Press Release

Board announces mission and vision for new health co-op

LEWISTON – The concepts of partnership and affordability are central to the mission approved by the board of directors of Maine Community Health Options (MCHO). The new organization is the first and only health insurance solution that is directed by Maine people, healthcare providers and small businesses and is dedicated to providing affordable, high-quality health benefits for the people of Maine.

“We are thrilled to have a board that sees the importance of mission and vision,” says MCHO chief executive officer, Kevin Lewis. “Having core values and a defined purpose helps the organization remain focused amid the challenges of our changing world. We are pleased that the board makes a distinction between those values that should not change and a vision that propels us forward. The depth and breadth of expertise among these volunteer directors is truly impressive.”

The board approving the mission and vision includes James Davis, CEO, Pines Health Services, Caribou, ME; Maryagnes Gillman, M.S., R.N., Hiram, ME; Linda Riddell, M.S., Cape Elizabeth, ME; and Richard Stratton, Hanover, ME. (See attached biographies for additional detail.) According to the board document (attached), the MCHO mission is “to partner with Maine people, businesses and health professionals to provide affordable, high quality benefits that promote health and wellbeing.”

Maine Community Health Options is a not-for-profit, CO-OP health plan that will provide health insurance to individuals and small businesses beginning in January 2014. MCHO was formed after winning a $62.1 million dollar grant from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the development of a non-profit Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) in Maine.

For more information about CO-OPs, visit More information about Maine Community Health Options can be found at


About Maine Community Health Options: Maine Community Health Options is a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) created through a program of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). MCHO is a private, nonprofit entity governed by a customer-based Board of Directors, which gives enrollees a strong voice in the management and development of the plan. For more information on MCHO please visit


Board Member Biographies

James Davis, CEO, Pines Health Services, Caribou, ME

Jim is the chief executive officer of Pines Health Services located in Caribou, Maine, and has over 25 years executive leadership experience within healthcare organizations. As CEO, he oversees all aspects of executive leadership for this multi-million dollar organization with over 40 providers and 90 support team members.

Before coming to Maine to join Pines Health Services in 2007, Jim served as the senior director of projects and system support services at Washington Hospital Healthcare System in Fremont, California. In this role, he managed and directed a range of daily operational activities for the 337-bed facility. Jim guided multiple projects designed to expand access to care and to improve the efficiency of service delivery.

Jim received his Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a Masters in Public Health from San Jose State University, and a Masters Degree in Business and Public Administration from the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Irvine.

Jim currently serves as board secretary on Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development, and is a member of the Statewide Coordinating Council, Maine Centers for Disease Control.

Jim has been elected as the board president of MCHO.

Maryagnes Gilman, M.S., R.N., Hiram, ME

Maryagnes has worked in healthcare since 1976 and brings with her a wealth of experience. Currently, she is the executive director at Sacopee Valley Health Center located in Porter, Maine. Her duties include leadership, overall direction and management of hospital programs, operations and finances of SVHC. Previous work experience included VP of clinical operations at MaineHealth’s Homehealth Visiting Nurses in Saco, Maine and multiple roles within the former Community Health Services Group in Portland, Maine.

She holds a Certificate in Health Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine, and a Masters Degree in Nursing from Old Dominion University out of Norfolk Virginia.

Maryagnes resides in Hiram, Maine with her husband Harold and their yellow lab, Biscuit. She also enjoys playing her flute as a member of the Sacopee Valley Community Band.

Maryagnes has been appointed as the MCHO board secretary.

Linda Riddell M.S., Cape Elizabeth, ME

Linda has worked in health insurance and the healthcare industry since 1985. Currently she is the Population Health Scientist at Health Economy, LLC, located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Her experience has included overseeing trade association insurance programs, developing flexible benefit plans, and improving cost management for self-funded health benefit plans.

Linda has published articles in national and regional periodicals, including Advisor Today, Health Insurance Underwriter, Business Insurance, and the Portland Press Herald. She is an accomplished national speaker with speeches which have been approved for continuing education credits in two states.

She holds a Masters degree in Health Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine, Muskie School for Public Service.

Richard Stratton, Hanover, ME

Richard currently holds several positions within Maine including treasurer for the Mahoosuc Land Trust in Bethel, selectman for the town of Hanover, and business manager for Darrow Wilderness Trip Camp located in Washington County. Richard recently retired from DFD Russell Medical Center in Leeds, Maine where he served as chief financial officer. Prior to that he was a long-time employee of McLean Fund in Simsbury, CT a multi-level health care provider where he held positions as VP of finance and VP of information systems.

Richard currently resides in a log home nestled along the Androscoggin River in Hanover, Maine with his wife, Sandra Francis.

Richard has been appointed as MCHO board treasurer.

For more information, contact: Kevin Lewis | 207-402-3330