Completing the Campus

On any given summer night, Nantucket Cottage Hospital isn’t just caring for an island population that swells to more than 60,000 people. It’s also scrambling to find housing for as many as 50 visiting doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel to meet the needs of the island community amid Nantucket’s deepening housing crisis.

Whether it’s the year-round nurse who just lost her rental housing, or a temporary radiology tech who arrived on-island to find that his seasonal apartment fell through, or even a visiting physician looking to accommodate his family and dogs, the housing challenges facing Nantucket Cottage Hospital run the gamut. They affect nearly every personnel decision, every department, and make the operations of a remote rural hospital 30 miles at sea even more complex.

“It’s difficult to expect our doctors, nurses and other staff members to bring their “A game” if they’re spending the night in substandard housing. The market is not going to fix this problem for us, so we need to be proactive in creating solutions for our team,” said Dr. Margot Hartmann, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

When Bruce and Elisabeth Percelay had both of their children at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, it became clear to them that housing for medical staff was a significant problem based on their interactions with those who helped throughout their deliveries. Bruce, who is a housing developer in Boston along with Elisabeth wanted to be part of the solution and made the creation of an on-campus apartment amenity a condition of their $10 million naming gift to the hospital. The combination of the Percelay’s vision and Bruce’s development expertise will provide the hospital with this critical amenity for years to come, and allow the capital campaign to go beyond bricks and mortar to fulfill the promise of the new facility.

The capital campaign for the new hospital was expanded in recognition of these facts. A cutting-edge hospital requires sustainable programs and services, and most importantly, the people to
deliver them.

The next phase in completing the hospital campus includes plans to build flexible-design housing units that will be capable of serving a range of hospital employees. The building will be located
across the street from the hospital on land NCH already owns, enabling employees to simply walk to work. The building will feature the latest in apartment amenities and a flexible design by using the model of extended stay hotels.

“We consider housing for hospital staff to be almost a medical care delivery issue – if we don’t have the people and the programs to deliver high quality care, the building is nothing more than bricks and mortar,” said campaign chair Bruce Percelay, who with his wife Elisabeth contributed the $10 million gift that propelled the expansion of the capital campaign. Once the construction of the new hospital is complete, the next building phase will follow immediately and focus on the housing initiative.

Artist concept of housing unit