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Author: DeeDee

September 17, 2019

On September 17, 2019, Calais Regional Hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine.  The hospital will remain open and operating as usual during the bankruptcy process, which is expected to last approximately 12 months.

Filing for Chapter 11 protection during debt reorganization enables the hospital to continue providing high-quality health care in local communities and to keep jobs in the region. Chapter 11 is also a tool to restructure legacy and operational debt. The hospital currently employs over 275 people and is the largest employer in Calais.

Hospital administrators expect minimal impact on operations and staff during Chapter 11. They have requested permission from the presiding court to pay employees in the ordinary course of business. This is a typical request that is granted in Chapter 11. No layoffs are planned.  Restructuring debt will allow the hospital to emerge from Chapter 11 protection on better financial footing.

“The hospital is not closing.  We remain committed to providing exceptional patient care during the Chapter 11 process. All departments are operating as usual and our talented team is focused on delivering high-quality health care services to our community,” said Rod Boula, chief executive officer of Calais Regional Hospital (CRH).

Over the last several years, in spite of the numerous steps CRH has taken to operate more efficiently, a combination of local and national factors have created conditions that have made debt restructuring in Chapter 11 a necessary step. These factors, including downward trending of utilization, high levels of charity care and bad debt, inadequate reimbursements, and increasing regulatory requirements have all contributed to significant losses. 

The hospital has reduced losses from -$2.64 million in 2014 to approximately -$574,600 in 2018. 

“We expect a prompt and efficient reorganization, and to emerge from Chapter 11 restructuring a stronger hospital,” continued Boula. “With continued community support and steady utilization of our services, we can stabilize this hospital and provide high-quality health care to the region now and in the years to come.” 

Patients coming to the hospital will continue to get care and should see no change in how they receive care at the hospital or any of CRH’s outpatient offices. 

“Our dedication to the health of our patients remains our priority.” said Dr. Peter Wilkinson, long-term internist at CRH. “Our team of providers and caregivers will continue to work diligently to ensure that we are providing the best care possible to the people of our region.”

KEY POINTS

  • Calais Regional Hospital is not closing.  During bankruptcy, employees get paid, and hospital services will continue without interruption.  Patient health and safety remain our top priority. 
  • By entering the bankruptcy process and restructuring debt, Calais Regional Hospital will emerge a stronger and more resilient hospital.  The goal is to ensure that the community will continue to have hospital services close to home.
  • During the bankruptcy process, day-to-day operations will stay the same, so if you come to the emergency room, for example, you will receive excellent care and you won’t notice any difference in our ability to help you get well.  If you have a scheduled appointment with your provider, your visit will be unchanged.
  • Bankruptcy is the best option to ensure that Calais Regional Hospital can continue to provide high quality health care and keep jobs in the community. Restructuring strengthens the hospital’s long-term financial position and gives the hospital better options moving forward. 

WHAT CAN THE COMMUNITY DO TO HELP?
You can support the hospital and 281 local jobs by using our services.  Next time you need medical care, come see us. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is the hospital going to close? 
No. Our goal is to ensure that hospital services continue to be available in northeastern Washington County.  Bankruptcy is a restructuring process that occurs along-side normal day-to-day hospital operations. We aren’t closing our doors. Patients will continue to get care, employees will be paid, and the hospital will run normally.

Will there be layoffs?
No layoffs are planned within the bankruptcy process. We continue to monitor our overall effectiveness at providing excellent care for our patients and will adjust operations as needed.

Why does Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) need to file for bankruptcy?
Over the last several years, in spite of the numerous steps CRH has taken to operate more efficiently, a combination of local and national factors have created conditions that have made bankruptcy a necessary step. These factors, including downward trending of utilization, high levels of charity care and bad debt, inadequate reimbursements, increasing regulatory requirements, and high-cost temporary providers have all contributed to significant losses.  Health care delivery is rapidly evolving and reimbursements are not evolving fast enough to keep up with the expenses associated with rural access to critical hospital services.

