Maine Behavioral Healthcare, the state’s largest provider of mental health services, has appointed Kelly Barton as its new president, according to a news release from the South Portland-based provider.

Kelly Barton Photo courtesy of Maine Behavioral Health

Barton joins MBH after having served as vice president, integrated primary care at Community Health Network in Indianapolis. Barton is an experienced senior health care executive. Much of her career has been focused on behavioral health services, but she also has a diverse background in health care management, and she is especially experienced with integrating behavioral health into comprehensive health care networks.

“All of us were impressed with her authenticity and collaborative style,” said Rich Petersen, president of MaineHealth, the system parent of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, according to the release. “In Kelly, we get an executive who brings both a commitment to continuous improvement and a belief in empowering teams to achieve goals.”

Barton began her health care leadership career at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, as a compliance and health information manager for Behavioral Health. More than 15 years at Gundersen, she worked in roles with progressively greater responsibility, including as vice president, clinical operations from 2012 through 2016. In 2016 she joined Community Health Network as the chief operating officer of its Northern Division and in 2018 assumed her role overseeing all integrated primary care.

“I found Kelly to be dedicated and passionate about the role of behavioral health in creating healthy communities,” said Geoffrey Green, chairman of the Maine Behavioral Healthcare Board. “We are very fortunate to have her joining us as our next president.”

Barton said she sees Maine Behavioral Healthcare as playing an essential role in MaineHealth’s pursuit of its vision of “working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.”

Barton will start in her new role as president of Maine Behavioral Healthcare in early October. She replaces Steve Merz, who left the organization last fall to pursue a consulting career.


Community Health Options debuts new brand look

Community Health Options, a nonprofit Consumer Operated and Oriented health insurance plan provider, was founded on a simple premise — prioritize people over profits. Founders Kevin Lewis, president and chief executive officer, and Robert Hillman, senior vice president and chief operations officer, first started developing this idea in 2011, in Lewiston. Almost 10 years later, Health Options is one of Maine’s largest health insurance carriers for the individual market and a provider of benefits to more than 1,300 businesses. The organization is celebrating its progress with a fresh, updated brand look, according to a news release from Kathy Hayden, senior communications consultant.

“While our look is new, our mission will never change,” said Lewis, according to the release. “We believe that meaningful partnerships with members, businesses and health professionals will improve the quality of health benefits, reduce costs and create a community of health care.” The new logo, with dots gathered around a medical cross, represents that community. The bright colors reflect the optimism the Health Options team feels as it builds toward its collective future.

“We built the organization, which is staffed by Mainers, from the ground up,” said Lewis. “This year, we’ve added new products and services, and we have worked to improve our high-quality benefits, which focus on prevention and wellness, while keeping costs low. In a time when local communities, our state and our world have experienced unprecedented unemployment and health challenges, we are committed to serving our members and our communities with expertise, accuracy and compassion through a pandemic and far beyond.”


Nine Skelton Taintor & Abbott attorneys named to Best Lawyers®

Nine attorneys from the firm of Skelton Taintor & Abbott have been named to the U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers publication’s 2021 Best Lawyers in America list. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession. A listing reflects the respect of fellow members of the legal profession as well as the public, according to a news release from the Auburn-based practice.

The Skelton Taintor & Abbott attorneys named and their practice areas are:
• Darcie P.L. Beaudin; bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights, insolvency and reorganization Law
• Amy Dieterich; employment law — individuals
• Ronald P. Lebel; family law
• Sarah C. Mitchell; family law
• James Pross; workers’ compensation law — claimants
• Norman J. Rattey; real estate law
• William Skelton; corporate law, real estate law
• Theodore Small; construction law, litigation — real estate
• Stephen B. Wade; insurance law, personal injury litigation — plaintiffs and defendants, product liability litigation — plaintiffs and defendants, medical malpractice — plaintiffs

These attorneys represent a legacy of excellence at the firm that spans from Lebel receiving his 20th such recognition to first-time honorees Dieterich, Pross, and Skelton. In addition, Jordan Payne Hay was named to the “Ones to Watch” list for the practice of intellectual property law and labor and employment law — employees.

“This recognition represents the standard of excellence that all of the firm’s attorneys embrace and reflects the high esteem we have earned from our colleagues and clients,” said Mitchell, the firm’s president, according to the release.


Compiled from submitted news releases. For more business briefs, visit

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