A Memo from Dr. Margot Hartmann, President & CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital
(February 15, 2018)
I am writing to let you know, in plenty of time, about the succession plan I and the Board of Trustees have put together for my position at NCH. This will be about an 18-month process to bring us safely into our exciting new building and through the completion of our historic capital campaign. I am very grateful for how far we have come, and want to ensure a good plan to address our ongoing challenges.
A search will begin shortly for our next President and CEO, which is expected to take some months. Once that person begins, he or she will assume the day-to-day operational role and responsibilities of CEO, while I remain alongside as President of NCH through the Summer of 2019.
I foresee this as a careful and prudent handover, given these transformative times for our hospital, and look forward to our continuing work together to achieve the best for NCH and the island community we serve.
Nantucket’s new hospital will bring a new standard of resiliency to the island. The building has been designed and is being constructed to withstand hurricane-force winds in excess of 150 mph. The design of the facility factors in lessons learned from other hospitals that have experienced crippling power outages and other damage during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
That’s why the new Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s mechanical systems have been installed on the roof, rather than in a basement, to preclude the possibility of a flood knocking out power. New redundancies in the electrical system, including two 500kw generators, will make the building even more resilient. The new hospital will also be certified as a LEED Gold v4 building, a standard that will provide synergies within the building systems, solutions for optimizing performance, and allow NCH to achieve better environmental and economic outcomes from the new facility.
Tropical Storm Jose lashed Nantucket in mid-September 2017, dumping more than six inches of rain, unleashing wind gusts over 60 mph, and cutting off transportation to and from the mainland for nearly four days. For Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the storm was a true test of its emergency preparedness apparatus, as staff members, supplies, and other resources – most notably the availability of Boston MedFlight – were cut off from the island for more than 36 hours. In many ways, it also underscored the need for Nantucket’s new hospital.
At one point during the storm, every inpatient bed in the hospital was full, while the Emergency Department was at capacity. As hospital staff cared for dozens of patients, they also closely monitored the level of critical supplies, as well as the facility’s blood bank, not to mention the integrity of the 1957 roof straining under inches of water being dumped in a short period of time.
In April 2015, Jeannie Critchley was coming to the end of another school year and looking ahead to summer on Nantucket. But Critchley, who has been a teacher at Nantucket Elementary School for nearly 30 years, was about to receive some health news that would change her life.
After a routine mammogram at Nantucket Cottage Hospital and follow-up tests, Critchley was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. After the initial shock and deluge of information about her condition, Critchley and her physicians agreed on a plan that included two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation.
It was daunting to say the least. “The fear factor, the worry, and wondering what will this be like, it was pretty intense,” Critchley said. “I had ideas in my head from TV and movies about what it would be like, and it was really intimidating and scary.” After a gauntlet of surgery and radiation over the following year, Critchley was relieved to discover that she could do her chemotherapy and many of her oncology consults right here on the island thanks to Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s partnership with the Mass General Cancer Center.
“I had been thinking about the travel, the time, and the physical toll it takes to go back and forth with the boat ride and traffic and the whole thing,” she said. “So that was the best piece of information, that I would be able to do my treatment here.” (more…)
Longtime island residents Sean and Alli Mitchell have a growing family. Over the past two years, the Mitchells have welcomed two healthy boys to their family – Thomas and Patrick – who joined them and their three dogs under one roof. Sean, a member of the Nantucket Fire Department, and Alli, a property manager, have become well acquainted with Nantucket Cottage Hospital during this time.
“I wasn’t someone who used the hospital too much in the past,” Alli said. “But now? You’d have to pry me off this island to have a baby anywhere else!”
Beyond their experiences at The Birthplace, the Mitchells know that their family and the community they love depend on Nantucket Cottage Hospital in so many ways. From routine check-ups with their children’s primary care physician, to visits to the Emergency Department or the Walk-In Care Service, the hospital has given them the confidence to build their lives on Nantucket. (more…)
As published in the March 2nd edition of The Inquirer and Mirror:
To the editor: I recently had surgery at Nantucket Cottage Hospital. I’d like to thank Dr. Monto and his entire staff (Jen, Meg, Tara and Keri) for easing my fear and pain and making me look on the brighter side of things. A truly awesome staff. I can’t speak highly enough of them. (more…)