- Police Beat
- The Forecaster
WESTBROOK — Physicians are trying to find new offices and thousands of patients are looking for new doctors as Maine Centers for Healthcare prepares to shut down next month.
Dr. Owen Pickus, who owns the practice and the building, is retiring and closing the operation as of June 1. The 29,000-square medical office building at 2 Chabot St. will go on the auction block May 7.
Dr. Ira Stockwell, 81, said he only found out about the decision to close about a month ago, which didn’t give him or his patients much time to figure out their next steps.
“I have 1,300 patients and I am scurrying around to figure out what to do with them,” said Stockwell, who has been practicing in the city for nearly 50 years, including the last 15 at Maine Centers for Healthcare. The former longtime team physician for Westbrook Blue Blazes athletic teams said saying goodbye to his general practice won’t be easy.
His plan, at this point, is to retire from his general practice, join Dr. Andrew Nicholson’s addiction treatment practice in Gorham, and provide disability physicals at his son’s medical office at 344 Cumberland St.
Westbrook resident William McVicker, a patient of Stockwell’s for the last 35 years, said he and his wife are “scrambling” to find new doctors.
The announcement caught McVicker off guard when he saw it in his online medical portal and received a postcard in the mail.
“Out of the clear blue sky, I think it was in March, everyone in the building was notified (Pickus) was trying to sell the building and if he couldn’t, he was locking the door and everybody was out,” McVicker said.
Pickus did not respond to several phone messages left at his practice. WMTW previously reported he had hoped to find a new owner for his practice or to merge it with another medical group.
The nine doctors and nurse practitioners, along with their staff members, at the center are figuring out what to do next, said Connie Nadeau, practice manager for Maine Centers for Healthcare for the last 30 years.
Dr. Scott Chase will join Martin’s Point Health Care in Scarborough. A Scarborough resident, Chase has been practicing family medicine since 1991.
Scott Matusovich, a nurse practitioner at Maine Centers for Healthcare since 2005, is moving to North Bridgton Family Practice; Larisa Welch, a fellow nurse practitioner, will be going to Casco Bay Surgery, and Jessica McConville, a family nurse practitioner, will be seeing patients at Martin’s Point in Portland starting in June.
Michael Wood, physician’s assistant at Maine Centers for Healthcare since 2005, will be joining Greater Portland Health providing medical care to Preble Street Resource Center.
Dr. Pamela Courtney is moving her practice to Standish.
Plans for the other providers are still being worked out, Nadeau said.
Joann Groder, a patient of Courtney’s for more than a decade, is following her doctor. She said several other people she knows who were patients of Maine Centers for Healthcare are still looking for new providers.
Updated April 30, 2019, to include additional provider information.
Maine Centers for Healthcare in Westbrook is set to be sold at auction next month.