Hanley Center Names New Executive Director

Judiann Ferretti Smith has been named Executive Director of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership. 

A resident of Yarmouth, Smith is a highly experienced healthcare executive and attorney who has held key leadership roles at Spurwink for the past 18 years. She succeeds James Harnar, who was a key figure in the founding of the Hanley Center in 2002 and who has served as its Executive Director since 2005. Harnar will retire in May following a 30-year career in Maine’s health sector.

Smith currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Government Relations at Spurwink, a large behavioral health organization with more than 800 employees serving children, families & adults from most of Maine’s counties. She previously held senior management positions as Director of Human Resources and Director of Regulatory and Legislative Analysis. Smith’s key focus over much of the past decade has involved building trusting collaborative relationships aimed at positive changes in healthcare across organizations, governmental entities and industry silos, important work that will transfer well into Hanley Center’s mission and future.

A graduate of the Hanley Center’s statewide Health Leadership Development program, Smith currently serves on the boards of the Maine Health Management Coalition and the Southern Maine Midcoast Chamber. She also serves on the MaineCare Advisory Committee, as the Vice President of the Child & Family Provider Network, and co-chairs the Children’s Coalition of the Maine Association of Community Service Providers.

Smith’s experience also includes six years on the Yarmouth School Committee as well as participation on various advisory groups and committees impacting healthcare, education and non-profits including the Maine Quality Counts Behavioral Health Committee and the Portland Regional Chamber Advocacy Committee. A native of New Jersey, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Bonaventure University and a law degree from Suffolk University School of Law. Smith resides in Yarmouth with her husband and three children.

“Judiann Smith is a highly respected leader who is known throughout Maine for her intelligence, integrity, energy and passion,” said the chair of the Hanley Center Board of Directors, Dr. Sean Hanley. “We believe Judiann is the right person to lead our organization toward further growth and greater impact in the years ahead.”

Over the past dozen years, the Hanley Center has established a presence as Maine’s leading health leadership organization. It is believed to be one of the nation’s only independent, statewide organizations focused on the goal of building a culture of greater trust and collaboration as the health sector undergoes a period of unprecedented transformation.

Nearly 600 healthcare leaders and clinicians have enrolled in Hanley Center programs including its 16-day Health Leadership Development program and the Physician Executive Leadership Institute. The Physician Executive Leadership Institute is a large and unique initiative aimed at preparing a substantial percentage of Maine’s practicing physicians to take on roles of greater influence and authority in efforts to improve care and moderate the growth of healthcare costs. Many other leaders have participated in Hanley Leadership Forums and other events and projects that have brought together diverse stakeholders to address complex issues that require a high degree of collaboration.

The Hanley Center is named for the late Dr. Daniel Hanley, a nationally-known leader who headed the Maine Medical Association for a quarter century and served as Bowdoin College’s physician for 34 years.

Through its professional development programs and its growing work across Maine and in other states, the Hanley Center carries forward Dr. Hanley’s leadership legacy.

The Center’s retiring Executive Director, James Harnar of Portland, was Vice President of Public Affairs at the Maine Hospital Association beginning in the mid-1980’s, later served as President of the Maine Health Information Center and was a key member of the team that built HealthInfoNet, Maine’s statewide electronic health information exchange. A retired U.S. Navy officer, Harnar was transferred to Maine in 1982 and has led many statewide initiatives. He plans to serve as a consultant to the Hanley Center, focused primarily on efforts that are now under way to build similar health leadership programs in other states.