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The Boston Globe

Metro

Hospital’s conversion plan unnerves rural Maine village

Finances cited in shift from 24-hour care

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine — Tourists arriving in this oceanside village, a 12-mile drive down a winding road off the main highway, are greeted by a sign bearing a large red heart. “Help! Save St. Andrew’s Hospital,” it says.

On this isolated peninsula, in the oldest county in the state with the oldest median age in the United States, citizens are mobilizing against the planned conversion of the 105-year-old hospital into an urgent care and rehabilitation center. When St. Andrew’s closes its 24-hour emergency room and stops admitting patients overnight on Oct. 1, the nearest hospital will be 18 miles away, up that winding road.

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