Deb Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, Baldrige Executive Fellow, Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services

Deb Sanford

Deb Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, Baldrige Executive Fellow, is the vice president of nursing and patient care services at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Deb has been a nurse for more than 30 years, starting as a staff nurse at the University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital before quickly becoming a nurse leader and program manager.
Deb has been with EMHS, Eastern Maine Medical Center's parent organization, for more than 20 years with varying clinical and leadership positions. Deb started at EMHS in 2002 as director of Medical Informatics. She has also held the positions of administrator for patient care services at EMMC, vice president for patient care services and performance improvement and compliance officer at Acadia Hospital, and vice president of organizational effectiveness at EMHS before accepting her current position.    

Deb earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Binghamton University, and her Master of Science degree in nursing from Saint John Fisher College. Deb also has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Rochester, and is a Baldrige Executive Fellow. Deb has completed the Baldrige Examiner Orientation, and she is also a Certified Yellow Belt.
Deb is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International, and has received the Donate Life Award from New England Organ Bank. She has been awarded the Board Chair's Award and the Irene Gray Outstanding Campaign Volunteer Award from United Way of Eastern Maine, a Splash Award from Eastern Maine Medical Center, and the Nursing Exemplar Award from University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, American College of Health Executives, Association for Nurse Executives, and Rotary International.
"Have the passion, take the action, and magic will happen" – Bar Refaeli. This is Deb's motto, and it is a motto she strives to implement at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
"I enjoy working at Eastern Maine Medical Center and holding a leadership position where I can work to remove barriers so nurses can deliver the very best care to our patients. This is my passion."

Rowena David, MSN, RN, CNOR

Rowena David

Rowena David, MSN, RN, CNOR, is the associate vice president of Patient Care Services for Perioperative Services at Eastern Maine Medical Center and brings with her 27 years of leadership experience. Prior to EMMC, Rowena worked for 16 years at the University Of Cincinnati Medical Center as a member of the perioperative leadership team. She started as a charge nurse, progressing to becoming the director of the main hospital as well as the ambulatory surgical center.

In April 2014, Rowena was an AORN (Association of perioperative Registered Nurses) convention speaker for the perioperative executives, addressing strategies to reduce surgical site infections for Joint Arthroplasties. Most recently, in collaboration with IT and the skin champions, Rowena submitted a poster on pressure injury reduction in the OR which was awarded clinical Improvement/Innovation poster of excellence by AORN.

Rowena earned her BSN from University of the Assumption, an archdiocesan Catholic University in the Philippines and Master of Science in Nursing from University of Phoenix. Rowena is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and an active member of the executive council for the Philippine Nurses Association of America.

Rowena chose to continue her professional career here at EMMC because of the spirit she sees in her peers. “There is a genuine spirit of commitment to help people succeed in this organization. Employees also demonstrate a sense of pride and purpose that is noticeable as I walk through the door.”

Kim Demers, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC

Kim Demers

Kim Demers, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, is the associate vice president of Patient Care Services, Medical Surgical Services, and Telemetry and Clinical Education. Kim has been a nurse for 20 years, starting as a staff nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center before becoming a float nurse at UMass University Campus. After a few years, Kim returned to Eastern Maine Medical Center as a house supervisor and then became a nurse manager before accepting her current position.
Kim has an Associate's Degree in business management from the University of Maine and an Associate's Degree in nursing from Eastern Maine Community College. She also has a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from the University of Maine, and is currently working on a Master of Business Administration degree with a healthcare concentration from Husson University.
Kim has been a Nursing Excellence Award nominee for her successful contributions to nursing at Eastern Maine Medical Center. She is a member of the Association of Nursing Professional Development, Nursing Leaders of Maine (OMNE), American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the American Nurses Association.
Kim has enjoyed working at Eastern Maine Medical Center because she can do what she is passionate about every day.

“I am passionate about providing care to patients and families in communities across the state of Maine. It brings me great joy to work in a state-of-the-art medical center and be able to touch the lives of those in need every day.”

