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…)
Dr. D’Avella is moving to the island and joining NCH following a distinguished career in Connecticut, where he was a physician at Hartford Hospital for more than 30 years, with an extensive background in nephrology and dialysis. He and his wife Denise own a home on Nantucket, and have visited the island for many years.
Dr. D’Avella will initially join Dr. Diane Pearl’s practice on a part-time basis, while also providing nephrology consults in the hospital’s medical/surgical unit and in the emergency department, and accepting referrals for patients with kidney issues, difficult to manage hypertension, diabetes, and kidney stones. (more…)
Nantucket Cottage Hospital emergency department staff member Anne Stearns has deployed with the American Red Cross in Texas as part of the relief effort in the communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
After flying to the Houston area, Stearns was initially assigned to help open a new shelter in Beaumont, Texas, and has since moved on to help at a shelter in Port Arthur, one of the hardest hit cities.
“We have over 245 people in the shelter. This week I will be going out in the neighborhoods to check on people who need medical care,” said Stearns, who serves as a paramedic patient care tech in the NCH emergency department.
“Once I heard about Hurricane Harvey I knew I wanted to come down here and help,” she added. “We have so much where we live that I wanted to come help people who had everything taken away. We are staying in a shelter on cots with cold showers but it’s only for nine days – most of these people have no idea how long they will be in shelters. It’s the least I could do. I want to thank NCH for allowing me the time to come here.”