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Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open


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CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management that will enable Sancta Maria to remain open.

Sponsored by the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Sancta Maria is a 134-bed skilled nursing facility providing short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, and a range of related health care services.

Facing major financial challenges, Sancta Maria had notified the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Aug. 17 that it was at risk of having to close by Dec. 31 if it were not able to find an investor or purchaser. As a result of the transaction with Advocate, Sancta Maria is now withdrawing the DPH closure notice.

Advocate is the owner and operator of the Don Orione Home in East Boston, a provider of rehabilitation services, long-term care, and adult day care. Advocate expects to provide a seamless transition for the 91 residents now served at Sancta Maria while retaining nearly all of Sancta Maria's staff and continuing to provide space to all tenants leasing space at its 799 Concord Avenue campus.

Advocate's extensive experience in the nursing home industry includes a particular expertise in turning around financially struggling centers. Most recently, Advocate, which is based in Haverhill, has been recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with a 5 Star Quality Rating for their turnaround of Don Orione.

Under the terms of the contract signed with Sancta Maria's sponsor, the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Advocate took over the daily management of Sancta Maria effective Sept. 17. The Daughters of Mary will continue to be the sponsor and legal owners of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility. Current patients and their families can expect to see few if any changes in their care staff and daily routines at Sancta Maria.

Since filing the closure notice Aug. 17, Sancta Maria's staff has assisted 19 patients in relocating to other facilities.

Advocate and Sancta Maria said they will now make every effort to prioritize enabling patients who want to return to Sancta Maria to do so.

"We fully regret that this difficult time of transition has caused inconvenience for our very loyal employees, families, residents, and the community. We will be excited and honored to 'welcome home' patients seeking to return to the care and community they have known and loved at Sancta Maria," said Advocate principal Michael Walsh.

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