Samantha Foss, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, NE-BC

Samantha Foss

Samantha (Sam) Foss, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, NE-BC is the associate vice president of patient care services for staff and patient flow at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Sam has been a nurse for almost twenty years, previously working for St. Joseph Hospital, and Mayo Regional Hospital, with experience in the Med-Surg, ICU, ED, transfer center and house supervision. She was a travel nurse for five years, and her leadership experience includes nurse manager, house supervisor, and charge nurse.
Sam earned her BSN, and MBA from Husson University and is enrolled in the MSN-DNP path at Purdue University. In 2013, she published an article entitled, “Does EMS Activation of Heart Catheterization Labs Have an Impact on Door-to-Balloon Times?” for In 2018, Sam was the nursing excellence award recipient for Transformational Leadership here at EMMC.
Sam pushes herself and her co-workers to always improve as nursing professionals. “I embrace change, keep an open mind and never limit what I can do. I believe we can do anything we put our minds to.”

Edward Heise, MHA, BSN, RN

Edward Heise

Edward Heise, MHA, BSN, RN, is the associate vice president of Patient Care Services/Emergency Department and Critical Care Services. Ed oversees clinical operations for the ICU, CCU/CSU, Emergency Department, Trauma Services, LifeFlight, and Dialysis Services.

Before coming to Eastern Maine Medical Center, Ed was the director of Emergency Services at Howard County General Hospital in Maryland, which is the largest facility in the Johns Hopkins Community division. Ed has a proven track record based on his experience in managing four emergency departments, as well as taking part in a variety of initiatives, which include project management and service line development (urgent care, oncology, infusion services, PICC team). He has strong leadership skills with experience in capital expenditures, strategic development, and clinical operations.   

Ed earned his Masters of Science in health administration and Bachelors of Science in nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University. His Bachelor of Business Administration degree was earned at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He was a paramedic for 16 years prior to his transition to nursing.

As one of the newest members of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s nurse leadership team, Ed is excited to help bring quality care to the northern two-thirds of Maine.  

“I am grateful for the opportunity to bring my previous ED experiences to Eastern Maine Medical Center and look forward to helping the organization improve the care we provide the community.”

Allen L’Italien, RN

Allen L’Italien

Allen L'Italien, RN, is the executive director at EMMC Cancer Care. Allen is responsible for patient care services, including diagnostic services provided by the Breast and Osteoporosis Center, pediatric oncology, breast surgical oncology, medical oncology and hematology, radiation oncology, oncology research, inpatient oncology, cancer genetics counseling, and cancer outreach.
Allen has been working in healthcare for more than 45 years, starting as a nurse's aide at Eastern Maine Medical Center after spending three years at a major hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. Allen went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Husson University, and then became a registered nurse. At Eastern Maine Medical Center, Allen has held the positions of charge nurse, department head, and business manager for Cancer Care as an outpatient service before he accepted his current position.
Allen is a founding board member for the Maine Cancer Consortium, and a member of the New England Clinical Oncology Society and the Association of Cancer Executives.
Allen enjoys working at Eastern Maine Medical Center because he has been able to help expand its cancer services to truly make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer in Maine.
"I enjoy working here because of the constant challenges that making a difference for our friends and for our neighbors brings. Expanding offerings that make a difference has always been supported by the senior leadership, especially in getting meaningful oncology research established in Maine. That meets the definition of worthwhile work.”

Aida Poblador-Stevens, MSN, BSN, RN

Aida Poblador-Stevens

Aida Poblador-Stevens, MSN, BSN, RN, is the associate vice president of Patient Care Services, Women’s and Children’s. Originally from The Philippines, Aida has been a nurse for more than 40 years.
Aida began her nursing career in Boston at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged, and later worked at Beth Israel Hospital where she was able to enhance her professional objectives and developed clinical expertise in acute medical nursing. Aida held leadership/administrative and educator roles at Anaheim Memorial Hospital, Boston Medical Center, and the Cambridge Hospital where she started her involvement in women/children’s services.

