Phil Cyr was only in high school when his father Albert, a potato farmer, opened the Caribou Nursing Home in 1973 and began building a family dynasty of long-term care facilities in Maine. Cyr became Caribou’s bookkeeper in 1976 and was its administrator the following year.
This year, he plans to retire from where he started, having modernized the facility’s energy systems and navigated far-reaching industry challenges as a family-owned operation. It’s been the type of place where the same maintenance director worked from 1978 until 2021, when he retired.
Through it all, Cyr has been driven by the business lessons instilled in him by his father, who passed away at the age of 90 in 2021 as a resident of one of his own nursing homes.
“Nothing will get done if you don’t speak your mind,” his father told him. “Work meant no less than six days a week because God only took one day off, and we’re no better,” Albert also said, according to a recounting in the Fiddlehead Focus newspaper.
Accordingly, judges named Cyr a “Setting the Standard” category winner in the 2023 McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards.
A staunch industry advocate, Cyr was appointed by multiple Maine governors to boards that helped create positive legislation for the industry, including the Maine Committee on Aging, the Loring Development Authority Board and a commission to study long-term care facilities.
He was executive director of Visiting Nurses of Aroostook beginning in 1988 before returning to Caribou Rehab and Nursing Center in 1996, where he is now the administrator. In addition to Caribou, he oversees operations at Presque Isle Rehab & Nursing.
In addition, from 1982 to 2009, he owned Katahdin Nursing Home in Millinocket, ME. He also remained active with the Caribou Rotary Club from 1979 to 2016 and served on the Caribou Planning Board from 2013 to 2019.
The McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Home Care, McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. Honorees were recognized March 7 at a dinner and awards ceremony in Chicago. The program’s Platinum sponsor was MatrixCare. Omnicare was a Silver sponsor, and additional sponsors included Pinnacle Quality Insight, HealthDirect and Sentrics.
Editor’s note: McKnight’s Home Care, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living are profiling the McKnight’s 2023 Pinnacle Awards honorees daily in April and May. For additional McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards content, visit this page.