Gardiner Health Care Facility to close nursing home unit
HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) -The Gardiner Health Care Facility in Houlton recently announced they will be closing the nursing home unit of their facility. Tuesday night, we had reactions from the Houlton Town Manager. Wednesday night, WAGM spoke with the CEO of the organization that manages the facility to learn more.
“It will reduce our reliance on Nurses, LPN’s, CNA’s,” said Mary Jane Richard, North Country Associates CEO.
North Country Associates, an organization based in Lewiston that manages several nursing and residential care units throughout the state, says Gardiner Health Care Facility will be changing models from a 38 bed nursing facility and 10 bed residential care unit, to a 40 bed residential care unit.
”Really it’s up to the residents and their families to choose another location, but we will certainly help. North Country Associates owns a number of facilities, unfortunately several of them are quite far away from the Houlton community. We have also spoken to the owner of Madigan estates, that is another nursing facility right in Houlton so we are hoping some people can go there,” says Richards.
Richards says even though the facility is changing to a residential care model, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be job loss for the people who work there.
“We haven’t decided yet how many we need, it will depend on what skills are needed with the residential care folks we admit but predominately most of them will be able to stay,” says Richards.
Richards adds that with the number of workforce development programs that the state is investing in for the healthcare workforce, it is possible they could reopen the nursing side in the future.
“So we would certainly want to meet the needs of the community, we want to right now, we would keep it open if we could have enough staff. I would presume if there is an influx of qualified staff in that community than we could consider that,” says Richards.
The Nursing side of the health care facility is expected to close by Oct. 30. They will then begin the process of renovating for the expansion of the residential care unit, which is expected to include mostly private rooms.
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