Sheriff and others trying to reopen Open Door

ELLSWORTH — Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane and Dr. Charles Alexander, among others, intend to apply for a new license to operate Open Door Recovery Center.

The center provided outpatient substance abuse counseling and treatment at its offices off of North Street before closing July 5. Open Door also ran a residential substance abuse treatment program for pregnant women and mothers — Hills House.

The center closed after the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) declined to renew the facility’s license. Regulators documented “numerous regulatory deficiencies” that DHHS said hadn’t been addressed, according to DHHS spokeswoman Jackie Farwell. The organization’s longtime director, Barbara Royal, resigned.

Kane and two other board members met with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services on Monday.

“We’re going to apply for a new license but we’ve got a lot of work to do prior to that being submitted,” Kane said on Wednesday, July 24. “They were very receptive to hear from us. They were encouraged about keeping Hills House going.”

Among its services, Open Door provided substance abuse counseling to Hancock County Jail inmates two days a week.

Kane said there is a new board of directors, with four members so far. The sheriff is on the board, as is Dr. Alexander, who once served as the center’s medical director.

Bob Worrell of Sorrento has also joined the board. He is president of a halfway house for women in Omaha, Neb., where he spends part of his time.

Dennis O’Brien, who is a financial planning consultant, is another new board member.

Kane said the group is looking for board members who can help with issues the organization needs addressed.


Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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