9 / 22 / 2021

Flu Shot Clinic – 2021

(September 2021) Beginning Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Nantucket Cottage Hospital will be offering flu shots through our annual flu shot clinic held at the Anderson Building at 57 Prospect Street, Monday through Saturday, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

Appointments are required. Sign up begins on Monday, September 27th and can be done online through Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway, or by calling (508) 825-1000.

Every year, seasonal flu vaccines help keep our community safe by providing protection against the most common strains of influenza. Most insurances cover the complete cost of the flu shot every year, requiring no co-pay for patients.

9 / 11 / 2021

From Porch Collapses to Plane Crashes: How 9/11 Changed Emergency Preparedness at NCH

Most Americans can recall how following the September 11th attacks, the nation changed overnight. The attacks impacted everything from how we navigated airports, to how Americans conceptualized national security, shaping the 21st century for the two decades to come.

As Americans reimagined their lives in the face of these new threats, leaders at Nantucket Cottage Hospital were reimagining their role in Nantucket’s emergency preparedness.

“Before 9/11, hospitals used to be isolated organizations, when we thought about emergency management, we planned solely for ourselves, there was no interagency coordination, no system-level thinking for how to respond to a crisis,” said Martha Lake-Greenfield, NCH’s Emergency Department Manager from 1996 to 2020. “In the wake of 9/11 it became evident that we all had a role to play in emergency management, from your government agencies, to local hospitals and even individuals.”

In the years following the attacks, the Department of Homeland Security developed the National Incident Management System (NIMS), a comprehensive approach to coordinating government and private sector partners during disasters and emergencies.

“We had been working to develop a common emergency management language amongst our government partners before 9/11, but after the attacks, as more incidents happened, we began to develop that common language and common mission by using NIMS,” said Lake-Greenfield.

Martha Lake-Greenfield served as Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s Emergency Department Manager from 1996 to 2020, and was a key player leading the development of NCH’s emergency preparedness plans.

Today, every staff member at NCH undergoes NIMS training through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to ensure that in the case of an emergency, all staff members understand their role and responsibilities during a worst-case scenario.

“We always build our plans off a worst-case scenario because that’s when we can identify issues like staffing, stress and resource constraints,” said Georges Beckford, a New York firefighting veteran and Nurse Educator at NCH. “During a disaster, some people naturally respond well, and some collapse, that’s why its so important to train and prepare your team so they have that experience to fall back when a disaster strikes.”

In the decades following the September 11th attacks, NCH has consistently worked with public and private partners to ensure a high degree of preparedness should a disaster ever strike Nantucket.

“When I first came to NCH, the largest emergency incident we had was a porch collapse, after 9/11 we went from preparing for porch collapses to preparing for plane crashes,” said Lake-Greenfield. “We started to run more and more drills, when there was a major event on Nantucket, we would physically take out the supplies we would need and run through how we would use them during a crisis.”

One of the most significant changes since the attacks, according to Beckford, is the level of interest the public has in playing their part during disasters.

“All the knowledge we were developing as first responders or clinicians we would turn around and give it to the public,” said Beckford. “The public began making emergency kits, learning first aid and had an enormous appetite to learn about what they can do to prepare themselves and their families for an emergency. This preparedness meant that patients could be stabilized well before they arrived in our emergency room.”

Two decades after the September 11th attacks, Americans are more prepared than ever to respond to a disaster, both through individual desires to stay safe during an emergency, but also through the lessons learned over decades of training and responding complex emergencies. Nowhere is this refined preparedness more evident, than in today’s hospitals, as we emerge from one of the most complex crises demanding interagency support, and public understanding.

“COVID-19 has reiterated this need for preparedness, today, everyone from our housekeepers to our labor and delivery nurses are trained in emergency management, because as we’ve seen during these last 18-months, we expect everyone to play their role during a crisis,” said Lake-Greenfield.

9 / 1 / 2021

Flu Shot Clinic for Individuals Age 65+

Flu Shot Clinic for Individuals Age 65+

Saturday, September 25th, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital – Anderson Building
Appointments required. Sign ups begin on Wednesday, September 1st by calling the Saltmarsh Senior Center at 508-228-4490.

Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the Nantucket Council on Aging, and the Nantucket Center for Elder Affairs are joining forces to offer a seasonal flu shot clinic to Nantucket seniors age 65+.

100 high dose seasonal flu shots will be available for free and administered on Saturday, September 25th. Appointments are required, walk-ins will not be accepted. Sign up for a time slot by calling the Saltmarsh Senior Center at 508-228-4490. Registration opens on September 1st and ends on September 15th. Time slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


8 / 27 / 2021

COVID-19 Third Vaccine Dose Procedures

Evidence continues to demonstrate that the COVID-19 vaccinations offered here on Nantucket (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson) are remarkably effective for reducing risk of serious illness caused by COVID-19. While effective, the immunocompromised population is still vulnerable to COVID-19 because of their high-risk status for serious, prolonged illness and weakened immune systems.

