Social Services &
Health Care Advocates

Connecting the island to care


Over the past 30 years, Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s Social Services Department has evolved into an irreplaceable resource for the island community. It truly serves as the island’s own dedicated social worker.

Our team provides interdisciplinary coordination of patient care to help you and your family address any issues that arise during your hospitalization, with an emphasis on the preparation of appropriate discharge services. We offer confidential, supportive counseling and referrals to help you cope with illness, family concerns, mental health or substance abuse issues, and other situations that may affect your recovery.

The Social Services Department also offers free, confidential, one-on-one appointments for people with questions about health insurance such as Medicare or Masshealth as well as public health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. We can help you review insurance options, determine enrollment costs, and apply for the plan that’s right for you.

We can also assist in addressing financial matters related to insurance billing. If your family income falls between 200% and 400% of the poverty guidelines, you may be eligible for partial free care. To determine eligibility for free care, we use the applicant’s gross income for the appropriate family size, which is established by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The staff works collaboratively with all other hospital departments as well as other agencies within the Nantucket community.

Our services include:

  • Social work and discharge planning for the medical-surgical floor and the Emergency Department
  • Dialysis counseling
  • Palliative care social work services
  • Oversight of all interpreter services
  • Oversight of all behavioral health care from the Emergency Department to the med-surg floor to disposition
  • Health care advocacy, enrollment in all public health insurance including MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, Health Safety Net (HSN), private insurances and food stamps
  • Transportation assistance funds (Andrew Holdgate Fund, Shorty Fund, Indigent Fund, and Sailing Stork Fund)
  • Insurance counseling (Medicare, long-term care insurance, medigap or supplemental policies)
  • Budget counseling
  • Long-term care planning
  • Crisis intervention
  • Alcohol and drug counseling and referral
  • Counseling on disability: local, state or federal
  • Information and referral for VA services that are available