5 / 5 / 2021

NCH Supports Community Wide Effort Underway to Address Behavioral Health on Nantucket

(May 4, 2021) A major community-wide effort to address inadequacies in the delivery and coordination of behavioral health and substance misuse services on Nantucket got underway today. A new steering committee made up of leadership from the island’s major health and human service organizations, local government and public safety met today and endorsed the first phase of a plan to evaluate the current state of service availability on the island.

The evaluation will be coordinated by Government Performance Solutions, Inc. (GPS), a Denver, CO consulting firm with extensive experience in the facilitation of community-wide collaborations to address Behavioral Health systems. This phase of the project is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation for Nantucket (CFN) to a new Behavioral Health Initiative Fund. CFN Executive Director, Margaretta Andrews said “CFN is excited to award this grant and to see the leaders of all of these organizations move quickly to push this critical initiative forward. Despite all best efforts, the current system of care is fragmented, and people fall through the cracks.”

Representatives from CFN, Fairwinds, NAMI Cape Cod and the Islands and Nantucket Cottage Hospital make up the advisory board of the Behavioral Health Initiative Fund; they recommended proceeding with this assessment. Work on the evaluation will begin immediately and will run through the summer.

The evaluation will include extensive interviews, focus groups and data mining across a broad swath of service organizations, community groups, and constituents on the island. This work will ultimately result in a detailed current-state analysis in early fall. The next phase of the project is envisioned to chart a course forward including the development of a strategic initiative roadmap. Steering Committee member Dawn Hill Holdgate said, “we are not working towards a final solution yet, but beginning the critical identification of barriers and gaps and building consensus for a community supported vision of the future of behavioral healthcare on Nantucket.”

The steering committee will continue to meet throughout the project to review progress and make recommendations. Gary Shaw, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital offered that “no single entity can solve this problem; it will take alignment, collaboration, and integration to make a difference.”

The 15-member steering committee includes:

  • Margaretta Andrews, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Nantucket
  • Jennifer Frazee, Executive Director, A Safe Place
  • Libby Gibson, Town Manager, Town of Nantucket
  • Chris Glowacki, Vice President of Strategy and Community Development, Nantucket Cottage Hospital
  • Dr. Beth Hallett, Superintendent, Nantucket Public Schools
  • Dawn Hill Holdgate, Chair, Nantucket Select Board
  • Michael Kellerman, Executive Director (Interim), Fairwinds
  • Jackie Lane, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness Cape Cod and the Islands
  • Dr. Tim Lepore, Addiction Solutions of Nantucket
  • Holly McGowan, Community Member
  • Jim Perelman, Sheriff, Nantucket County Sheriff’s Department
  • William Pittman, Chief of Police, Nantucket Police Department
  • Kevin Ralph, Chief Development and Community Relations Officer, Gosnold Inc.
  • Gary Shaw, President and CEO, Nantucket Cottage Hospital
  • Father Max Wolf, Rector, St. Paul’s Church
5 / 3 / 2021

Hospital Thrift Shop Opening May 10, 2021

(May 3, 2021) The Hospital Thrift Shop will open its doors on Monday, May 10th, 2021 for its 92nd season in business supporting Nantucket Cottage Hospital. The beloved island institution will allow in-person bargain hunting for the first time since 2019. Due to the pandemic, the Shop was unable to open for inside shopping in 2020 and instead created a new e-commerce shopping website and hosted several outdoor sales.

“We’re so excited to welcome shoppers back into 17 India Street,” said Mary Casey, Executive Director of the Hospital Thrift Shop. “We are chock full of merchandise – clothes, books, housewares, you name it! We are bursting at the seams and we can’t wait to get back to ‘business as normal.’”

For up-to-date shopping and donation hours, please visit hospitalthriftshop.org

The Thrift Shop was founded in 1929 when a group of dedicated volunteers came together to provide affordable clothes and household goods to the island community. Its first gift to the hospital that year was $603. Since that first donation, the Thrift Shop has contributed more than $5 million to the hospital during its 91 years of operation, a legacy of generosity that has benefited NCH in many ways, from new radiology and lab equipment, to a remodeled dialysis unit and new furnishings for patient rooms.

The Hospital Thrift Shop is always in need of new volunteers. Anyone interested in helping carry on this wonderful island tradition should e-mail hospitalthriftshop@gmail.com

4 / 23 / 2021

Asymptomatic Testing by Appointment Only Starting Wednesday, 4/28/21

Beginning on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, “Stop the Spread” elective testing for asymptomatic patients (no symptoms and no known contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case as defined by the CDC), will be by appointment only. 75 appointments are available per day, Monday through Saturday. Appointments must be scheduled 2 days in advance and are available up to 6 days in advance. View and schedule an appointment for elective testing by clicking here.

COVID-19 Testing Hours as of April 28, 2021

COVID-19 testing hours for those with symptoms & close contacts

  • Drive-through, first come, first served
  • Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • Location: Drive-through evaluation site at 57 Prospect Street

COVID-19 elective testing for persons without COVID-19 symptoms or close contact – “Stop the Spread”

  • By appointment only – click here
  • Appointments available Monday – Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Appointments available Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • Location: Drive-through evaluation site at 57 Prospect Street
  • Beginning Wednesday, April 28 asymptomatic tests will not be given without an appointment.
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.”