The president of the Northern Light Health hospitals in Waterville and Pittsfield has announced her retirement and will step aside in April, the health system said this week.

Terri Vieira, who’s the president of Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, has announced her retirement and will step down in April. Photo courtesy of Northern Light Health

Terri Vieira leads both Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield. She also oversees Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood in Waterville.

Vieira said Friday that she’s proud of the work she’s done to help the employees and students she’s worked with in the region to reach their potential.

“If they have dreams and visions, I like to help them get those,” Vieira said of hospital staff. “Because when they get those, we benefit, too.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented challenges, but she noted that some good can come from such struggle. She said she is “retiring in spite of COVID.”

“With COVID, you go back to the basics. If you take care of the people that are caring for patients, you take care of patients; you keep them in the forefront, you make good decisions that way,” Vieira said.

A challenging part of Vieira’s career was learning leadership skills early on and developing a balancing act between “taking care of today but always keeping tomorrow in mind.”

Vieira took over operations of the Pittsfield hospital in 2013 and then took on additional duties in Waterville last year.

She will step down from those roles April 1.

Northern Light Health President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Dentry said in a news release that Vieira is a voice of reason and has clear communication skills.

“Many of our Northern Light presidents see her as a leadership role model,” Dentry said.

Vieira, who’s also a senior vice president for the Northern Light Health system, was previously president of Northern Light CA Dean Hospital in Greenville, where she learned a lot about rural health care.

“In rural medicine, we are people caring for people,” Vieira said. “They may be our neighbors, they may be our friends, they may be our family, and they are really counting on us — not just for good care, but good caring.”

Vieira started as a radiologic technologist in 1973 and taught anatomy and radiology at MassBay Community College in Boston.

She grew up in Maryland before coming to Maine to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Joseph’s College in Standish. She worked her way up through hospital administrative positions in Maine, Maryland and Massachusetts.

“I’m all about making a difference and helping others, and that’s how you do it,” Vieira said.

In 1988 she became the director of diagnostic services at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, and she joined Sebasticook Valley as vice president of operations in 2000, before becoming chief operating officer in 2010.

Vieira said she was asked to join Sebasticook Valley to help develop a women’s care center, which still exists as a separate wing at the hospital for women’s imaging services like mammography and bone density scans.

“That’s a passion of mine, always has been,” she said.

A successor to Vieira’s posts will be named after an internal search is conducted, Northern Light Health officials said.

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