Art Blank, MDI Hospital’s President and CEO, has announced his intent to retire at the end of 2020. In a letter to employees, Blank stated he would be working closely with MDI Hospital’s Board of Trustees and Senior Management to develop a succession plan. He and his wife Debi will continue to reside in the area.
“Serving as your CEO for the past 20 years has been a great honor and privilege. I’m proud to have been part of a great team that has served our community with such compassion and professionalism, yet Debi and I are ready to move into the next phase of our life,” said Blank. “I am confident the future of the hospital is bright with strong leadership and a dedicated team.”
“It is impossible to put into words how much Art has done for MDI Hospital and the health of our region,” said James Bright, MDI Hospital’s Board Chairman. “His strategic vision, leadership, and advocacy have been the driving forces behind our growth, achievements, and sustainability in an ever-changing and challenging healthcare landscape. It is because of his dedication and passion that MDI Hospital remains independent, with decisions about our care, our operations, and our future being made in this community.”
Blank, who has served as CEO since 1999, has guided MDI Hospital’s vision to be the community’s medical home through the pursuit of innovative care models and an integrated health system. Under his leadership, the hospital organization has forged a groundbreaking teaching partnership with Penn Medicine, established a nonprofit retirement community, Birch Bay Retirement Village, transitioned to a critical access hospital and incorporated nine community health centers, including the community’s first full-service behavioral health center and a nonprofit dental center.
During his tenure, MDI Hospital’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency and surgical care services have been recognized by Avatar International, the Leapfrog Group, the National Rural Health Association, Harvard Pilgrim and Healthgrades. Under Blank’s leadership, the hospital established a state-of-the-art Breast Health Center, recognized as a Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, and was named the Trauma System Hospital of the Year in 2016.
Blank has led several successful capital campaigns for a wide variety of capital improvements and programmatic initiatives, including the renovation of MDI Hospital’s inpatient and obstetrical units in 2007, the construction of the Lisa Stewart Women’s Health Center in 2014, and the acquisition of a new state-of-the-art generator in 2018.
Blank’s commitment to innovation and top-quality, integrated care has been unwavering. Through a strategic alliance with five other rural Maine hospitals, Blank helped to establish the Maine Rural Health Collaborative, with a goal of preserving and enhancing healthcare within the communities they serve. Blank worked to develop MDI Hospital’s teaching emphasis as well, evidenced by the organization’s landmark partnership with Penn Medicine as well as its innovative clerkship and internship programs with Tufts University School of Medicine, University of New England and College of the Atlantic.
Previously, Blank served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation in Bangor, Maine. Prior to joining St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation, he spent five years in public accounting with Ernst and Whitney, and Berry, Dunn, McNeil.
In addition to more than 30 years of experience in a variety of senior management roles in healthcare, Blank has worked actively in support of various volunteer community organizations including the United Way, Rotary and the YMCA. He currently serves on the board of the Maine Hospital Association as the delegate to the American Hospital Association and is a former chairman of the board for both the Maine Hospital Association and HealthInfoNet, Maine’s statewide health information exchange. He also serves as board chairman of Good Will-Hinckley Home Association, and on the boards of the MDI Rotary and the Center for Human Genetics. He is an active member of the Maine Hospital Association’s Policy Council and is the current treasurer of the MDI YMCA.
Mount Desert Island Hospital
Mount Desert Island Hospital serves a close-knit island and surrounding communities through a 25-bed critical access facility in Bar Harbor and a network of area health centers—all designed to provide comprehensive healthcare for residents and visitors.
Since it was established in 1897, the nonprofit hospital has grown into a premier rural healthcare organization with a retirement community and eight regional health centers, including a full-service behavioral health center and a dental clinic. The organization’s groundbreaking teaching partnership with Penn Medicine, established in 2011, has evolved into a model for future urban-rural partnerships across the nation.
Today, MDI Hospital employs more than 500 people and is the second-largest employer on Mount Desert Island. Its active medical staff includes hospitalists, primary care physicians and practitioners, highly skilled nurses, orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, psychiatrists, care managers, a board-certified emergency physician, an ophthalmologist, a pathologist, a radiologist, a urogynecologist and a urologist.
MDI Hospital holds a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the organization’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency and surgical care services have been consistently recognized by Avatar International, the Leapfrog Group, the National Rural Health Association, Harvard Pilgrim and Healthgrades.