Nonprofit to gauge nursing home’s ability to reopen

DEER ISLE — The board of directors of the Island Nursing Home and Care Center (INH) announced Monday that it has engaged Covenant Health Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, to conduct a three-month assessment of the INH’s viability to reopen.

The Island Nursing Home closed in October due to severe staffing shortages. All 55 of its residents were relocated.
“The Nursing Home Task Force is about to release many good recommendations for how we might reopen the facility, and we’re on a short timeline due to our licensing,” said INH Board Chairwoman Ronda Dodge in a press release. “The next step, beginning immediately, is to work with this knowledgeable provider to check our assumptions and ensure we can reopen in a sustainable, long-term way.”

Covenant Health’s initial viability assessment of INH, along with a proposed reopening budget, capacity and staffing model, is to be completed by Dec. 31. These recommendations, after review by key INH staff and the board, are scheduled to be presented to the community by the end of January 2022.

“The Island Nursing Home is a gem and clearly vital to its surrounding communities,” said Philip Hickey, a Covenant Health System vice president and president of d’Youville Pavilion, a 210-bed facility in Lewiston. “At Covenant Health, we are genuinely interested in supporting the success of these types of rural, local health-care facilities.”

Covenant Health Inc. operates senior care facilities throughout New England including in Bangor, Biddeford and Lewiston. The organization has expertise in the core areas of service of the Island Nursing Home and more, including acute care, assisted living and congregate housing, residential care, adult day health, skilled nursing and respite care, rehabilitation care and wellness/prevention programs, according to the press release.

“I’m pleased the INH board of directors are moving forward with implementing recommendations of the Task Force and engaging in services with Covenant Health,” said state Rep. Genevieve McDonald (D-Stonington), INH Task Force spokeswoman. “This brings us one step closer to reopening this vital facility.”

To support the reopening of the Island Nursing Home by providing charitable support or volunteering, contact Heidi Gillen, acting administrator, at 348-2351 or [email protected]

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.

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