Will services be cut?
We do not plan to cut services at this time. In order to continue to provide high quality health care to our patients and keep jobs in the region, we will continue to evaluate all aspects of our operations and service lines will be aligned to regional demand. 

How long will this bankruptcy process last?
Approximately 12 months, however, the Chapter 11 process can be longer or shorter depending on several factors.

Are there other options besides bankruptcy?
Other options were thoroughly explored and none offered a path to long-term stability as effectively or quickly as the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.  Chapter 11 is a commonly used tool in the life-cycle of a business that gives a fundamentally sound organization the option of restructuring its debt.  In our case, we have worked diligently over the last few years to reduce losses and improve operating efficiency to the point where Chapter 11 is an option. 

Even with bankruptcy, can the hospital afford to stay open?
Yes.  Several factors are helping us improve our balance sheet and “right-size” expenses and revenue. We have a solid business plan in place and with increased community utilization of our services, we fully expect CRH to exit bankruptcy on stronger financial footing. 

What can the community do to help?
We have served this region for over 100 years.  We value our relationship with our patients and we remain dedicated to providing exceptional care, close to home.  You can help us by choosing Calais Regional Hospital for your health care needs.

What happens when CRH exits bankruptcy?
When we emerge from bankruptcy, we will be on much stronger financial footing.  Financial health and long term viability gives us many more options for partnering, collaborating, and finding the best solutions to serve the ever-changing health care needs of the community.  

Posted in News
September 5, 2019

Since moving my basil plants outside (thanks Kris), they have really flourished! With such an abundance of basil I figured a batch of pesto was in order. See my step by step process below or click here for a printable version of the recipe.

Pesto

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil laves

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup pine nuts

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp. Pepper

½ cup Olive Oil

1.  Add the fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and pepper to the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse until a coarse mixture forms.

2.  Turn the food processor on low and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream.  Process until smooth.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: ¼ cup

Homemade                                                 Commercial

Calories: 368                                                   Calories: 290

Carbohydrates: 3 grams                                 Carbohydrates: 4 grams

Protein: 6 grams                                             Protein: 4 grams

Fat: 38 grams                                                  Fat: 29 grams

Sodium: 204 mgs.                                           Sodium: 960 mgs.

Note: Although fat content, and thus caloric content is higher in the homemade, the fat sources are heart healthy (nuts and olive oil) and sodium content in the homemade is significantly lower than in the commercial product.

September 3, 2019

With an abundance of garden tomatoes I thought Salsa was in order. Here is a link to printable version of the recipe: Salsa Recipe.

Salsa
Ingredients
6 Roma or garden tomatoes cut into quarters
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
½ large yellow or red onion peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
Juice of lime
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/8 tsp. cumin
Instructions
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until just chunky. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Refrigerate at least an hour to let the flavors meld.

Nutrition Information Comparison
Serving Size: ¼ cup
Homemade Salsa Bottled Salsa
Calories: 13 Calories: 20
Total Fat: 0 Total Fat: 0
Sodium: 18 mgs Sodium: 300 mgs.
Carbohydrates: 3 g Carbohydrates: 5 g
Protein: 0 Protein: 0

August 26, 2019

Since I am having a lot of great tomatoes this year I decided to put up some diced tomatoes.

Did you know that canned tomato products contain a lot of sodium? Two cups of canned diced tomatoes have around 840 mg sodium. Two cups of my diced tomatoes that I froze  have around 8 mgs of sodium.

August 19, 2019

By CRH Dietitian Mona Van Wart – I loved making this tomato ketchup. I thought it was really fun to do and the end product was fantastic . As I was making the ketchup,it took me back to my childhood when I was a little girl helping my Mom process vegetables from our gardens.

I do not use ketchup as a condiment, but I do have a couple of favorite recipes of my mother’s that uses ketchup as the main ingredient for the sauce. I decided instead of freezing the ketchup as I originally had planned I would make those recipes and then portion and freeze the end products for my lunches.

