11 / 14 / 2018

Hospital Thrift Shop Donates $427,610 to NCH

The Hospital Thrift Shop presented its annual gift to Nantucket Cottage Hospital on Monday, continuing its 89-year tradition of generous giving with a $427,610 contribution that will be used to purchase new medical equipment and other capital items, as well as handmade furniture for the new hospital. It will also complete the Thrift Shop’s pledge of $500,000 toward the new hospital it made back in 2015.

The members of the Hospital Thrift Shop Board of Directors presented Nantucket Cottage Hospital president and CEO Dr. Margot Hartmann with a check on Monday following another successful season in business on India Street. The $427,610 gift represents the Thrift Shop’s largest annual contribution in nearly nine decades of steadfast support of the hospital. (more…)

10 / 30 / 2018

NCH, Gosnold Launch Behavioral Health Integration

Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Gosnold on Nantucket have launched a pilot behavioral health integration program to embed Gosnold’s behavioral health consultants in the hospital’s primary care practices.

This collaborative pilot program aims to identify patients at risk for behavioral health issues in the primary care setting and develop a treatment plan before their issues become a crisis.

By embedding with the hospital’s primary care practices, Gosnold on Nantucket staff members will work with hospital providers to offer treatment and services without patients having to leave the comfort and familiarity of their doctor’s office, helping to further reduce the stigma and challenge of seeking help for behavioral health issues. (more…)

10 / 17 / 2018

Dr. Lepore: Say “No” to Question 1

Ballot Question 1 would impose mandated nurse staffing ratios for all patients, at all times, in all hospitals in Massachusetts. 

Dr. Lepore: “I’m not a nurse but I work with them all day long, I am married to a nurse and my daughter is a nurse. I feel that Question 1 is an attempt to impose on all hospitals artificial staffing patterns which can be better managed by collaboration between hospital administration and the nursing administration. There is no “one size fits all” way to handle nursing staffing patterns. The requirements of Nantucket Cottage Hospital are very different from the Boston hospitals and very different from the specialty hospitals such as mental health institutions.

This question appears to provide an answer to the staffing questions, but, in fact, would create unrealistic, unnecessary and costly problems. Everyone supports the work of our nurses, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals but staffing numbers are idiosyncratic to the institution and the patients.”

Read more about Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s position on Ballot Question 1 by clicking here.

10 / 5 / 2018

NCH Chief Nurse: I’m Voting No on Question 1

You have probably begun to see television advertisements and heard the debate surrounding the upcoming Ballot Question 1 that proposes to regulate nurse staffing ratios at all Massachusetts hospitals. This Ballot Question will be decided on Election Day, Nov. 6th.

We all want good nurse staffing and, quite frankly, good staffing for all our departments, but we do not need the government telling us what to do. We want that autonomy and flexibility to make these decisions on our own, not a one-size-fits-all mandate that would devastate health care in Massachusetts, especially our tiny hospital.   I want you to know why Nantucket Cottage Hospital (NCH) has joined more than 95 other hospitals and over 200 professional organizations, businesses, and chambers of commerce around the state in opposing this ballot initiative (see listing at end). (more…)

10 / 4 / 2018

Dr. Margot Hartmann: Why I’m Voting No on Question 1

Among the important choices we face on Election Day, which is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6th, is ballot question 1, which would regulate nurse staffing ratios at Massachusetts hospitals.

As President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital (NCH), I will be voting no on ballot question 1, and I urge you to join me in opposing this initiative that would have a significant negative impact on community hospitals like NCH. Here’s why.

Nantucket Cottage Hospital is among the smallest hospitals in the state. With the island’s remote geography and acute housing crisis, we already face significant staffing challenges that require our hospital to be creative and flexible in meeting the needs of our patients. I’m happy to say today that the unique staffing model we have developed and implemented at NCH in recent years has resulted in better patient outcomes, shorter wait times, higher patient satisfaction, and fewer patient transports off-island.

Ballot question 1 threatens this model, and would impose rigid government mandates on our hospital that would override the local decision-making of our nurse managers and physicians about how to best care for patients. The creativity and flexibility that are necessary to run a hospital 30 miles at sea would be outlawed under ballot question 1, and NCH would be forced to follow a one-size-fits-all mandate that requires small hospitals like us to staff at the same level as Boston teaching hospitals that have up to 1,000 beds and much more complex patients. Small community hospitals like NCH would have to follow these regulations at all times or suffer severe financial penalties – as much as $25,000 per occurrence – that would further threaten our organization.

With our high fixed costs and low patient volume during the offseason, Nantucket Cottage Hospital already operates on a razor thin margin and relies upon the generous donations from the island community to sustain us throughout the year. The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) estimates the passage of ballot question 1 would result in $2.6 million in additional expenses to NCH, an unsustainable amount that would result in program cuts.   (more…)