John Porter, president and CEO of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, intends to resign late this summer and accept a position with MaineHealth.

Porter submitted his letter of resignation Wednesday to members of the chamber’s board.

“It is with a mix of sadness, pride and anticipation that I tell you that I am leaving the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce later this year to become a system director, marketing and communications for MaineHealth in Portland,” the letter reads. “My last day on the job will be Aug. 28.”

Porter started as chamber president in January 2010. Previously he was principal and founder of John Porter Public Strategies, a communications and government relations firm he started in Greater Portland in 2009. He also worked for nearly 20 years as a journalist at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He joined the paper in 1990 as a business reporter, became a columnist and editorial writer in 1997 and was named editorial page editor in 1999.

With more than 800 members, the Bangor chamber is the fourth-largest local chamber in the state. The executive committee of its board will convene Wednesday to discuss a search process.

MaineHealth is a Portland-based network of health care providers. Its members include Maine Medical Center, Lincoln County Health Care, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Memorial Hospital, Pen Bay Healthcare, Southern Maine Health Care, Waldo County Healthcare, Western Maine Health, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Health, Mid Coast Health Services, New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland and St. Mary’s Health System.

Porter said he was attracted to the job after years of covering health care reform as a journalist and seeing the industry now at a pivotal juncture.

“I think this is a real opportunity to make a difference,” he said.

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