Aida then continued to  focus in women’s and children’s health at Anna Jaques Hospital as department director, where she worked for 16 years and was instrumental in effecting changes in delivery of perinatal care model/practice and professional development of the nursing staff. By working in many hospitals across the country and primarily in New England, Aida encountered many opportunities for continued learning and further development of abilities that allowed for integration of best practices and relationships with other experts in the healthcare industry.

Other hospitals where Aida has worked as a nurse leader include Maine Medical Center, Goodall Hospital, and South Coast Hospital Group. In 2007, Aida joined B.E. Smith Interim Leadership Services for four years. This gave her opportunities to successfully improve the quality of perinatal care services and neonatal care units in large medical centers such as the Redlands Community Hospital in California, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, and University of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky. Prior to joining Eastern Maine Medical Center, Aida was the patient care director of the women’s and infants services at Steward St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston.
Aida earned her Master of Science degree in nursing administration from Boston University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the Philippine Christian University. She is a member of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Aida enjoys being at the director level because she can be an active member of a leadership team that strives to make Eastern Maine Medical Center the best.
"My job fits extremely well with my career goals and abilities. Two of my service areas are in the hospital’s Modernization Project. The move to the new NICU exemplified a highly successful transition that showed staff engagement and strength in the overall hospital capability. I am glad to be part of a leadership team that is working to take this hospital on the journey to Magnet excellence."

Debbie Richards, BS, RN

Debbie Richards

Debbie Richards, BS, RN, is the associate vice president of Patient Care Services, Cardiology. Debbie has been a nurse for more than 39 years, starting at Eastern Maine Medical Center as a nursing tech.
Debbie became a registered nurse, working in the Intensive Care Unit and Imaging, at Eastern Maine Medical Center after graduating from St. Mary's School of Nursing. She later earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree with a healthcare management concentration from St. Joseph's College. Since then, Debbie has served as the nurse manager for the Outpatient Observation Unit, Infusion Center, and Cardiac Pre-Admission Testing. Debbie was then promoted to her current position.
For her exceptional leadership skills, Debbie has earned the Eagle Award from Eastern Maine Medical Center, and she is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau.
Debbie has happily spent her professional career at Eastern Maine Medical Center, and she has particularly enjoyed being a part of a team that works together to make a difference in patients’ lives.
"EMMC provides me the opportunity to make a difference in our patients’ lives, build programs, establish positive relationships, and work collaboratively. Our job is very difficult, so what we do every day depends on strong relationships. We have to build trusting relationships with our teams, because collectively we are more knowledgeable than individually."

Ann-Marie Williams, MBA, BSN, RN

Ann-Marie Williams

Ann-Marie Williams, MBA, BSN, RN, is the associate vice president of Patient Care Services, Care Management. Ann-Marie has been a nurse for more than 22 years, starting as a charge nurse for Brewer Rehab and Living Center, and then after one year becoming a staff nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Soon after becoming a staff nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Ann-Marie became a nurse care manager and was then promoted to case management manager until she accepted her current position.

Ann-Marie received her Master of Business Administration degree from Husson University and her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Husson College. For her hard work and strong leadership qualities, Ann-Marie was awarded the Eastern Maine Medical Staff Award as a senior nursing student by Husson College. Ann-Marie also has certifications in nursing case management, case management, leadership development, healthcare leadership, and she is an accredited case manager. Ann-Marie is a member of Case Management Society of America, the American Case Management Association, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Ann-Marie has been working at Eastern Maine Medical Center for 21 years, and she enjoys working with her team because of their dedication to improving healthcare.

"I like working here because I am part of a dedicated and highly skilled team whose job it is to improve healthcare for everyone. We are a family taking care of other Maine families. When I look around, I am amazed of the talent of our entire team."