Watertown, NY, Oct 01, 2010 — From Elizabethtown to Alexandria Bay, nursing homes across the North Country are struggling, and in some cases, closing. In Watertown, Samaritan Medical Center is in talks to run the 200-bed Mercy Care Center in receivership. Mercy announced last month it intends to close. The measure is temporary until the hospital builds two new facilities. This week, Samaritan won a $34 million state grant that will pay roughly half the cost of construction for nursing and assisted living homes in Watertown and nearby Carthage. Samaritan spokeswoman Krista Kittle told David Sommerstein there's a desperate need in the region for long-term care facilities for the elderly, especially assisted living ones.