Mercy Hospital owner Northern Light Health has selected its senior vice president and chief operating officer, Tim Dentry, to be the health care system’s new president and CEO.

Dentry replaces Michelle Hood, who is leaving Northern Light for a leadership position at the American Hospital Association. Hood announced her impending departure in November.

Tim Dentry, incoming president and CEO of Northern Light Health Courtesy of Northern Light Health

Northern Light is Maine’s most geographically expansive integrated health care system, with 10 member hospitals including Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland. The system also has eight nursing homes, 37 primary care locations and more than 12,000 employees.

Dentry is expected to assume his new role April 1, just as the state’s health care network is gearing up to handle the growing number of COVID-19 respiratory disease cases stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Together across our statewide system, we are caring for patients, communities, and one another amid the COVID-19 crisis that has spread across the globe,” Dentry said in a statement issued Wednesday. “Daily, I witness heroism, selfless acts, and dedication that is inspiring.”

A search committee had interviewed national candidates for the post, but Barry McCrum, chair of Northern Light’s board of directors, said it found the right person was already inside the organization.

“Tim’s experience, passion for quality and a culture of caring, and dedication to Maine and Northern Light Health made him the outstanding choice as the system’s next leader,” McCrum said in the release.

Dentry became chief operating officer of Northern Light in 2016. He has been responsible for administrative direction, evaluation and coordination of the system and its member organizations.

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