President and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network announces retirement

29 Jan 2016 11:22 AM | Deleted user


President and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network announces retirement


Rebecca Arsenault has led FCHN for seven years, overseeing its joining MaineHealth.


FARMINGTON, Maine ­– Rebecca Arsenault, president and CEO of Franklin Community Health Network and Franklin Memorial Hospital for the past seven years, has announced her retirement effective Feb. 29.


“It has been a wonderful experience leading this incredible team of professionals,” said Arsenault. “But we are at a place of envisioning a new future for our organization. That work should be undertaken by a leader whose expected tenure extends beyond the time I’ve planned to retire. Therefore, this is both the right decision for FCHN and for me.”


Arsenault took over as the leader of FCHN in January 2009. Before that, she served in various executive health care positions with Intermountain Health Care in Utah, Providence Health Services in Washington and Universal Health Services in Texas. A nurse, she has held positions as chief executive officer and chief operating officer in small and large hospitals, in urban and rural areas.


During her career she has always been active in hospital leadership organizations, including serving as the board chair of the Maine Hospital Association as well as a state delegate to the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) policy advisory committee. In 2013 she was awarded the AHA’s Grassroots Champion Award in recognition of exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of her hospital’s mission.


As the leader of FCHN, Arsenault brought focus to the organization’s role in the community and to improved quality.


Working through the Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, Arsenault supported a range of community health initiatives including programming aimed at tobacco cessation, cancer prevention, worksite wellness and several other priorities.


FCHN also received numerous recognitions for the quality of its care during Arsenault’s tenure. These included two certifications from the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program awarded to the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center. Also, for the past three years, Franklin Memorial Hospital has received an “A” rating for hospital safety from The Leapfrog Group, a nationally recognized nonprofit that tracks hospital quality.


This good work did not make FCHN immune from the mounting pressures that small, rural hospital networks have been experiencing in recent years, however. It became apparent that FCHN needed to partner with a larger organization if it was to continue to thrive. Arsenault took on this task, and that work led to FCHN’s decision to become a member of MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care system, on Oct. 1, 2014.


“Becky led us through a time of great challenge,” said Clint Boothby, Chair of the FCHN Board of Directors. “When it became apparent that we needed to partner with another organization, she led our Board and the community through a thoughtful process that culminated in our joining an outstanding organization that shares our values of excellent patient care, a healthy community and fiscal responsibility.”


Since joining MaineHealth, Arsenault has overseen FCHN’s initial integration into the system, starting with operational issues such as IT infrastructure, employee benefits and purchasing. Now the work at FCHN is turning to crafting a larger strategic vision in partnership with MaineHealth, a process that will take years to fully implement.


“Continuity through this strategic visioning process will be very important,” said Arsenault.  “It wouldn’t be fair to the community, our patients or the wonderful people who work here for me to start down this path and then have my personal priorities interrupt that process. And I have to say, I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter.”


Boothby said the Board on Tuesday discussed the process for selecting a new CEO and options for an interim leader. He said he expects the board will have an announcement with regard to interim leadership within two weeks and a national search for a permanent leader will get underway shortly thereafter.


Bill Caron, president of MaineHealth, praised Arsenault for her transformative leadership at a time of change and challenge in the industry.


“When it came time to find a partner for FCHN, Becky engaged her organization and the community in a thoughtful and deliberate process,” said Caron. “Her professionalism and leadership played a crucial role in positioning FCHN for the future. We are all grateful for her contributions.”


Franklin Community Health Network is a locally controlled, nonprofit, integrated network of rural health care providers, created by Franklin Memorial Hospital in 1991. Its affiliates include Franklin Memorial Hospital, Franklin Health, Evergreen Behavioral Services, Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, and NorthStar EMS.


FCHN is a member of MaineHealth, the state’s largest health care system with member and affiliate hospitals throughout southern, western and central Maine, as well as Carroll County, N.H. Oher Maine Health members include: HomeHealth - Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine in Saco, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine Behavioral Healthcare

In South Portland, the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland, Memorial Hospital

in North Conway, N.H., NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in

Westbrook, Synernet in Portland and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include MaineGeneral Health in Augusta and Waterville, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston.


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