FARMINGTON – Trampas Hutches, MHA, joined Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) as president in January 2020, just a few months before COVID-19 hit Maine and dramatically changed the health care landscape across the country. His achievements at Franklin earned him a promotion to the newly created regional president role for the Mountain Region within the MaineHealth organization. As of January 1, 2023, Hutches oversees the three most western hospitals in the MaineHealth organization: Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, New Hampshire and Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network. He is also tasked with further developing regional affiliate relationships with MaineGeneral Health and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
As Franklin’s president, Hutches led the organization back to financial stability for the first time since 2014. He helped improve recruitment processes, hiring over 65 new providers while maintaining a less than 4 percent medical staff turnover rate and improving patient access to care. Additionally, he reduced care team turnover by over 10 percent and increased team engagement by 20 percent, per Gallup Engagement Survey results.
“The Franklin Community Health Network board of directors is grateful to Hutches for his numerous contributions, particularly his unwavering leadership during the challenges of the pandemic,” says Sheena Bunnell, Ph.D., chairperson of the FCHN board of directors. “He’s successfully ushered Franklin through many changes and leaves behind a high-performing senior team that we trust will continue to move the organization forward.”
Though Hutches will no longer directly manage operations at Franklin, he remains closely involved with local leadership as they work together to further integrate with MaineHealth and their regional partner hospitals. “The vision for the regional structure is to work more collaboratively with health care entities in the region to provide the best possible care close to home for our patients,” says Hutches. “We’ll be able to grow our services, improve quality and take a more holistic approach with a bigger focus on preventative medicine and greater access for our communities.”
As the second most populated region in Maine within the MaineHealth footprint, financial sustainability and the ability to recruit new care team members to the area will be another priority for Hutches. “Our hospitals and health networks are large employers in their respective communities. We’ll be working hard to continue providing an amazing culture for folks. We want to be the very best places to work.”
Hutches’ new regional appointment requires FCHN to identify a new local president. While a search committee and process are underway, Hutches has named chief operating officer Barbara Sergio, MSHA, interim president. Sergio transitioned into the role of FCHN interim president effective January 1, 2023. Hutches and Sergio will continue to work collaboratively over the next several months to ensure a smooth leadership transition and presidential search process.
“Barb’s ability to pivot when needed and manage various projects is second to none and I know she’ll be an excellent fit for this transitional role,” says Hutches. “She’s been instrumental in the organization’s success over the last three years. Looking ahead, I am excited to continue supporting the Franklin senior team, Barb and the future president as we work together towards our new strategic goals.”
Sergio joined FCHN in 2019 as the senior director of quality and patient safety. Over the last three years, she rose through the ranks and was ultimately promoted to chief operating officer (COO) in January 2021. As COO, Sergio took on a breadth of responsibilities, including a stint as an interim chief nursing officer. She organized and led the FCHN community COVID-19 vaccine clinic, stepped in to lead our facilities department during a departmental restructure and successfully revitalized public health programming at the Healthy Community Coalition. As interim president, Sergio is tasked with executing new strategic objectives for the organization, community leadership and managing day-to-day operations.
“Barb has been a committed member of the Franklin leadership team as the Chief Operating Officer. She has worked very hard and diligently and we’ve seen her go above and beyond her responsibilities to support FCHN,” says Bunnell. “Her operational excellence during the pandemic is noteworthy. The Board looks forward to seeing her lead the organization in the interim role. We have no doubt she will provide excellent leadership during this transition.”
The search for a new FCHN president is expected to conclude mid-February, with initial interviews beginning in the coming weeks. A public announcement will be made once a candidate has been selected.