FORT KENT, Maine — Forest Hill recently welcomed a new Administrator to the facility. A native of Eagle Lake, Penny Baker, MSN-L, RN, took the reins of the Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center at the end of September. Forest Hill is a forty five bed facility which is managed as a department of Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC). Providing quality care in the St. John Valley for the past forty two years, the Music Certified facility employs over sixty full time equivalents and is dually certified for long term care and skilled nursing.
Born and raised in Eagle Lake, Maine, Baker has spent most of her professional career in the Western United States. She graduated from Weber State University in Logan, Utah, in 2001, with an Associate Degree in Nursing and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at South University, Savanna, Georgia, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2011. In 2014, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Science degree in Nursing with emphasis in health care leadership from the Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona. She has spent the past fifteen years employed as Director of Nursing at the University Medical Center -Phoenix, an academic medical center and one of Arizona’s leading hospitals, where she had oversight of a one hundred two bed Emergency Department serving over 100,000 patients annually, and she was also responsible for the supervision of over two hundred full time equivalents. Alain Bois, NMMC Chief Operating Officer and interim Forest Hill Administrator said, “Penny has many years of leadership experience that will benefit Forest Hill in reaching new heights on its journey to excellence. We are very excited to have her join our team.” Among her leadership experiences while in Arizona, Baker worked as a consultant for the University of Arizona Health Network Emergency and Trauma Services. She also worked as a System Operational Lead for Banner Health Network Care Transitions where she implemented population health management strategies.
Baker said, “I believe strongly in quality and safety for residents and employees. I plan to utilize my leadership training and experience to grow and develop leaders within the team. It is so important to create an environment where everyone can have opportunities that they feel passionate about.” She believes her philosophy will help to continue building a solid team and create a welcoming environment for all who encounter Forest Hill in different capacities. She said she looks forward to the challenge of forging relationships with the staff and the residents, many of whom she says have already recognized her from her childhood. Having started as a Certified Nursing Aide at the Mercy Home in Eagle Lake in her teen years, and now a resident of Fort Kent, Baker said, “It is so good to come full circle and return to my roots.” She admits to loving any type of outdoor activity but has a particular attraction to hiking and cross country skiing. She also loves to make jigsaw puzzles and admits she always has one going.
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