Dr. Chris Thomson will lead the medical team at the health system while transforming care delivery to respond to a rapidly changing health care landscape

PORTLAND — MaineHealth announced the appointment of Dr. Chris Thomson as its new chief medical & transformation officer.

In this newly created role Thomson will assume duties previously assigned to the system’s chief medical officer but will have added responsibility for innovating care delivery.

“As we’ve moved toward building a stronger health system in pursuit of our vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America, it has become clear that clinical integration and transformation of our care delivery models are essential for our organization to thrive in a rapidly changing health care landscape,” said Dr. Andrew Mueller, chief executive officer of MaineHealth. “We must identify, create and oversee new structures of care, partnerships and collaborations that will further position MaineHealth as a nimble, contemporary health system.”

Mueller said Thomson is an ideal physician leader for the role. “An emergency physician by training, all along the way, Chris has been an innovator in areas such as service line development, population health and clinical documentation,” said Mueller.

Since 2021, Thomson has been vice president & physician executive with Centura Health in Denver, Colo., with responsibility for that large health system’s operations in Colorado and Kansas. Prior to that he was with Centra Health in Lynchburg, Virginia for 12 years, in roles of increasing responsibility culminating in his being named senior vice president and system chief medical officer.

Thomson holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virg., a doctor of medicine from  the Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond, Virg., as well as a masters’ in business administration from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In his new role, Thomson will be responsible for the system’s team of chief medical officers at hospitals across its service area and will also oversee research and academic affairs. In addition to those duties previously assigned to the system CMO, he will take on additional accountabilities supporting organizational transformation. This could take the form of new partnerships or new delivery models focused on value based care, where the health system is rewarded for keeping patients well instead of treating them when they are sick.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to be on the forefront of innovation in health care, all in service to the clear and meaningful vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America,” said Thomson.

Thomson replaces Dr. Doug Sawyer, MaineHealth’s chief academic officer, who has been serving as system chief medical officer on an interim basis since November 2021.

“I want to take this opportunity to recognize Doug for his excellent work and steady hand as our interim CMO during a very dynamic and challenging time for our health system,” said Mueller. “During his tenure, he has done much to move us toward our goals, including his work spearheading efforts to reduce clinical variation, his continued advocacy for education and research and, of course, his leadership during the Omicron COVID-19 surge.”