New Hospital Oncology Program Will Begin Next Week

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital physicians and medical staffers met last Friday with leadership from the recently-announced Coordinated Cancer Care Program, a collaboration between MVH and Massachusetts General Hospital, to discuss details and goals of the new agreement, which increases oncological care access to Vineyarders by providing chemotherapy treatments on-Island. The program also includes Nantucket Cottage Hospital. The Coordinated Cancer Care Program was announced earlier this month, and began this week at the hospital.

Hospital Hires New Orthopedic Surgeon

With Dr. Rocco Monto’s impending relocation to Nantucket in May, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is taking immediate steps to expand orthopedic services on the Island, including emergency orthopedic services.

Dr. Mark Scheffer, an orthopedic surgeon at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Clinic in Concord, New Hampshire, will join the hospital staff this summer. He is expected to arrive in mid to late July, director of physician services Jay Ferriter told the Gazette on Wednesday.

Flu Outbreak Spreads; Hospital Hosts Free Vaccine Clinic

With a worsening early flu outbreak across the country causing a run on vaccines on the Island, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Island boards of health announced that they will hold a free clinic Sunday for Islanders seeking flu vaccinations. The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital, Edgartown health agent Matthew Poole said. The clinic will be held in the physician's office building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital, Edgartown health agent Matthew Poole said.

Veterans Inch Closer to Island Health Care Contract

With another step completed toward restoring on-Island health care access for veterans, members of the Providence VA hospital are planning an on-Island trip for early October for a town hall meeting with veterans and discussions with Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

This week came word that the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital had signed a new contract for veterans’ health care; the last remaining step is contract approval from the Providence VA Medical Center.

Health Care Checkup: Access to Primary Care Improving

Islanders seem to voice the complaint nearly as often as they grumble about summer traffic backups at the blinker light and spiking prices at the gas pump:

You can’t find a primary care doctor on the Island.

Hospital Lights Shine on First Lady of Island

Fran Resendes lit the tree of lights on Wednesday.

A long-time friend of Martha's Vineyard Hospital and its volunteers, Mrs. Resendes flicked the switch at dusk before a small gathering, and hundreds of red and white lights lit the familiar 30-foot tree at the entrance to the hospital. Anyone driving past this holiday season has an opportunity to remember friends, both here and gone.

Hospital Nursing Home Leaders Report on Moves to Secure Future of Facilities

Hospital leaders gave themselves a checkup this week, and while no crisis was detected, there was a prescription - for more work.

Hospital Leaders Brace For Prospect of Strike By Registered Nurses

Contract talks between management and nurses at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital are now at a bitter standoff, and hospital chief executive officer Kevin Burchill said this week that he is prepared for the possibility of a strike.

"Everything is now off the table. We're prepared for the worst but we expect the best," he said.

Island Doctor Shortage Prompts Renewed Efforts to Ease Problem

Becoming a patient in a primary care physician's practice is now almost impossible for Islanders and visitors, but medical personnel are making an effort to alleviate the situation.

Primary physician practices, in the strictest sense, are closed to new patients, leaving those in search of a doctor in limbo.

Tim Walsh, who became the Martha's Vineyard Hospital's chief executive officer in August, said the lack of primary care physicians is a problem.

Island Hospital Cuts Portuguese Translator; Brazilians Face Communication Problems

For members of the Island's Brazilian population, one of the most frightening prospects is a visit to the hospital. Rather than a lack of health insurance, what keeps many away is the fear of not being understood.