An executive with 35 years of experience in health care will head up Mercy Hospital starting in mid-November.

Charlie Therrien, who is currently president of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, has been hired to replace Eileen Skinner, who resigned in March, the hospital announced on Tuesday.

Therrien, 58, will lead the Portland hospital as it consolidates to one location in the next few years.

Maine Coast is a member of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, the parent company of Mercy.

“Mercy is a special place,” Therrien said. Therrien is also a senior vice president at EMHS, and he will retain that position even when he becomes Mercy president.

In about three years, Mercy, a Catholic hospital, will complete an $80 to $100 million expansion project that will add about 420,000 square feet in hospital space and offices to the 2008-built Fore River complex while closing its State Street location in downtown.

“By combining the two campuses, we can be much more cost-efficient and more effective,” Therrien said.

He said as technology keeps improving, the space needs of hospitals change, as more health care services become outpatient and as inpatient needs change.

Both Mercy and rival Maine Medical Center are heavily investing in new buildings, as Maine Med announced in September a $512 million expansion that will include new buildings and major renovations to its West End campus.

Maine Med officials also noted advancing technology as a reason for the expansion, saying operating rooms need to be larger to accommodate more medical devices and patient rooms need to be single-occupancy.

Mercy no longer has double-occupancy patient rooms at either location as a result of the Fore River expansion.

A HEALTH CARE VETERAN

Therrien has been working in the health care field for more than 35 years, including as CEO of Sharon Hospital in Connecticut and in the management team at Danbury Hospital, and other various leadership roles, according to a news release.

“In less than two years, the Mercy ministry will be 100 years old and this milestone will include an opportunity to celebrate Mercy’s past and our commitment for the next century,” said M. Michelle Hood, EMHS president and CEO, in a statement. “We assure a strong community hospital that is focused on primary and secondary care for the people of southern Maine. His leadership at this pivotal time for Mercy will be extremely helpful.”

Sister Mary Morey, of the Sisters of Mercy and a member of the Mercy board of directors, issued a statement saying Therrien “comes to Mercy at a time when we are poised for new growth as we plan our move to the Fore River. He will find at Mercy a great team committed to our mission and eager to write the next chapter in the story of Mercy.”

Therrien and Mercy spokesman Wayne Clark declined to provide to the Press Herald Therrien’s compensation package. According to public tax filings for nonprofits, Skinner had $526,000 in total compensation in 2015, the most recent year available.

“I am especially looking forward to working with and learning from the Sisters of Mercy, whose work improves lives and betters communities every day,” Therrien said in a statement.


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