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February 15, 2012 | last updated February 16, 2012 9:46 am

Calais opposes proposed nursing home closure

Calais officials are opposing a plan by Portland-based First Atlantic Healthcare to close the 50-bed Atlantic Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. A study by the city shows that there are few relocation options for the center's 32 residents.

In a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew, Calais Mayor Joseph Cassidy and others urged the state to reconsider its approval of First Atlantic's plan to shutter the center, according to the Bangor Daily News. A DHHS certificate of need review panel last October recommended the department support the company's proposal to close the facility, but Atlantic Rehab's residents and 96 employees weren't told about the plan until last month. City officials polled nursing homes in Washington and Hancock counties and found only 18 available beds.

First Atlantic has proposed closing the center in order to support expanding its Ellsworth facility and building a new one in Bucksport. CEO Kenneth Bowden told the paper he would like to find a way to keep the Calais facility open if it's financially feasible.

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