Last July, Dr. David N. Maine became president and CEO of Mercy Health Services. A Pikesville resident and father of two, Dr. Maine, 43, is the son of Jewish refugees who fled Iraq in 1972 due to religious persecution. Dr. Maine graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 2002. He completed his residency in anesthesiology and his fellowship in interventional pain medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

1. What’s it like to be the first physician to serve as Mercy’s president in its 145-year history?

I am truly honored and humbled to be in a position to lead this wonderful, mission-driven institution. Mercy has felt like a home to me dating back to when I was an intern in 2002, and is a special place of hope and healing for the people of Baltimore. Since the Sisters of Mercy first arrived here in 1874 to care for those in need, Mercy has consistently maintained that commitment while expanding to become a regional health system with a broad array of clinical services and a strong reputation for quality. As a physician, I am very proud to be part of that history and help further Mercy’s mission to provide excellent clinical services within a community of compassionate care.

2. What’s it like to be the Jewish head of a Catholic-based health system?

Very natural. Faith was a cornerstone of my upbringing and continues to play a central role for my family here in Baltimore. Being the head of a faith-based health system is a special and unique opportunity. We have a spiritual conviction in how we deliver care that is demonstrated everyday through our values — dignity, hospitality, justice, excellence, stewardship and prayer — and it is through that lens that we make decisions for the good of our patients.

3. How does your Sephardic background inform you and your work as a medical professional?

I am very proud of my Iraqi Jewish Heritage and what it took for my parents to get me to this point. As an extension of that, the concept of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, has always resonated with me. I am grateful for every day, and I try my best to make a difference, be kind, give back, listen, and set an example. (Plus, my mother would get mad at me
if I did not do those things.)

4. How is the pandemic changing the nature of work at Mercy?

It has really sharpened our focus to make Mercy the safest place to receive health care and ensure that all our patients have immediate access to the services they need, when they need them. The entire Mercy family— our staff at all levels of the organization — are focused on patient and staff safety, 24-7. At the same time, we have had to reinvent our supply chain, physical spaces, patient flows, and expand alternative care solutions such as telemedicine and video consultations. It has been an incredibly challenging time, but also a time of great pride as I have witnessed numerous acts of heroism and tremendous resilience within the Mercy family throughout this pandemic.

5. What direction do you see Mercy going in under your leadership?

Mercy will continue to grow and thrive as an independent, Catholic health system, drawing patients from throughout the region. Our growth will be driven by our Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health, Orthopedics, Cancer, Digestive Health, and more. We will continue to invest in our primary care physician network, broadening our reach and providing services for our patients closer to home at community sites around the beltway and beyond. In addition, Mercy will be a leader in quality and value, offering integrated, cost-effective care across the continuum. And while we continue to grow, we will strengthen Mercy’s unique culture of compassionate, patient-centered care and provide a consistently outstanding patient experience.