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2003 Press Releases

Maine Hospital CEO Elected to Improve Mental Health Care at the National Level

For more information:
Gail Wilkerson
Chief of Communications
Spring Harbor Hospital
(207) 761-2202

(January 8, 2003) — The CEO of Spring Harbor Hospital in South Portland has been named president of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS). Dennis P. King of Freeport assumed the office of president on January 1 and will serve in this capacity for the next year.

NAPHS advocates for behavioral health issues and represents more than 300 organizations nationwide that are committed to delivering responsive, accountable, and clinically effective treatment for people of all ages who experience mental illness and chemical dependency. King brings to the NAPHS board extensive background in hospital start-ups as well as expertise in planning and developing integrated mental healthcare delivery systems in both rural and urban areas.

All told, King has more than 20 years' experience working in mental healthcare in Maine. Prior to his appointment at Spring Harbor—the former Jackson Brook Institute—in 1999, King was the founding CEO of The Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine's only other private nonprofit psychiatric hospital and a member of Eastern Maine Healthcare.

The appointment of King to the national post comes amidst his plans to fulfill a lifelong dream: to build a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital in Greater Portland. A facility to replace the existing Spring Harbor Hospital building in South Portland is under construction in Westbrook and will be complete in about a year. The facility and its 33-acre campus will offer improved therapeutic, educational, and recreational amenities for patients, family, and staff of the 100-bed hospital.

"I am honored to represent at the national level the interests of Maine people who experience mental illness," King said. "At the same time, I am excited about this major local effort to improve mental healthcare. I am pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to make such a far-reaching impact."

In addition to his other posts, King is vice president of behavioral health at MaineHealth, where he is responsible for better integrating the mental health services offered by MaineHealth member hospitals in southern, central, and western Maine. He also is a member of numerous state and local committees to improve the delivery of mental healthcare.

King presently serves on the boards of Goodwill of Northern New England and the Maine Technical College System, as well as on the board of corporators for Gorham Savings Bank. He has held several posts within the American Hospital Association, and was past chair of the Maine Hospital Association and former vice chair of the Maine State Housing Authority. He also was a member of the University of Maine President's Development Council and a member of Governor Angus King's Transition Team.

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