Western Maine Health Care Selects North Country Associates to Purchase Market Square Health Care Center
Maine-based Company has Proven Record of Successfully Managing Nursing Homes
The Western Maine Health Care Board of Trustees announced a purchase and sale agreement with Lewiston-based North Country Associates for the purchase of Market Square Health Care Center and Andrews House in Paris. The announcement comes after a lengthy review that convinced the Board it was in the best interest of Market Square residents, the community and Western Maine Health Care to find a company to take over operations rather than explore closing the facility.
According to David Hoisington, chair of the Western Maine Health Care Board of Trustees, “Our board worked very hard to find a financially stable Maine-based organization with a proven record of successfully managing nursing facilities. It was also important to us that we find a company that shared our values. We are thrilled that North Country Associates meets all those criteria.”
North Country Associates will purchase the Market Square and Andrews House assets and take over the operations of the facility. Tim Churchill, president of Western Maine Health Care, stated that North Country’s commitments to operate Market Square with its current complement of beds, to not ask any residents or tenants to leave due to the sale and to invest a minimum of $500,000 into the facility were major factors in determining the purchase price. He added that without the sustained Market Square operating losses the organization has experienced over the past decade, Western Maine Health Care will be in a better position to respond to a variety of the community’s healthcare challenges now and in the future, including recruiting primary care physicians and implementing a hospitalist program.
“With this sale we are preserving a critical community institution,” said Churchill, “and we avoid the need to relocate residents. Our residents will continue to be well cared for by people they know in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for them.”
According to Churchill, the transition to North Country Associates will be transparent to Market Square’s 63 nursing care residents and 22 residents in residential care, as well as the 11 tenants currently living in the Andrews House apartment units. He stressed that North Country Associates intends to preserve as many of the caregiver positions held by 127 employees (full-time, part-time and per diem) as possible. “They provide excellent care,” he said, “and they are committed to the well-being of our residents.”
Staff was informed of the decision yesterday afternoon in meetings with Western Maine Health Care senior management and representatives of North Country Associates. Immediately following that meeting, residents and their families were told of the sale through meetings and phone calls.
North Country Associates will be meeting with Town of Paris staff to review their plans. In addition, a Certificate of Need must be filed and approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. The entire sale process could take several months.
Market Square Health Care Center is an affiliate of Western Maine Health.