Bob McKeown, executive director of Quarry Hill, has announced that he will retire from his position at the Camden senior-living community, effective March 7.
McKeown began his 36-year career with Pen Bay Healthcare, Quarry Hill’s parent organization, in 1978, when he was appointed manager of material services at Pen Bay Medical Center. He served as nursing home administrator at the Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland beginning in 1993. In September 2001, he took over as executive director for both the Knox Center and Quarry Hill. He played a central role in the planning process that led to the creation of Quarry Hill and in the construction and development of the community itself.
Asked to name his proudest achievement at Quarry Hill, McKeown pointed to the satisfaction of seeing the original vision for the community come to fruition.
“An organization like Quarry Hill is a living, multilayered entity that evolves continuously over time. For me, the most rewarding thing has been helping to ensure that the working parts all come together in a way that reflects the founders’ original concept and values,” he said.
He cited the 2009 opening of a primary care practice at Quarry Hill—the first of its kind in Maine—and the 2010 launch of a clinic offering onsite monitoring for patients on the prescription blood thinner Coumadin as examples of services launched for the convenience and well-being of the community’s residents.
Looking ahead, McKeown sees opportunities for further enhancements. “On the drawing board are plans to introduce cutting-edge technologies that will enhance communication and improve convenience and safety. We’re also looking at expanding the range of dining options and introducing a variety of supportive services—from assistance with personal care to transportation and errand-running—for residents of our independent-living apartments and cottages,” he commented.
“Maine’s position as the state with the third oldest population in the nation suggests a bright future for Quarry Hill,” McKeown said.
Former Pen Bay Healthcare CEO Roy Hitchings, who worked closely with McKeown on the development of Quarry Hill, had high praise for the soon-to-retire executive.
“From Quarry Hill’s inception 15 years ago, Bob led the feasibility study, design, construction, opening, marketing and day-to-day operations. He is the most important reason why so many of my friends, colleagues, and physicians call Quarry Hill ‘home,’ both for themselves and their parents. He is a visible, hands-on leader who cares very much about how every resident and staff member is treated, and he knows each of them personally,” he commented.
Quarry Hill administrator Mary Sargent, who has worked with McKeown for more than 20 years, similarly reflected on his “competent, calm” leadership style. “Bob is the type of leader who doesn’t use a lot of words or speak too often. However, when he does share his opinion, you know it’s one that is well thought out and has the best interest of Quarry Hill residents at its core. Bob is a consummate professional in all his interactions and business dealings and is highly regarded by his peers in the field of senior living. I will miss his day-to-day gentle guidance, warm smile and thoughtful manner.”
McKeown and his wife Cathy, who will retire soon from her position as human resources manager for Pen Bay Healthcare, plan to spend winters in Florida and the warmer months at a home they own in eastern Maine.
Administrator Mary Sargent will serve as interim executive director at Quarry Hill while a search is conducted for a permanent candidate for the post.