NORTH CONWAY, NH – The chief executive officer of Memorial Hospital plans to retire on Oct. 31. Scott McKinnon, who has led Memorial for the past nine years, said the time was right for him to step away from work as a full-time executive.
“Though it is hard to leave such a fulfilling professional role, this is the right decision for me and my family,” said McKinnon, who added he plans an active retirement and may take on some project work in the future but will not be returning to a full-time position.
McKinnon joined Memorial Hospital as CEO in 2009, replacing Gary Poquette, who had been Memorial’s CEO the previous 30 years. McKinnon came to Memorial after serving as a vice president at Lankenau Hospital, a tertiary academic hospital with an affiliate medical research center and a member of Mainline Health System serving Philadelphia, Penn., and its suburbs. Prior to that, he was vice president for Meridian Health in New Jersey and for Union Hospital, a community hospital in Maryland. He began his career at Union as a laboratory manager and rose to his position of vice president over the years. He received both his BS and MBA degrees from the University of Central Florida.
“I am saddened, but I am also very appreciative of the work Scott did on behalf of Memorial and this community,” said Laura Jawitz, chair of the Memorial Board of Trustees. “Scott has been a terrific leader for our organization at a time of great change and challenge in the healthcare industry.”
Jawitz cited a number of McKinnon’s accomplishments, including leading Memorial through the process of choosing a system partner that culminated in it becoming a member of MaineHealth in 2013. McKinnon also forged new connections with providers in the Valley through the establishment of a Community Council. Under his leadership, Memorial broadened its clinical offerings in areas such as sleep medicine, oncology, sports medicine, pulmonary and wound care and also established a full-time hospitalist program
Additionally, McKinnon leveraged Memorial’s membership in MaineHealth to create an active and vital Community Health Department. He brought a new emphasis on quality, including the introduction of the Operational Excellence system of continuous improvement. He oversaw a number of building projects that significantly modernized and enhanced Memorial’s campus. And he played a significant role in Memorial’s philanthropy efforts, including the gift that will make a new adult day center possible.
McKinnon has also been an active leader in the community. He has served on the board of the Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council (including two years as its chair), as well as on the board of the White Mountain Community Health Center. At the state level, he served on the boards of The New Hampshire Hospital Association and the Foundation for Healthy Communities.
“Needless to say, he will be missed,” said Jawitz. “All of us on the Board of Trustees are grateful for his contributions.”
Jawitz said a search committee for a new leader for Memorial will be formed shortly, and it is anticipated that the role will be filled by March 2019. She said the board is also discussing an interim leadership plan for the hospital and expects to share more information about that in coming weeks.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, and the Miranda Center for Diabetes, behavioral health services, women's health, and orthopedics. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus.