Charlie Therrien to Lead Mercy Hospital

    EMHS president and CEO, M. Michelle Hood, FACHE is pleased to announce that Charlie Therrien has been selected as president of Mercy Hospital. Mercy, in Portland, is EMHS’ southernmost member, joining the system more than two years ago. A Catholic hospital, Mercy is EMHS’ only faith-based entity.  Therrien is currently president of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, which is also an EMHS member. He will remain a senior vice president of EMHS. 
    EMHS president and CEO, M. Michelle Hood, FACHE is pleased to announce that Charlie Therrien has been selected as president of Mercy Hospital. Mercy, in Portland, is EMHS’ southernmost member, joining the system more than two years ago. A Catholic hospital, Mercy is EMHS’ only faith-based entity.  Therrien is currently president of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, which is also an EMHS member. He will remain a senior vice president               of EMHS.
    Charlie has more than 35 years of healthcare experience, working in both physician practices and hospitals. Before being appointed president at Maine Coast in 2010, Charlie served as chief executive officer of Sharon Hospital in Connecticut.  He has also served as a business development director, operations vice president, chief operating officer, and leader of 120-physician multi-specialty group and a 450-physician PHO (physician-hospital organization).
    “I know Charlie to be a solutions oriented and thoughtful leader who has a thorough understanding of healthcare quality, operations, and finance,” says Hood. “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. 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, RSM, welcomed Charlie on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy and as a member of the Board of Directors. “In his role as president of EMHS ' only Catholic hospital, Charlie has the responsibility to ensure the strength and vitality of our Catholic identity. As chair of the Catholic Identity and Mission Committee, I look forward to working closely with him. He comes to Mercy at a time when we are poised for new growth as we plan our move to 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.”
    “We are thrilled to have someone of Charlie’s expertise and compassion to lead us into our next chapter,” says Chris Howard, Esq., chairman of the Mercy Board of Directors. “Charlie has the experience and vision to capitalize on Mercy’s increasingly important position as greater Portland’s community hospital, and to execute on Mercy’s strategic initiative to consolidate its operations to an expanded Fore River campus.”
    While the decision to leave Maine Coast was not an easy one, Charlie says the opportunity to lead Mercy into its next chapter intrigued him. “I am especially looking forward to working with and learning from the Sisters of Mercy, whose work improves lives and betters communities every day.  Overall, this is a tremendous opportunity at a great Catholic community hospital with talented people and quality services. And while this position provides growth for me professionally, it’s still within EMHS, which is very important to me.”
    Therrien is expected to begin his new duties at Mercy by mid-November. 
    Hood says she will be working with the Maine Coast board to evaluate leadership needs at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital and expects more to be finalized on that in the coming weeks.
    EMHS member organizations share common values and work to ensure delivery of the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. Together we’re stronger.
    Mercy GI Team Reaches Out
    September 16, 2016
    Mercy Gastroenterology has teamed up with Portland Community Health Center (PCHC) and the Portland Department of Public Health to develop a community outreach program for screening colonoscopies. This is targeted at underserved minorities, the homeless and recent immigrants who face barriers to care under the current health system.
    The most recent activity of this program, funded by a grant from the Linda Tallen and David Paul Kane Cancer Educational and Research Foundation, took the Mercy team to two masses at St. Dominic/Sacred Heart Parish in Portland. There they met with and screened 13 people for colon cancer risk. They received a “prep bag”, education, screening and the chance to sign up for a free colonoscopy. Eleven signed up for the procedure.
    The event was held at St. Dominic/Sacred Heart Parish because of the relatively high percentage of minorities in the congregation. Several studies have shown low use of colon cancer screening by minorities, the homeless and recent immigrants who face financial, cultural, and linguistic barriers. Of the 13 screened at the event, 5 were French speakers from central Africa and 6 were Spanish speakers.
    Mercy Gastroenterology has been using the grant money to pay for the cost of screening, including a fixed price for the sedation, the procedure, disposable instruments, scope processing, and the preparation and interpretation of pathology. Community Health Outreach Workers (CHOW), employed by Mercy and PCHC, were trained to explain the rationale for colon cancer screening, address cultural concerns, and assist in the logistics of scheduling. Mercy’s Department of Mission Integration works with Northeast Transport to provide rides to and from procedures so that patients without chaperones can be safely transported home after receiving sedation. In addition, schedulers and medical assistants from Mercy Gastroenterology have provided several training sessions at PCHC with CHOW and other healthcare providers.
    At the recent event, the Mercy team provided Miralax, Ducolax and Gas-X Prep materials with the instructions translated into French and Spanish. They also provided translated educational materials outlining the reason for screening and the procedure. Also provided: clear liquids needed for the prep process, and healthy snack options at the event.
    Medicare Rewards Mercy
    August 18, 2016
    Mercy has received some good news from the federal government. Medicare created a “value-based purchasing” (VBP) program in 2013. Under this program, Medicare withholds a percentage of its payments to hospitals. It was 1% in 2013 and in the current year it’s 2%. Hospitals can earn back the withheld payments if they perform well across measures of outcomes, process, efficiency and cost reduction, safety, and patient satisfaction.
    The 2016 results were released in August, and Mercy earned back the 2% plus 0.34% more. That’s a little better than the Maine average, and much better than the US average.
    The idea of the VBP is to give hospitals an incentive to improve their performance. It has ramped up slowly, starting in 2013 with a small set of measures and growing in 2016 to include 14 measures plus results of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The clinical measures include infections and complications, and HCAHPS measures patient satisfaction. There is also a measure of Medicare spending per beneficiary to measure cost reduction and efficiency.
    In case you’re wondering how much money is at stake, Mercy collects about $32 million a year from Medicare.
    Mercy Shines in Star Ratings
    August 1, 2016
    The federal government has released its long-awaited star ratings of US hospitals, and Mercy is proud to have received 4 stars. The program ranks hospitals from one to five stars, and nationally only 20% of hospitals receive the four-star rating. Across town, Maine Medical Center received 2 stars.
    The ratings are based on 64 quality measures, including process measures, patient satisfaction surveys, timeliness and effectiveness of care, complications, readmissions and deaths, use of imaging, and value of care.
    Scott Rusk, MD, chief medical officer at Mercy, says the four-star rating reflects across-the-board quality.
    “We have worked very hard to meet or exceed benchmarks in areas like mortality, readmissions, and complications,” he says. “What really sets Mercy apart, though, is the patient experience. The federal government requires that patients be asked a series of questions about such things as communication with nurses and doctors, quiet at night, and understanding of their care.
    “The two summary questions are the most revealing,” Dr. Rusk says. “A full 81% of our patients said they would rate Mercy as a nine or ten on a ten-point scale, and 84% said they would definitely recommend Mercy. These numbers are significantly above both the Maine and national averages. We’re very proud of our staff and medical staff, because they are responsible for both quality care and the patient experience.”
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