In 1978, Brenda and Dana Brown of Houlton, Maine, established Madigan Health Care Facility after buying the former Madigan Hospital and building a new 50-bed nursing home. Brenda continued to operate the business after her husband’s death. She is now joined by her children, Jim and Debbie, and daughter-in-law, Kristy, in running one of the few family-owned long-term care facilities in the state of Maine. The Brown family has worked hard over the years adapting to the changing needs of Maine’s aging population and changes to the health care industry.

Jim Brown, CFO of Madigan Health Care Facility, has noticed the changes in Medicare and Long-Term Care insurance coverage with regards to the acuity level of residents in the nursing facility. A resident who might have qualified for nursing home care 20 years ago would not qualify today but would still need assistance with daily medical needs. To adapt to these changes, Madigan Health Care Services has added differing levels of care for patients. Twenty years ago, when a resident was admitted to the facility, discharge was the exception. Now, staying permanently is the exception as the large majority of patients are discharged after their treatment is complete and they are well enough to go back home.

To accommodate these changing needs, the facility depends largely on skilled rehabilitation services. Patients often need some extra assistance after surgery, a fall, or other health crisis. Madigan provides this service with over 10 therapists on staff who all have the goal of rehabilitating the patient for independent living. Home health care services are also offered for patients who are capable of living at home but need daily assistance with some health care needs. Jim says that the employee relationships that are formed with patients early on in their health care needs are important. The same employees will continue to provide care throughout various stages of the patient’s needs such as assisted living, home health care, skilled nursing, or long term care. The diversification and full spectrum of care provided by Madigan Health Services is unique among long-term care facilities in Maine, which helps patients transition through life changes.

In 1991, Adult Day Care was added to Madigan’s nursing home services to provide caregivers of elderly people a chance to take care of other responsibilities and to provide an opportunity for socialization for the client. In 1995, Madigan House was created to meet the needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias and who need guidance in their daily lives but not necessarily the same level of care required by the nursing home residents. Madigan House is a home-like environment with communal living areas, fun activities, and family-style dining provided.

In 1995, Madigan added Home Health Care services to enable clients with certain health needs to continue to live at home while still receiving quality care. Depending on the needs of the client, nurses, therapists, home health aides, social workers, and personal care attendants are available to visit clients in their homes and help them reach the highest level of independence possible. The Madigan Home Health Care department has received multiple perfect healthcare survey scores from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and takes pride in its high quality of care.

Assisted Living apartments became available for rent on the same campus as the nursing facilities in 1999. Rental packages include one meal a day, two hours of services per week, recreational and social programs, and social service consultation. This department provides another dimension to the multi-faceted, level-of-care approach to which the company has always been dedicated.

The Madigan Estates website describes this philosophy well:

“Levels of care enable us to provide for the changing needs of residents. The care for all residents is under the direct supervision of their personal physicians, who see them on a regular basis. Health care services are organized and delivered through a plan of care individually developed to meet the needs of each resident. This comprehensive plan combines the efforts of the attending physician with nursing and other disciplines, such as pharmacy, physical therapy, dietary and social services. The participation and involvement of families are welcome and encouraged in the development of these plans. Dedicated physicians and medical specialists respond to problems and sudden emergencies. Nurses closely monitor each […] resident’s medical condition as well as personal comfort.”

Madigan Health Services is one of the largest employers in the Houlton area with approximately 200 employees in all the different departments. Brenda Brown says that having the owners in the building every day is a benefit to both employees and residents because it shows that the administration cares about the everyday operations and allows the owners to interact with people as they would their own family. Brenda, Jim, Debbie, and Kristy all have offices in close proximity to each other, the health care staff, and even the residents as they go about their daily lives. The family dog, Ranger, joins them every day and knows when meals are served in each wing and knows which residents like to share their snacks. Jim’s teenage children, Dana and Jamie, both work for the family business during school vacations.

This family-owned health care company truly puts family first — the owners’ family, the staff’s families, and the families of the clients — to create one big family for the betterment of the aging population in the Houlton community.