News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, November 16, 2023
Still no public meeting set for INH
Board wants input from all members

by Maggie White

Despite the intention to announce a public meeting following the most recent board meeting on November 9, the Island Nursing Home board has yet to confirm details.

“We talked about it and everyone is in agreement that the meeting should happen by the end of the year. But we need to figure out logistics in terms of time, location and date,” said Dan Cashman, PR Director at Sutherland Weston, who has been representing the INH board.

The meeting details were not put forth, said Cashman, because some board members were not able to attend on November 9, and “specific input from all board members” was needed before moving forward.

The November 9 meeting was relatively short, according to Cashman. “We talked about the best way to get back in touch with people who had pledged money. The idea was to return that money, but there might be folks who’ll want to donate to whatever the next steps are and part of that rests on the public meeting,” he said in a November 13 phone call.

The INH board announced via an October 6 press release that they would not reopen the nursing home as a residential care facility due to staffing and financial challenges. At that time, they had raised about one-third of their targeted monetary goal, or roughly $500,000, in pledges and donations.

The residential care facility was to be less costly and require a different level of staff than a skilled care facility, which was what INH was before its closure in October 2021. Following the October 6 announcement, the future of the building and grounds is up in the air.

“There’s always ideas from the board, but the big path forward is contingent on other ideas, and really that’s why it’s so important to have this public meeting as soon as possible. The board wants public input,” Cashman said.

The next board meeting is set for Thursday, November 16. “We have to pick a date and a time, even if all are not there this Thursday,” said Cashman.

Board president Leon Weed, who was one of those absent on November 9, does plan to attend on November 16. “I hope so,” he said in a November 13 phone call about being able to announce the public meeting details following that session.