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.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital and island physician Joel Hass have founded a new clinical education program that aims to expand access, provide educational opportunities, and bolster the recruitment of new clinicians to Nantucket.
The Nantucket Cottage Hospital Advanced Practice Clinician Education Program will partner with the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, to bring physician assistant students to the island who will work under the supervision of Dr. Hass in his outpatient practice.
“Nantucket Cottage Hospital is committed to expanding access, and one way to do that is through a commitment to education,” Dr. Hass said. “We want to expose future clinicians to Nantucket and give them a sense of what it’s like to practice in a remote island setting.” (more…)
Nantucket Cottage Hospital has welcomed a new full time staff surgeon, Francis X. O’Connor, MD, to the medical staff and the NCH surgical team.
Dr. O’Connor, a former captain in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, will bring vast general surgery experience and laparoscopic surgical skills to Nantucket Cottage Hospital, and will be an important part of the team that will maximize the capabilities of an expanded surgical suite within the new hospital.
The addition of Dr. O’Connor will complement the hospital’s current full-time surgeons, including longtime island general surgeon Dr. Tim Lepore and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rocco Monto, and allow more patients to stay on-island for emergency and elective procedures.
Dr. O’Connor, who is moving to Nantucket with his wife Maribeth and purchasing a home in the mid-island area, is a Massachusetts native who grew up in Woburn. The couple has four grown children: Kelley, Francis, Alyssa, and Ryan. (more…)
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…)