Lewiston hospital hires trauma chief

Posted June 11, 2013, at 9:14 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — Central Maine Medical Center has hired a new director for its trauma program.

James F. Reilly, a specialist in trauma surgery, emergency surgery and surgical critical care, has served as a temporary trauma surgeon for CMMC for the past several months. He was recently named medical director for CMMC’s trauma program and general surgery program.

He replaces Larry Hopperstead, who has been serving as acting director since all four of the trauma program’s surgeons, including its director, left en masse a year ago.

Reilly earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and later earned a master’s degree in business administration through the Temple Executive MBA Program in Philadelphia. He has served as director of the Lehigh Valley Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Pennsylvania, director of trauma at Crozer Chester Medical Center and director of Department of General Surgery at Geisinger Northeast in Pennsylvania. He also has 15 years of experience in medical education.

Reilly is certified in general surgery and surgical critical care by the American Board of Surgery.

CMMC is also looking to hire at least three more surgeons to complete the trauma program, and it hopes to have those positions filled in the coming weeks.

CMMC lost all four of its trauma surgeons, including the program director, a year ago. All were ultimately hired by MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.

It is unclear why the four surgeons decided to leave CMMC. At the time, Chuck Gill, spokesman for CMMC’s parent organization Central Maine Healthcare, said the hospital and surgeons had “a professional disagreement.” The doctors declined to elaborate.

CMMC’s trauma program — one of three in the state — has been operating with visiting doctors.

After the trauma surgeons left, CMMC hired a consultant from Massachusetts General Hospital to oversee trauma program development, educational programs, quality improvement and physician recruitment.

Hopperstead, who founded the program and had served as its director for years, was also named temporary director at that time.

CMMC’s trauma center verification by the American College of Surgeons — similar to certification — was set to expire June 11, 2012. CMMC asked to put off its re-verification.

The hospital had its verification review last November and is expected to have its on-site review this November.

The American College of Surgeons currently lists only one Maine trauma center — Eastern Maine Medical Center’s in Bangor — as fully verified.

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