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Littleton nursing home will cooperate with officials, executive vows

The National Guard arrived at the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley last week to help perform COVID-19 tests on residents.
The National Guard arrived at the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley last week to help perform COVID-19 tests on residents.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

A top executive overseeing a Littleton nursing home pledged Wednesday to be more transparent after the facility was criticized for failing to cooperate with state and local officials to address an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to the home’s Tennessee-based parent company.

Beecher Hunter, president of Life Care Centers of America, said he had called US Representative Lori Trahan, whose district includes Littleton, after receiving a letter from her and other officials about Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley on Tuesday. That letter expressed concerns about the facility, where five residents have died of coronavirus-related causes and at least 65 residents have tested positive.

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“I apologized for the confusion in communications,” Hunter said in a statement. “It is never our intent to be less than transparent with government authorities at all levels — town, state or federal. We need and seek their support to be successful in achieving our mission and as a contributing member of the community’s continuum of health care.”

Hunter said he had promised Trahan that the facility would cooperate and communicate with the Littleton Board of Health. He said his staff has begun regular meetings with representatives of that board, the Littleton police and fire departments, and the town administrator.

Last week, James Garreffi, the director of public health for the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, wrote a letter to state health officials criticizing Life Care Center staff for a “lack of cooperation” as the agency tried to investigate cases there. Trahan said last week that she had to resort to “cobbled-together” reports from first responders and local hospitals to get a sense of the situation at the facility.

“This is a learning experience for all of us,” Hunter said Wednesday. “We regard the protection, the care, and the love for our residents as a sacred trust. Their wellbeing is our highest priority.”

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Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.