On Tuesday, January 3, Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Fairwinds will launch a new integrated system of community-wide mental health crisis response. The collaboration, which has been in development for months, grew out of the work of the Nantucket Community Behavioral Health Initiative which identified the fragmented system of mental health crisis response to be one of the key gaps in its 2021 assessment of behavioral health systems on the island.
As of 12AM on January 3, the new island-wide mental health crisis number is 508-221-3315. Fairwinds, which has been designated the Community Behavioral Health Center and Crisis Responder for Nantucket by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will respond to crisis calls 24/7 365 days a year. In addition to addressing crisis calls in the community and in the schools, Fairwinds clinicians will provide crisis evaluations in the hospital emergency department and provide consultation for treatment of patients waiting for discharge to on-island outpatient services or transfer to an off-island in-patient facility.
“When the state came up with its new approach to community crisis response we were well positioned because we were already at the table working collaboratively to make it better,” said Amy Lee, President of Nantucket Cottage Hospital. “When Fairwinds applied for and was selected to be the CBHC (Community Behavioral Health Center) for Nantucket – which was a big step and a huge commitment – it just made sense for the community for it to be one integrated system that we all commit to support.”
While the state’s guidelines and contracts only apply to Mass Health patients, the new system on Nantucket will be “payer blind” giving every person access to the same system regardless of insurance status. Patients who need in-patient care will get placement in an off-island facility through Mass General Brigham’s central access program which provides a single team to manage all behavioral health inpatient placement throughout the MGB system and beyond.
Jason Bridges, Executive Director of Fairwinds, added “This collaboration between Fairwinds and the Nantucket Cottage Hospital will provide better care for those in crisis while significantly improving the overall behavioral health care for our island. Driving towards one integrated system with first responders, the schools, human services organizations, and the broader community will put people first and improve our overall level of care and well-being,”
December 22, 2022 – Nantucket Cottage Hospital has been recognized with two 2022 Performance Leadership Awards for excellence in Outcomes and Patient Perspectives.
Compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health, the Performance Leadership Awards honor top quartile performance (e.g., 75th percentile or above) among rural hospitals.
“Nantucket Cottage Hospital takes pride in improving the health and wellness of our patients – and responding to their feedback,” said Amy E. Lee, President of Nantucket Cottage Hospital. “I am immensely proud of our staff, who have an unwavering commitment to treating members of our community with both excellence and compassion.”
The Performance Leadership Awards are based on the results of the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX, the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. INDEX data is trusted and relied upon by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints, hospital associations and state offices of rural health across the country to measure and monitor performance across several areas impacting hospital operations and finance.
Now in its 12th year, the INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance.
“Although the last two years have placed unprecedented pressure on the rural health safety net, the dedication to serving the community that we’re so accustomed to seeing from rural hospitals across the country hasn’t wavered,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health.
To view this year’s award winners, visit: https://www.chartis.com/top-performing-rural-hospitals
December 5, 2022 – Crews began site work today to prepare for the construction of three new workforce houses for NCH. The houses are being built on a newly created lot at 60 Meadowview Drive.
The lot was created from an existing lot that the hospital received in an estate gift from island native James R. Dennis. Mr. Dennis gifted the original property to NCH as a Life Estate in 2002. The hospital in turn rented the existing three-unit property from Mr. Dennis from 2002 until his passing in 2018, providing him income from the property during his lifetime.
The new homes, which include a total of 8 bedrooms and 8 baths, are being manufactured off-island by Dreamline Modular Homes of Nantucket and they are expected to be installed and complete by the late spring of 2023. The three new homes are in addition to two newly constructed 6 bedroom duplexes the hospital acquired in March of this year, totaling an additional 20 bedrooms and baths in 7 units added to the hospital’s owned housing inventory in 2022 and 2023.
Photo below: Groundbreaking ceremony at Meadowiew Drive; Chris Glowacki, Chief Development Officer, Jim Cleary, Manager of Housing and Environmental Services, Amy Lee, President and Craig Muhlhauser, Chair of the Board of Trustees
In July 2022, Eliza Miller took to Instagram with a post that brought huge relief to family and friends. After four terrifying days, her four-year-old daughter, Emme, was home from Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
Eliza wrote: “Emme was having a hard time breathing suddenly. She had gone limp in Pat’s arms. We rushed her to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital ER and they immediately took action to get her oxygen, tests galore, hydration, and so much more. The excellent team at the hospital tried to Med Flight her via helicopter to Boston Children’s but with bad weather on the horizon, they told us it just wasn’t possible. They even attempted to send a Coast Guard plane and even that wasn’t possible. The downside to this beautiful island.
Over the course of three days, Emme improved, thanks to the team of amazing doctors, nurses, aids and more at the @ackhospital. I’ve never been so impressed.
They were on top of my little Emme, and we were able to stay together as a family during such a scary time. We feel so lucky for everyone on-island who helped us get through those four days.”
In a follow up email, Eliza continued to praise the NCH staff: “Our nurse for the first day, Jamie, I still remember was SO positive. She was a mom too and I could tell that she understood what I was going through, she did everything in her power to not only keep Emme comfortable and explain things that could be tough for a four-year-old to understand. She also kept me comfortable by explaining what she was doing the entire time. When we found out it was impossible for Emme to be transported off the island, the entire staff assured us they could keep her stable so that she would be OK until the weather passed. Ultimately, from the care she received at NCH, Emme was discharged and was able to finish her summer on Nantucket. It was a lot of emotion and stress, but the hospital staff was SO kind, so patient, so reassuring. Nantucket Cottage Hospital really saved Emme’s life with compassion and love and kindness. I will forever hold NCH in my heart. Emme’s too!”
“Please support the critical work of Nantucket Cottage Hospital with a donation to The NCH Fund.”
– Eliza and Pat Miller
(November 8, 2022) Capping off its 93rd year in business, the Hospital Thrift Shop set a new record by making its largest ever annual gift to NCH after the close of the 2022 season. The Shop presented a check totaling $600,000 to NCH, which is earmarked to fund the purchase of a new MRI machine.
“Our new MRI will enhance patient care at NCH by providing shorter scan times, a bigger entry to help with claustrophobia, and a much more quiet, relaxed scan experience. New procedures will also be added, including MRI breast imaging to aid in the early detection of breast cancer,” said Dr. C. Rumph, the Director of Imaging at NCH.
The Thrift Shop has now donated over $6.9 million to Nantucket Cottage Hospital since 1929. Thank you to everyone involved in the Thrift Shop’s success this season!
The Hospital Thrift Shop sells merchandise donated by island residents and visitors – anything from used books to furniture to artwork and everything in between – from mid-May through mid-October and operates as a separate non-profit organization. Thanks to a small staff, a dedicated team of volunteers and its Board of Directors, The Thrift Shop remains a favorite for island residents and visitors both in terms of donations toward a worthy cause and as a shopping destination.