A pdf version of the recipe can be found on the Health Eating page or by clicking here.

Ingredients

6 pounds tomatoes (about 12 large tomatoes)

½ cup brown sugar

¾ cup onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup balsamic vinegar (I chose the kind that had 0 mgs. Sodium)

Cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash tomatoes.
  3. Halve the tomatoes, drizzle some olive oil over them, and place on 1-2 baking pans.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until they are soft and wrinkled looking, but not burnt.
  5. Let the tomatoes cool, and then transfer them to a blender or food processor and puree until they are smooth.  Process in small batches.
  6. In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the sugar, keeping it moving with a spoon, for about a minute.
  7. Add the onion, garlic and the pureed roasted tomatoes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the three kinds of vinegar and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds.  The ketchup should be thick.
  9. Remove from heat and season to taste with the cayenne pepper, if desired.
  10. Strain the ketchup through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl. 
  11. To cool the ketchup, fill a large stockpot about halfway with a mixture of half ice, half water, and submerge the container in the ice bath to chill.  The ice-water level should come most of the way up the outside of the container, but don’t let any water into the ketchup. 
  12. Stir the ketchup occasionally until the temperature reaches 70°F on a thermometer.
  13. Then remove the container from the ice bath, cover and transfer to the refrigerator where it will keep for 3-5 days.
  14. Ketchup can be frozen in small freezer bags or containers, or I read that it can be put in ice cube trays and then put them in a freezer container.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)

1 serving = 1 Tbsp       Calories: 8      Fat: 0 g      Carbs: 2 g      Protein: <1 g      Sodium: <1 g

(Comparison – Store bought ketchup)

1 serving = 1 Tbsp       Calories: 19      Fat: 0 g     Carbs: 4.5 g     Protein: <1 g     Sodium: 154 mgs

August 12, 2019
My first harvest of Amish Paste Tomatoes.
It’s going to be ketchup making time at my house soon.

August 6, 2019

I thought my plants might do better outside. So with the help of Kris Mesman, we transferred the plants outside in front of the Health Services Building.

These are my potatoes that I planted in a container. I like small potatoes so I planted 8-10 slices with eye of the potato in a container that was around 18” in diameter.If I had wanted less but larger potatoes I would have planted 4-6 slices of eye of the potato in the container.

July 31, 2019
My Amish paste tomatoes are looking good. When they ripen , besides making my own tomato sauce this year I think I will try something new- homemade ketchup.
My container herbs that I have on my front porch. Rosemary, Basil, and Parsley.
More Basil. I think I will be able to make lots of Pesto this year.
July 31, 2019

I tried a new recipe last night. I thought it was very good. These are the ingredients ready  for Chicken and Grapefruit Stir Fry. A pdf version of the recipe can be found on the Health Eating page or by clicking here.

Ingredients

1 grapefruit, peeled

1# pineapple chunks in unsweetened pineapple juice

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tsp. sodium reduced, soy sauce

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1# boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut across the grain into slices

1 cup snow peas, trimmed

4 scallions, sliced diagonally

Directions

Peel the grapefruit and cut into sections, holding the fruit over a small bowl to catch the juice.  Drain the pineapple well, reserving the juice.  Put the pineapple juice and grapefruit juice into a measuring cup and add enough water to equal 2 cups.  Add the cornstarch and soy sauce and stir until smooth.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and chicken. Cook until internal temperature of 165°F. (around 8-10 minutes). Add the snow peas and cornstarch mixture; stir-fry until the sauce thickens and boils.  Add the grapefruit, pineapple, and scallions; stir-fry until heated through.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 1 cup

Calories: 165   Carbohydrates: 20 grams    Protein: 14 grams

Fat:  3 grams      Cholesterol: 31 mgs.          Dietary Fiber:  3 grams

Sodium:  82 mgs.

July 15, 2019

The garden is coming along nicely!