NORWAY — Stephens Memorial President Andrea Patstone has been promoted to head one of MaineHealth’s new regional divisions, a move that is taking her from western Maine to the coast.

Andrea Patstone, president of Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, has been named president of MaineHealth’s coastal region division. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

Patstone will assume the position of MaineHealth’s Coastal Region Regional president with the responsibility of overseeing operations for Coastal Health Alliance, which is comprised of Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast; LincolnHealth, which has locations in Boothbay and Damarscotta; Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick; and all ambulatory sites of care related to those hospitals.

Going forward, Stephens Memorial Hospital and Western MaineHealth are being incorporated into MaineHealth’s Mountain Region, which also includes Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, New Hampshire, and the ambulatory sites of care within the three health care organizations.

“I see this as the chance to be part of the team that is really shaping the future of health care in Maine,” Patstone said. “MaineHealth has gone through a number of transitions. From loosely bringing us together as a decentralized federation of collaborators to a merged entity in 2019.

“And now with a regional structure in 2023, there will be much more cohesion, so we operate as efficiently as possible, sharing clinical resources, investing appropriately without redundancy.

“It also brings the power of scale to address workforce challenges,” she said. “When you have a workforce that is supported to cover for each other and collaborate more effectively, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “


Patstone, who joined MaineHealth in 2011 as vice president for strategic initiatives and focused on value-based contracting with government and health care payer organizations, is no stranger to building collaboration within. Between 2013 and 2018 she was responsible for forging corporate partnerships of MaineHealth’s eight groups and leading plans to merge them into a unified system.

She joined Western MaineHealth in the spring of 2018 as its chief operating officer and assumed leadership of the hospital and supporting care sites in 2020, when former President Timothy Churchill retired.

As COO, Patstone oversaw the development and construction of the Bahre Building, which has created space for providers of specialty medicine to care for rural-based patients who no longer have to drive to Scarborough or further to see their doctor.

During Patstone’s tenure as president of SMH and Western Maine Health she led the organization through a pandemic, retrofitting half of the hospital to negative pressure for proper quarantine in a matter of days and shutting down and reopening care and surgical services – all during her first six months on the job. Additional services were added to SMH during that period, including building a dedicated COVID-testing site and organizing as a mass vaccination site.

In September 2021, she led SMH through another crisis – a fire that forced the evacuation of all patients and staff. On that day, the facility was evacuated within 20 minutes, field hospital set-ups were operating within the Bahre Building and Pace Ambulance to care for displaced patients, and all patients requiring transport to other hospitals in a matter of hours.

SMH’s emergency department was able to reopen for care in less than 24 hours and the entire building scrubbed clean over the course of a weekend. Repairs to affected care units began immediately, with most reopening within days.


“What we learned in the pandemic was the power of community support,” Patstone said. “This community rallied around this hospital in a way that lifted us and inspired us. To have earned that level of respect from our community in a time of crisis was what kept us going, to be honest.

“But we learned our own resilience. These problems have not gone away and now we have the added threats of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and the flu,” she said.

Stephens Memorial Hospital President Andrea Patstone, left, stands with MaineHealth CEO Andy Mueller outside the Norway hospital. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

Before 2020, about half the hospitals beds had patients on average. Once the pandemic hit and since the hospital has been almost full all the time, a demand on its labor and resources that is expected to remain.

“It’s been a 50% increase in the patients we’re caring for,” Patstone said. “And we’ve seen a 30% increase in our surgical volumes and emergency department services. The increased volume of patient care has by far outlasted the pandemic.”

Patstone noted that more demand for care at Western Maine Health may be because of decreases in services at other providers. Bridgton Hospital closed its obstetrical services last year and SMH has seen a shift of new rural patients who previously sought services at hospitals in other areas.

One recent initiative SMH has undertaken as a pilot program of Goodwill Industries is a partnership formed with other major employers in Oxford Hills, Norway Savings Bank and Maine School Administrative District 17.


The three have contracted with Goodwill for a shared employee life navigator, an advocate whose role is to support employees and direct them to resources to ease the pressures of everyday life: from child care options to financial assistance to finding housing.

Patstone, acting on staff suggestions, introduced the concept to the working group she had formed with Norway Savings Bank President Dan Walsh and SAD 17 Superintendent Heather Manchester earlier this year. It is modeled on an internal program Goodwill tested with its Vermont division.

Patstone will watch the program grow from a distance and hopes that other area employers, and other regions in Maine, initiate similar employee support measures.

“This (solution) took us a while to figure out,” Walsh said. “We had a common goal, and Andy presented this idea. And it comes at an incredibly difficult time for people, with inflation and increased costs for fuel, heating and food. Already it is making a difference in our employees’ quality of life. We want to see it take root with other employers and organizations.”

A campaign is underway to construct a new facility for Pace Ambulance Service at SMH. Development for that will be a priority for Patstone’s replacement. She said a search is underway and a new president is expected to be hired by March.

When Patstone was tapped to take Churchill’s responsibilities in Oxford Hills, MaineHealth hired Trampas Hutches to assume the other half of Churchill’s job as president of Franklin Memorial Hospital. Now, Hutches will oversee MaineHealth’s mountain region, which includes SMH.

“This hospital will be in very good hands with our leadership team as it transitions to a new president,” Patstone said. “Western MaineHealth takes care of its community very seriously. It is filled with people who could work anywhere in the world, and they have chosen to do it in Oxford Hills. They are committed to excellent and compassionate care, and I am a better leader for having worked with them.”

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