LEWISTON – Two of Maine’s largest home health care companies are merging. Androscoggin Home Healthcare & Hospice announced this month that it has successfully acquired Waterville-based Care and Comfort, a home and behavioral health care company.

The deal is scheduled to close Feb. 1 for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1966, Androscoggin Home Healthcare & Hospice is an independent nonprofit home health care organization that offers skilled medical and hospice services in nine counties. It also offers palliative care through its Compass Care services.

Susan Giguere founded Care and Comfort in 1991. The company provides skilled home health care and adult and pediatric behavioral health care to clients in 13 counties.

Giguere’s retirement prompted the sale of the company. President and CEO Mike Stair will take on an executive role under the merger.

“As I prepared for the future of the company I started 31 years ago, my highest priority was to find a successor who, through their deeds, demonstrated the same compassion I have for employees and clients,” Giguere said in a news release.

All current Care and Comfort employees have been offered positions under the merger, growing Androscoggin’s workforce from 500 to roughly 800.

The merger will expand the Lewiston-based home health care organization’s services to all 16 counties,  President and CEO Ken Albert said Thursday.

“We’re navigating health care for 2,700 health care patients a day on census and this merger will bring us to roughly 4,000 patients per day that we will be assisting in the home settings,” Albert said.

Albert, who will remain as CEO, said behavioral health care has been identified as a top priority for Maine over the past decade. Every couple of years, Maine health care providers complete a statewide community needs assessment.

Both companies’ providers work in collaboration with hospitals, primary care physicians and specialists to create treatment and care plans for their clients.

“To be able to offer in addition to home health care and hospital services and palliative care, to bring behavioral health (care) is really filling a gap in overall health care delivery,” Albert said.

“By bringing these two organizations together (we’ll) really be able to expand those services in existing areas but also growing across the state,” he said.


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