Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a new building when we seem to be taking care of people’s needs in the current building?
- We are living on borrowed time. In fact, only one clinical space (CT room) meets today’s space standards of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. While not affecting quality of care, it puts us at risk of losing accreditation. Each year, our aging heating and plumbing systems require extensive upkeep and significant financial investments, and replacing these systems in a building with inadequate space is not fiscally prudent.
Given today’s healthcare uncertainties, does it make sense to increase the size of the building?
- We have already outgrown the current building. By 2020, more than half the U.S. population will have one or more chronic conditions, requiring fully integrated services. We have been carefully studying current usage, expected demand, financial issues, and regulation in an effort to design facilities that are the right size for the present and with flexibility for the foreseeable future.
How will this building benefit me personally?
- When you are on the island, we are the gateway to meet your everyday healthcare needs as well as life-threatening emergencies. Our urgent, primary and specialty care services also are essential to island families. Without the services and safety net provided by our hospital, we would not be able to enjoy life on the island to its fullest
Who will pay for the building?
- Our goal is to have the building financed completely through philanthropy. We do not want to burden future generations with interest payments on bonds unless it is absolutely necessary. We are not asking for any tax dollars from Nantucket.
Given the hospital’s affiliation with Mass General, what will it contribute?
- To help make our future hospital a reality, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is investing more than $20 million in Nantucket Cottage Hospital. This includes debt forgiveness, paying for associated strategic planning and design, and providing a leadership gift in the form of a $10 million challenge grant. In addition, MGH provides immeasurable support on an ongoing basis that impacts both the quality of care and the operational effectiveness of our hospital.
Are we trying to build a mini-MGH?
- No. We have spent a lot of time understanding what this community values and needs in its hospital and healthcare system. We also understand that the future of the nation’s healthcare system is complex and uncertain. We have invested time, money and talent to properly define what we should be, and more importantly, what we should not be. Our MGH and Partners affiliations provide extraordinary access to world-class care through visiting specialists and telemedecine, as well as crucial information technology and administrative support.
Is this building an economic burden or benefit? Will it meet future needs?
- We are building for the future. In the new hospital, our services, staffing and space utilization will expand and contract with seasonal demand, conserving operational funds. More efficient use of resources will address unmet demands for primary care and wellness services. And space devoted to specialty practices not only allows more islanders to receive the care they need here on Nantucket, but also supports increased revenues for the hospital.
- In our planning process, we have outlined two important economic criteria:
- At each phase the facility must operate efficiently as a whole, and
- Each phase’s success is not dependent on the other.
- Although we are building in phases, the economic and building needs are being determined within the context of an overall design concept intended to ensure both flexibility for the hospital and a solid financial footing at all times.