BANGOR, Maine — One of the officials who served as a hospital spokeswoman in recent contract negotiations between Eastern Maine Medical Center and its nurses union has resigned after a nearly three-decade career at the Bangor hospital.
Lorraine Rodgerson, the hospital’s vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, left her position effective immediately, an EMMC official confirmed Monday.
“We are grateful for Lorraine’s commitment and service to EMMC and our region’s patients during her 29-year career at our organization,” Greg Howat, vice president for human resources, said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
Howat said that Lisa Swanson, EMMC’s organizational excellence officer, has been appointed chief nursing officer and will provide direction and support to nursing at EMMC.
“Community members can be assured EMMC is committed to working with our nurses and all staff to deliver the high-quality care our patients have come to expect,” Howat said.
No reason was given for Rodgerson’s resignation.
Rodgerson was one of the hospital officials involved in recent contract negotiations between EMMC and members of the Maine State Nurses Association and National Nurses United. Relations between the hospital and the union have been rocky for several years, including the past year, which saw a strike in November and a near strike planned for early May.
The proposed second strike was averted days before its was scheduled to start when the two sides struck accord on a one-year contract that addressed some of the sticking points that had been dividing them.
Some of the issues put to rest were the handling of transfers of nurses among departments, the workload for charge nurses and health benefits. Not addressed were staffing ratios, which nurses said was a major issue.
Vanessa Sylvester of the MSNA said that unionized nurses were aware of Rodgerson’s but did not plan to comment on the matter on Monday.
Judy Brown, president of the nurses union at EMMC, was not available for comment Monday.