Maine Governor John Baldacci has re-appointed Arthur Blank, President and CEO of Mount Desert Island Hospital, to the Board of Directors of the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development.
The 11-member Council’s primary focus is to advise the Governor’s office in establishing the State Health Plan and Capital Investment Fund.
The State Health Plan addresses Maine’s health care costs, quality and access, and is a key element of Dirigo Health Reform. Issued every two years by the Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance, the Plan’s stated goal is to make Maine the healthiest state in the nation.
The Capital Investment Fund (CIF) is the annual budget for new construction or new acquisitions of technology in the health care industry. It limits the amount of spending that can be approved through the Certificate of Need process.
The council solicits data and information from both the public and private sectors to develop its recommendations.
Council Board members were chosen for their expertise in various subjects such as health care delivery, long-term care, mental health, public health care financing, private health care financing, health care quality, public health, and health insurance.
Mr. Blank’s background includes over 20 years experience in healthcare finance, administration and policy. He has served as President and CEO of MDI Hospital since 1999. Prior to that Mr. Blank served as President of the MDI Community Health Plan and Director of Physician Practices for the MDI Regional Health Care Corporation.
“It’s an honor to be chosen to participate in the crucial work of the Council,” said Mr. Blank. “The cost of managing chronic disease in Maine is rising rapidly, challenging the State’s ability to ensure access to care. At the same time, the quality of care in our state is exemplary.”
Mr. Blank pointed out that in a 2006 report by the healthcare research foundation, The Common Wealth Fund, that assessed state health system performance on access, quality, avoidable hospital use, and costs, equity, and the ability to live long and health lives, Maine ranked 5th best.
“Clearly Maine’s hospitals, providers and healthcare agencies have set a high standard of care for our citizens,” added Mr. Blank. “But there are many challenges before us. The Council will be working hard to make healthcare more affordable and accessible to the people of Maine,” explained Mr. Blank.