PORTLAND, Maine — Mercy Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Eileen Skinner will resign at the end of March, after leading the Portland hospital through integration with the Brewer-based Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems.

EMHS CEO Michelle Hood announced Skinner’s resignation, effective March 31, in a news release Monday. The hospital network said it has launched a search for Skinner’s successor immediately. Skinner began working at Mercy in 2002.

The statement said with much of the work completed to integrate the hospital with EMHS, Skinner “desires to seek the next step in her career path” and agreed to stay through March to work on the next phase of the hospital’s post-merger transition.

EMHS received approval in 2013 to merge with Mercy, which has long-term plans to move all of its services to the Fore River campus it opened in 2008. The hospital plans to move all of its services from its downtown location to the Fore River location by 2018.

EMHS said that its chief operating officer, Jay Eckersley, will oversee operations at Mercy, with help from other staff, until the health care network hires Skinner’s replacement.

“Eileen has been instrumental in guiding Mercy Hospital through more than a decade of dynamic change as the hospital has kept pace with the rapid pace of developments in the health care industry,” said Chris Howard, chairman of Mercy’s board of directors. “Her leadership and dedication to Mercy has been a critical component of its success and will be truly missed.”

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.