News Feature

Penobscot
Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 21, 2005
Nursing home owner continues to weigh options for financial solvency

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by Faith DeAmbrose

The Penobscot Nursing Home and Northern Bay Residential Living Center have been taken out of their current state-run receivership, which has been in place since October, and recently placed into another. The impetus behind the move, said Cathy Cobb of the Dept. of Health and Human Services is to oversee what she believes will be an “imminent” filing for bankruptcy protection by the facilities owners, ELRCare Maine, LLC.

If the company files for bankruptcy protection, said Cobb, it would have 120 days to present a plan that would show how it will bring the facilities out of bankruptcy. “With the receivership in place, [DHHS] will be able to weigh in on whether we think the plan is viable or desirable,” she added. The new receivers are Mike Tyler and Daniel Maguire of Sandy River Health Systems.

In an interview Tuesday, May 19, ELRCare owner Sifwat Ali said he has not filed for bankruptcy protection, but that all options are being considered as the company continues to move toward solvency. He said his lawyers are working with the new receivers and DHHS and believes a solution can be reached that would be agreeable to all parties concerned. “It is important for people to know,” said Ali, “that the employees will continue to have jobs, that the home will not close and that the care to the patients will be continuous.” Ali said the extension of the receivership will “allow [the company] to rebuild the system and bring the facility to normal operations.”