The CDC recommends people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should consider and consult with their healthcare provider on receiving a third dose of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

It should be noted, that this CDC recommended third dose is not a booster dose, which is given to individuals when their immune response to the initial two-dose series has decreased. This third dose is a continuation of the two-dose series and is intended to help improve an immunocompromised individual’s response to their original two-dose series.

The Town of Nantucket is now offering third doses of COVID-19 vaccines to individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. To request a third dose, individuals falling into these categories should go to the Town of Nantucket COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic page and fill out the digital screening form to be contacted by health officials for scheduling.

8 / 20 / 2021

110th Annual Meeting Recap

Nantucket Cottage Hospital hosted its 110th Annual Meeting virtually on Friday, August 20th, 2021, led by Craig Muhlhauser, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Gary Shaw, President and CEO, the meeting focused on the future of healthcare on the island through primary care and whole-person health and wellness.

NCH announced five annual awards to staff and community members who have made significant contributions to the mission of NCH over the past year, including:

Seinfeld/Hartmann Award for Compassionate Care:

  • Ugne Aleknaite, NP – “Ugne is currently the Program Leader for Hematology-Oncology at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, where she provides direct patients care, ranging from diagnosis to chemotherapy and advance care planning for patients on Nantucket. Aleknaite holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Professionals and is a Certified Nurse Practitioner with certifications in Adult Gerontology Primary Care from American Nurses Credentialing Center, Chemotherapy Biotherapy, and Functional Medicine. As a program leader, Ugne was recognized by family members of those in her care for providing exceptional care during their loved ones in their final months of life. One Family member noted, “Ugne has a really special way of being able to deliver devastating news with empathy and true humanity. So many medical professionals could learn from her, how to be empathetic and caring, but also how to be realistic and honest. It is a real balance that I have rarely seen in a caregiver. When my (Family Member’s) condition was deteriorating, she spoke to us with such grace, but also with an understanding that the news she was delivering would change our lives.”

Sandy Craig Leadership Award:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Hallett – “When Dr. Elizabeth Hallett became the Superintendent of the Nantucket Public Schools on July 1, 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic she was stepping into an extraordinary leadership challenge. 5 weeks later she presented the community with a 50 page comprehensive plan for safely reopening the Nantucket Public Schools in a new hybrid model of education. Throughout the pandemic Dr. Hallett coordinated closely with NCH and the Nantucket Department of Health to provide for the safety of NPS employees, students and their families.”

Bruce A. Percelay Philanthropy Award:

  • Melanie Sabelhaus – “Melanie Sabelhaus has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair or co-Chair of the Marketing and Development committee since 2018. Her impact on philanthropy at NCH goes back much further. She has Chaired the Boston Pops on Nantucket twice and her energy and innovations transformed the Pops into Nantucket’s most treasured event. She was also a founding co-chair of the popular annual Women+Wellness event. Most recently, her relentless effort to build support for NCH despite the cancellation of The Pops concert in 2020 and 2021 has been critical to NCH’s financial stability.”

Phil Murray Business Award:

  • 97.7 ACK-FM, Nantucket’s ‘True Island Radio’ – “The radio and digital media company is a trusted media partner that was instrumental in communicating NCH’s messages to the community throughout the pandemic. As information during the pandemic was constantly evolving, NCH relied on Executive Vice President, Laura Burnett and her team to quickly relay messages to the community and their efforts contributed significantly to the success of the testing and vaccination programs. In 2021, 97.7 ACK-FM gave additional support to NCH in the form of a gift in memory of Dr. Robert Shapiro. Owned by Jeff Shapiro, the company’s media products include the radio stations 97.7 ACK-FM and 89.5 Quahog Country, and the digital newsletters Daybreak and Mahon About Town.”

Myrt Eldridge Volunteer of the Year:

  • Meryl Bralower – “Meryl is one of three women who co-founded Women+Wellness, an annual event that brings likeminded individuals together to learn about health and wellness-related topics from NCH and MGB clinicians. Since founding the event in 2017, Meryl has co-chaired each year’s event and personally recruited leading MGH clinicians as speakers Meryl is the consummate volunteer who is always willing to cheerful address and challenge.”

The NCH Board of Trustees also welcomed one new member, Lisa Clarey-Lawler, and thanked three outgoing members, Jack Burke, Bruce Chabner and Liz Winship.