LEWISTON — After two years on the job, St. Mary’s Health System’s CEO is leaving.

Chris A. Chekouras has resigned effective Oct. 6.

Chekouras was not available for comment Wednesday. A spokeswoman for St. Mary’s parent, Covenant Health, said he had accepted a position elsewhere to be closer to family. 

“He originally is from the Mid-Atlantic region. When he came to Maine, he left several family members behind and has found another opportunity that puts him much closer to his family,” Karen Sullivan said. “We absolutely wish him the best.”

Chekouras, 54, was hired in 2015 to replace retiring president and CEO Lee Myles. Chekouras took over Oct. 5 of that year, overseeing both St. Mary’s Health System and its St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in the state.

In a statement, Covenant Health praised Chekouras for his work in leading St. Mary’s through system-wide restructuring.

“From the beginning, he has been insightful and instrumental in the system leadership reorganization process we are now implementing,” Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln said in the statement. “He is deeply committed to fulfilling our Catholic mission and providing high-quality, compassionate care to our region. It has been a privilege to work with such a dedicated colleague.”

Covenant Health has hired a recruitment company to help find an interim CEO. 

“I expect that we will announce a replacement very shortly,” Sullivan said.

Covenant officials said they are looking for a new CEO who will continue to bring stability to St. Mary’s as the system reorganizes and implements a new electronic medical records system. They also want someone who is experienced in various settings, including Catholic health care, and who will promote transparent communication with board members, providers, staff and the community.

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St. Mary’s Health System CEO Chris A. Chekouras stands in front of the main entrance of the Lewiston hospital a few months after he was hired. Two years later, he has resigned to take a job closer to family.

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