Michelle Hood Accepts National Leadership Role

Date: 11/14/2019

President and CEO M. Michelle Hood, FACHE, announced today that she will be leaving Northern Light Health to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Hospital Association. Hood has served on the AHA Board of Trustees for the past three years. 

Hood has been with Northern Light Health for nearly 14 years. During her leadership, the health system has become fully integrated; transitioning from a federated organization to a recognizable, unified brand with a soon to be completed common electronic health record. Under her tenure, Northern Light Health welcomed new member organizations, Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth and Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland, and Northern Light Pharmacy, broadening the systems’ ability to deliver care statewide. 

In an era of hospitals closing across the nation — especially in rural areas — access to local care closer to home has strengthened as a result of Hood’s vision and leadership. Those who work closely with her know that she is collaborative by nature and has nurtured meaningful relationships in Maine and beyond.  Barry McCrum, chair of the Northern Light Health Board, said, while saddened at Hood’s departure, he is “proud that the AHA would select our system’s leader for such an important national role, and that he is reassured knowing Northern Light is in a solid position both strategically and financially.” McCrum added that a search committee will be appointed to oversee a process for leadership transition. While she is expected to join the AHA in the new year, no official departure date for Hood has been established. 

AHA president and CEO Rick Pollack said, “Michelle is an experienced health system CEO — who is known for her creative leadership — and knows the AHA well. She will bring her passion for and deep experience in making healthcare better for patients to her new role.” 

Hood said she is leaving Northern Light Health with a leadership team that is more than prepared to go through a change at the top — “they are awesome and strong, and aligned in purpose. We also have a very strong work plan for Fiscal Year 2020.” Hood added that she is leaving with mixed emotions. “While the position at AHA is an honor and I am energized to begin this work, I have been so privileged to spend the last 13.5 years of my career with Northern Light Health. I have had the honor of working with so many talented and dedicated people at all levels of the organization. My time here has truly been an experience I will always treasure.”