reassigned to provide direct patient care at the 100-bed psychiatric hospital. Dr. Anthony Ng will serve as Acadia’s interim chief medical officer until a permanent candidate is identified. The changes take effect Sept 24.

Recently appointed Acadia CEO Dan Coffey said Morrill’s position will be eliminated and his duties and responsibilities will be reassigned to other executive staff. Morrill has agreed to be available to perform part-time consulting work for Acadia through March 2012.

“Jamie Morrill has been commuting from the Augusta area for two years and he’s looking to wind down a little,” Coffey said in a phone interview Thursday evening. “As I’ve looked at our talent here, I don’t feel I need to replace that position.”

Morrill, a career state employee before coming to The Acadia Hospital, most recently served as deputy superintendent at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, where Proffitt was employed as superintendent for four years immediately before taking the leadership role at Acadia.

Schaffer has been reassigned to full-time psychiatric care duties.

“We’re going to use his skills in the best way to benefit Acadia Hospital,” Coffey said. Schaffer, he said, is board-certified in both internal medicine and psychiatry and “has expressed the desire to get back into direct patient care.”

Schaffer, before coming to Acadia, had worked since 1993 for the Cigna insurance company and in 2004 was named senior vice president and chief clinical officer within the company’s public affairs division. Subsequently he completed a residency in psychiatry before being hired at The Acadia Hospital at around the same time that Proffitt arrived, in the fall of 2008.

In the statement released by The Acadia Hospital on Thursday, Schaffer said he was “looking forward to using my skills and experience as a full-time direct care provider at Acadia. I am especially looking forward to the diverse aspects of my position.”

Proffitt’s tenure at Acadia was marked by controversy. He came under fire for an autocratic leadership style that eroded morale and allegedly undermined the professional authority of physicians, nurses, social workers, technicians and other clinical staff. An investigation conducted by the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration found that the hospital failed to provide a safe working environment after workers complained of an increase in the number and severity of patient assaults against staff. Proffitt stepped down in April and recently was named to head up a psychiatric hospital in Minnesota.

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