PITTSFIELD — Sebasticook Valley Health has a new leader.

Terri Vieira, who has served as interim leader of the hospital since April, has been appointed as the president and chief executive officer, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems announced Wednesday.

Vieira succeeds Victoria Alexander-Lane, who resigned unexpectedly in April after about three years as president. Alexander-Lane declined to give a public reason for her sudden departure.

Vieira is taking the reins in the midst of an upheaval in the way health care is delivered in the United States, as hospitals begin to think more about health, rather than focusing on sickness.

“We’re moving toward what people really want, which is to help them stay well, not just to get better when they’re sick,” she said by phone Wednesday.

The shift, she said, is driven by many factors, including changes to health care laws, consumer demand, a rise of accountable-care organizations and a growing awareness among health experts that extending periods of good health is important.


The transition is not always easy, she said.

“We’re facing the same challenges to find ways to move from an environment where you get paid for services delivered, to managing health in the most effective way from a quality and cost standpoint,” she said.

Vieira’s current position is a long way from her entrance into health care as a radiologic technology student in 1973.

Since then, she has earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Joseph’s College, in Standish, and has worked her way up through the ranks of hospital administrations in Maryland, Massachusetts and Maine.

In 1988, she became the director of diagnostic services at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, and she joined Sebasticook as vice president of operations in 2000, before becoming chief operating officer in 2010.

Vieira’s said the demographics in Maine are similar to the rural area of Maryland where she grew up.


The question of how to approach health care at Sebasticook Valley Health, she said, is tied up in the specific population that the hospital serves. People of different ages and different professional backgrounds each tend to have their own health profiles and concerns, she said.

Maine, she said, is characterized by its aging population, including many people who have worked in the physically intensive fishing, farming and forestry industries.

Maine’s spread-out population is also a concern, she said, because it means that people have to travel farther to get to the nearest hospital, a situation that effectively limits access.

Vieira said both she and the hospital are well-positioned to meet the challenges posed by Maine’s population and the shifting health care landscape.

She said Sebasticook Valley Health is buoyed by its affiliation with Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, with the larger organization’s resources helping Sebasticook to keep pace with new technologies and practices.

The 25-bed hospital is in the midst of a $9.5 million expansion that is scheduled to be completed in mid-November.


“I understand and love this community,” she said. “We’ll improve not only in the services we have, but we’ll be timely in adding what we need.”

Vieira said her personal style involves lots of collaboration and that she hopes to improve the number of productive collaborations, both within and between the organization and members of the community.

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems President M. Michelle Hood cited Vieira’s experience when announcing the appointment, and said her collaborative style has been “very effective during her three-month tenure” as interim president.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287
[email protected]

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