Dempsey cancer care center has new leader at the helm

A woman with more than a quarter-century of experience in the public, private and social sectors has been chosen as the new CEO and president of the Dempsey Center.


Cara Valentino is a certified executive coach and organizational development consultant who most recently served as director of consulting at The Clearing in Washington, D.C.

In a prepared release, Valentino said she wants to be part of the meaningful work happening at the center to provide support to people impacted by cancer.

Board Chairperson Tim Griffin said hiring Valentino represents a watershed moment for the organization.

“Her extensive experience coaching individuals and teams, her passion for the work, and her deep curiosity and nuanced understanding of the human experience of change make her an exceptional next leader for the Dempsey Center,” Griffin said.

Valentino will take on the role held by Wendy Tardif, who has served as CEO and president for the last 11 years.


The Dempsey Center, which has locations in South Portland and Lewiston as well as a virtual center, Dempsey Connects, was founded by actor and Maine native Patrick Dempsey.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Five new professionals have been welcomed to Sebago Technics, a Maine-based engineering and land development consulting firm.


Dana Burbank joins as 3D modeler/CAD technician. After working for nearly a decade in the education field as a school counselor, he decided that his interest was in design. David Jacques, who has more than 30 years of land surveying and GIS mapping experience, joins as a project surveyor. Andrew Tufts is a new landscape designer. Tufts worked for the city of Portland for the last few years as a city planner and has run his own landscape design firm out of the Brunswick area since 2009. Savannah Smith joins as a survey technician and has a master’s degree in mathematics. Caitlyn Abbott rejoins Sebago Technics as project delivery coordinator. She has more than 11 years of experience in civil engineering and project management roles.

Physicians with expertise in cardiovascular surgery and pediatrics have joined Maine Medical Partners.


Ansar Hassan, M.D.C.M., Ph.D., has joined Maine Medical Partners – Cardiovascular Surgery in Portland. His clinical interests include minimally invasive cardiac surgery, robotic cardiac surgery and mitral valve repair.

Sarah Elizabeth Deery, M.D., M.P.H., who joined Maine Medical Partners – Vascular Surgery,  was a vascular surgery fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. Her clinical interests include aortic disease, peripheral arterial disease, carotid artery disease and thoracic outlet syndrome.


Kathryn Hurst, M.D., has joined Maine Medical Partners – Pediatric Specialty Care in the Division of Developmental/Behavioral Medicine and is board certified in pediatrics. Her clinical interests are autism spectrum disorder, complex ADHD, learning disorders, anxiety and developmental and behavioral pediatrics.


Jessie Kerr, M.D., has joined Maine Medical Partners – Pediatrics in South Portland. Her clinical interests are trauma-informed care, developmental disorders and autism, Native American health, health disparities and parenting support.

Kirsten Orloff, M.D., has joined Pediatric Critical Care at Maine Medical Center. She was a resident and chief resident at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. She is board certified in pediatrics. Her clinical interests are healthy equity, pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome and medical education.

Grant Oakley, D.O., has joined Maine Medical Partners – Nephrology. He was a fellow at Maine Medical Center and completed his medical degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pennsylvania.