MaineHealth, northern New England’s largest integrated health system, has selected a physician executive from Virginia as its next chief executive officer.

Dr. Andrew T. Mueller is currently president and chief executive officer of Centra Health, a Lynchburg, Va., health care system consisting of four local hospital organizations in central Virginia. Mueller will replace Bill Caron as MaineHealth CEO, who announced his intention to retire last year.

“In Dr. Mueller, we get a leader who knows health care from the ground up,” said Greg Dufour, chair of the MaineHealth Board of Trustees. “Having worked as a family medicine practitioner, Dr. Mueller understands what it takes to care for the whole person, and his considerable success as an executive makes him an ideal leader as we pursue our vision of “working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.”

After receiving his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1996, Mueller joined the Air Force. He completed his residency at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where he was later chief resident in family medicine.

From 1999-2003, Mueller was a staff family physician and flight surgeon with the 437th Medical Group at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina. Upon leaving the Air Force in 2003, he practiced as a family physician at South Carolina Health Services in Bluffton, S.C., for three years.

Though he remained a practicing physician, Mueller began his career as a physician-executive with Novant Health, a large health care system spanning four states and based in North Carolina. He held roles of increasing responsibility at Novant, culminating with his role as president of Novant’s Greater Charlotte market. In May of 2019 he became the president and chief executive of Centra Health.

Mueller is expected to start at MaineHealth in late spring. Originally, Caron had intended to retire at the end of the 2020 calendar year, but because of the demands imposed by the global coronavirus pandemic, those plans were delayed, so as to maintain stability for MaineHealth during the crisis.

Mueller said he found MaineHealth’s commitment to its patients and communities to be an attractive opportunity. “MaineHealth’s focus on excellent, patient-centered care as well as community well-being gives me a chance to lead an organization making a difference in people’s lives every day,” said Mueller. “This is a unique opportunity that was simply too good to pass up.”