3 / 31 / 2021

Statement from Gary A. Shaw, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital – March 31, 2021

(March 31, 2021) Good morning, I am writing to build awareness of announcements Roberto Santamaria and I have made in the last few days on radio, TV, and in print to alert Nantucketers to the presence of the B117 Covid 19 variant on the Island and a corresponding surg in cases we are seeing at the Cottage Hospital. As I look out a second floor NCH window at our symptomatic drive through testing station I see a return of vehicles that only a month ago had dwindled to nothing. Correspondingly, we are also seeing a sharp rise at our asymptomatic “VFW “Stop the Spread” testing station. Just yesterday we reported 20 new Covid 19 cases, today we reported 8, and our 7 day positivity rate is now 9.5% and climbing. As a community we should all be very concerned. Yet again, our country and our Island, stand in the crosshairs of another wave of Covid 19. I am truly saddened and very concerned.

Today I am not writing to point out the obvious or make points regarding why we are once again facing this scourge. We all know why this is happening, we all know this is a completely preventable situation, we all know the simple measures that need to be vigorously continued until we vaccinate the majority of our Nation.

As an American I grew up with the principles of working hard, helping each other, sharing, giving back to my community, caring about others welfare. More simply stated, as a community it is now time to lean very very very hard into beating COVID once again. To do so my ask is that we recommit to known interventions. They are:

As an individual: Wearing masks properly, social distancing, hand washing, quarantining as recommended, adhering to post-test guidance and if contacted cooperate with contact tracers to the fullest.

As a business: To ensure that you do not put your business at risk we highly recommend that you require staff that have travelled off island or are newly arrived from elsewhere to quarantine in isolation for 72 hours. Then, if they do not have symptoms, and before allowing work, have them get tested at the stop-the-spread test site. This is particularly important for employees who will be living in densely populated employee housing. Make sure that your staff adhere to all COVID guidelines including masks on jobsites and in shared vehicles.

Working together on Nantucket Hope and Optimism for a great season is real!

Best, Gary




Gary A. Shaw, President and CEO

3 / 25 / 2021

Nantucket Cottage Hospital to Open Community Pharmacy in Collaboration with Longtime Island Pharmacist

(March 25, 2021) In collaboration with longtime island pharmacist Allan Bell, Nantucket Cottage Hospital will be opening a new community pharmacy on Vesper Lane, just across the street from the hospital, to provide patients with greater convenience and continuity of care while sustaining an important community resource.

The new pharmacy will be located at what was known as the hospital’s Founders Building at 10 Vesper Lane and will be owned and operated by Nantucket Cottage Hospital. It will be open to anyone needing prescription pharmaceuticals. Concurrently, Bell intends to close the prescription department of his existing Island Pharmacy business on Pleasant Street, while continuing to fill prescriptions at his Nantucket Pharmacy operation on Main Street.

The new venture began when Bell approached the hospital last year regarding a potential relationship. While he had been pursued by numerous chains and other off-island interests over the years regarding his pharmacy operations, Bell chose to reach out to NCH because of its deep roots on Nantucket and understanding of the needs of island patients. Allan Bell said, “I have been caring for Islanders’ prescription needs for over 43 years and am so grateful to the Nantucket community for this time. I am excited to see the prescription department moving to the NCH campus. There will be continuity, as I begin to step away from Island Pharmacy after 32 years. I thank all of those at NCH and MGB that helped put this partnership together and allowing me to continue serving the community at Nantucket Pharmacy.”

For patients, the new pharmacy will provide one-stop-shopping for their medical visits, allowing them to leave the hospital campus following an appointment with prescribed medications in hand. Prices will be in line with those at other retail pharmacies, and patients should expect to see no change in their share of financial responsibility for medications based on their insurance coverage. At the outset, the new pharmacy will offer prescription drugs only, but its offerings and services could grow over time. Gary A. Shaw, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital said, “We at NCH appreciate Allan bringing us this opportunity to ensure that his and our patients can continue to get their prescriptions filled at a convenient mid-island location close to the hospital.”

3 / 15 / 2021

Virtual Public Forum – March 25, 2021

Give your Feedback on Community Health Needs

Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Every three years Nantucket Cottage Hospital conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment for the island. An important part of that process is an open forum to gather the community’s input on those issues most affecting the health of the community. This year the forum will necessarily be held virtually on the Zoom video platform. Please join us on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 5 p.m. to share your views on the health of the community.

3 / 12 / 2021

Statement from Gary A. Shaw, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, on Recent COVID-19 Surge

(March 12, 2021) This morning we reported to the public COVID-19 case data that indicates the Island is experiencing a surge in cases. Our 7-day positivity rate is now 7.1% with cases climbing over the last several days. According to contact tracing data these cases are primarily the result of travel and the Island’s increasing positivity rate is truly concerning.

It is an understatement that no surge in cases is welcome. We must also recognize we are going to be particularly vulnerable in the coming weeks as the number of individuals on Nantucket climbs dramatically. If the surge is not controlled it is not inconceivable that measures taken last year to stop the spread be reconsidered by DPH, the Town, and our Board of Health. Bells are ringing that we might listen and reflect on curbing behaviors that spread the virus.

Looking back on the COVID 19 impacts over the past year, it is easy to recognize the massive changes that have taken place due to the emergence of the virus. Words simply cannot express the personal sacrifices, loss, and anxiety many of us have endured and continue to experience. (more…)

3 / 1 / 2021

Nantucket Cottage Hospital & Nantucket Community Music Center Collaborate to Bring Live Music to the Island’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

For Nantucketers receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations at the VFW clinic over the past month, the experience has been a mixture of relief and joy. The inoculations have brought a sense of optimism for the future as the island and the country mark a full year living through the pandemic, with hope that it’s nearing an end.

To enhance the festive atmosphere of the VFW vaccination clinic and foster the concept of wellness through whole person care, Nantucket Cottage Hospital has partnered with the Nantucket Community Music Center to bring live music to the clinic.

Performers from the Nantucket Community Music Center, appropriately masked and distanced, will play string instruments and piano for those getting their COVID-19 vaccinations. Following vaccination, each individual is required to stay on-site for a 15-minute observation period to monitor for any adverse reactions, so they will have the opportunity to hear live music from some of the island’s most talented local musicians. The initiative is being generously provided by the Ashley Sanford Music Therapy Program at NCH. (more…)