WATERVILLE — John Dalton, president of the 48-bed Northern Light Inland Hospital on Kennedy Memorial Drive for the past 14 years, announced he plans to retire Friday.

John Dalton, president of Northern Light Inland Hospital, has announced he will retire on Friday, but he and his wife, Jackie, who have been active in the community plan to remain in Waterville. Photo courtesy of Northern Light Health

Dalton is vice president of Northern Light Health, a statewide, integrated health delivery system, and has led the 105-bed center, Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood, next to the hospital.

During his tenure, Dalton has overseen a hospital that received national recognition for quality and safety, including having received straight As in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital award for two years and Lakewood’s 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“I’m proud of the people that I’ve worked with,” Dalton said Tuesday in a phone interview. “We’ve preached and preached and preached, treating every patient with respect, as though they’re someone you love, and our staff do that every day.”

Saying that “health care is no fun as a business,” Dalton said he is proud of the fact that the staff received the safety and quality accolades.

“They’re a very resilient group of people who get it,” he said. “They truly do get it and we have a great team of leaders and we’re part of a system, Northern Light Health, that really has its priorities right. I passionately believe that.”

Michelle Hood, president and chief executive officer of Northern Light Health, praised Dalton on Tuesday in a news release.

“We will miss John’s thoughtful and enthusiastic leadership in our organization, as well as his witty nature and common-sense approach to complex matters,” Hood said. “But we know he and his wife, Jackie, are eager to spend more time with their grandchildren and travel more across the globe.”

Terri Vieira, who heads up Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield and C.A Dean in Greenville, will take over at Inland, leaving Dean to Marie Vienneau, who is also president of Mayo Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. Photo courtesy of Northern Light Health

Terri Vieira, president of both Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield and Northern Light C.A. Dean Hospital in Greenville, will assume the presidency at Inland, according to the release. Vieira is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves on the board of the American Hospital Association.

Marie Vienneau, president of Northern Light Mayo Hospital, in Dover-Foxcroft, will replace Vieira as president of C.A. Dean. Vienneau also is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Vieira, who has been at Northern Light Health for more than 19 years, said she is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for both hospitals she will be leading.

“Rural health care delivery is rapidly changing — for the better,” Vieira said in the release. “I am fortunate to be working for a health care system that is passionate about ensuring access to critical health care services remaining close to home for all Maine communities.”

Before coming to Northern Light Health, Vieira worked in several hospitals in New England, including Newton-Wellesley and Somerville hospitals in Massachusetts, and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. She holds a master’s degree in health administration and a Bachelor of Science in radiologic technology from St. Joseph’s College in Standish. Vieira also serves as a board member for the Maine Hospital Association and, in 2015, received her Fellowship in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

A Maine native, Vienneau began her career in health care as an operating room nurse at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. She served 23 years in executive roles at Millinocket Regional Hospital, including 11 years as chief executive officer and chief nursing officer. She has served as president and chief executive officer at Mayo since 2014. Vienneau holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Maine, Orono, and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

 “C.A. Dean and Mayo have much in common, being critical access hospitals serving patients in rural Piscataquis County, and we already work collaboratively together on some shared services including OB/GYN and podiatry,” Vienneau said in the release. “It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve these two excellent institutions.”

Both Mayo and C.A. Dean are strategically organized and geographically well-located to serve patients in Piscataquis County in much the same way that Inland and Sebasticook Valley Hospital complement each other to serve patients in central Maine, the release says.

“Vieira and Vienneau will work closely together as they gradually transition into their new roles in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Dalton and his wife, Jackie, have for years been heavily involved in Waterville area efforts and he said they will continue to live in the community.

Dalton said in the phone interview that he looks forward to volunteering at a different level than he has in the past, serving on boards of directors including Waterville Creates!, Kennebec Valley Community College and Central Maine Growth Council.

He said he’d like, for instance, to read to children at the Waterville Public Library and help the Waterville Rotary Club serve meals at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter on Thursdays.

City Manager Michael Roy has known Dalton for years and said that, at the many meetings they have attended together, Dalton was always the first person there, always prepared and always the first person to raise his hand if someone asked for help.

“His commitment to the greater Waterville community is as strong as that of anyone that I’ve worked with in my 16 years in Waterville,” Roy said. “He has integrity and the drive to participate in so many different community functions that the model he has set in terms of community involvement is going to be very hard to beat.”

Tom Davis, chairman of the  hospital’s board of directors for the last two years, said Dalton will be missed. Dalton, he said, knows what the community needs and wants to see it grow and succeed.

“He has been so dedicated to the hospital and this community, both he and Jackie, and we’re so fortunate they’re sticking around within the community,” Davis, who has served on the board about 12 years, said Tuesday. “He’s a top-notch individual. He’s just a class act.”

Sara Barry, the hospital’s director of regional marketing and communications, described Dalton as “one of a kind.”

“His sense of humor, wisdom and integrity will be missed by all of us at Inland and Lakewood, and everyone in the Northern Light Health family,” Barry said.


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