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Maine Behavioral Healthcare Selects New President

August 25, 2020

Contact: Valerie Compagna

South Portland, MaineMaine Behavioral Healthcare, the state’s largest provider of mental health services, today announced the appointment of Kelly Barton as its new president.

Barton joins MBH after having served as vice president, integrated primary care at Community Health Network in Indianapolis. Barton is an experienced senior health care executive. Much of her career has been focused on behavioral health services, but she also has a diverse background in health care management, and she is especially experienced with integrating behavioral health into comprehensive health care networks.

“All of us were impressed with her authenticity and collaborative style,” said Rich Petersen, president of MaineHealth, the system parent of Maine Behavioral Healthcare. “In Kelly, we get an executive who brings both a commitment to continuous improvement and a belief in empowering teams to achieve goals.”

Barton began her health care leadership career at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin as a compliance and health information manager for Behavioral Health. Over 15 years at Gundersen, she worked in roles with progressively greater responsibility, including as vice president, clinical operations from 2012 through 2016. In 2016 she joined Community Health Network as the chief operating officer of its Northern Division and in 2018 assumed her role overseeing all integrated primary care.

“I found Kelly to be dedicated and passionate about the role of behavioral health in creating healthy communities,” said Geoffrey Green, chair of the Maine Behavioral Healthcare Board. “We are very fortunate to have her joining us as our next president.”

Barton said she sees Maine Behavioral Healthcare as playing an essential role in MaineHealth’s pursuit of its vision of “working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.”

“Health systems must provide strong, integrated behavioral services if they hope to improve care across the system,” said Barton. “Maine Behavioral Healthcare is uniquely and well positioned to bring these services to the communities served by MaineHealth, and I’m excited about the opportunity to lead an organization committed to that cause.”

Barton will start in her new role as president of Maine Behavioral Healthcare in early October. She replaces Steve Merz, who left the organization last fall to pursue a consulting career.


About Maine Behavioral Healthcare:
Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) is a not-for-profit organization serving more than 20,000 children, adolescents and adults at over 30 locations throughout southern, western, and mid-coast Maine, providing a continuum of coordinated mental healthcare from outpatient community offices to inpatient acute care at Spring Harbor Hospital. Learn more at

About MaineHealth:
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, 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 and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.

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