June 2022 marked the beginning of Quarry Hill’s year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary. Designed around the tagline “Rooted in Caring,” the observance sought to draw attention to the role that Quarry Hill has played as the Penobscot Bay region’s leading extended-care community for older adults.
Letters from Executive Director Loriman Looke to residents, their families and employees noted the importance of pausing at the 20-year mark to “reflect on our origin story, beginning with the small but determined band of local citizens who saw a need for a residential option in Camden that would be devoted exclusively to the well-being of older adults.”
Work on the development of Quarry Hill began in earnest in 2000, after trustees of Northeast Health (an affiliation of health care organizations later known as Pen Bay Healthcare and now as Coastal Healthcare Alliance) gave the official green light. The Camden Healthcare Center—which had served as both hospital and nursing home for Camden and surrounding towns since 1960—was replaced with 45 cottage homes and a main building, the Anderson Inn, where multiple levels of health care can be provided to more than 160 residents and patients.
“Every nail and beam on our campus bears testament to the commitment and hard work of hundreds of community supporters and more than 300 builders, finishers, managers, contractors and architects,” Looke said.
Easing cautiously into the celebration of its milestone birthday in view of COVID-19 concerns, Quarry Hill kicked off the year with door-to-door delivery to residents of specially decorated “Rooted in Caring” cookies. Then on September 16, an outdoor reception was held in recognition of Bob McKeown, Quarry Hill’s first executive director. The occasion featured the official unveiling of a garden bench donated to Quarry Hill by the McKeown family in his honor. Dozens of residents, their families, staff members and friends turned out for the chance to “hobnob with Bob,” enjoy refreshments and bear tribute to the leader who, to this day, epitomizes all that Quarry Hill has come to stand for over the course of its two-decade history.
Speaking at the reception, Bob’s immediate successor, Mary Sargent (now executive director at Penobscot Shores in Belfast), addressed Bob directly, thanking him for his “tremendous contribution to the mid coast community by bringing Quarry Hill from a concept to reality.” The community remains “a shining example of the very best in senior living. And that is because of the strong foundation you set in your tireless work and dedication,” she said.
Forecasting ahead into this anniversary year, we look forward to looking back. We’ll give thanks for the many friends and supporters, residents and care team members who’ve contributed to our success thus far. But we’ll also look ahead, continuing to forge and nurture relationships with other caring organizations that make up Coastal Healthcare Alliance, the better to ensure that Quarry Hill remains forever “Rooted in Caring.”