A concerned citizen group that formed after the recent upheaval at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is turning up the heat on what group members say is a critical — and longstanding — need to overhaul community relations at the Island’s only hospital.

“Conversations indicate that residents are losing confidence in the hospital board of directors’ decisions and choices,” the group wrote in part in an open letter to the community published in today’s edition. “Our hospital’s future is too important to ignore.”

The letter spells out ongoing issues with the hospital that it says were revived — rather than precipitated — by the sudden firing of hospital president and chief executive officer Joseph Woodin in early June after just 13 months on the job.

The firing touched off a torrent of questions and concerns from community members that lingered through the summer. Former president and chief executive officer Timothy Walsh was reinstalled as interim head of the hospital while a search for a new CEO was begun. That search remains ongoing. The Vineyard hospital is an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, owned by the larger health care conglomerate Partners Health Care.

The citizen group letter notes that as of this week, more than 700 statements, letters and comments on social media have been recorded about the hospital since June.

Calls for change at the top on the hospital board of trustees, whose officers have remained the same since 2010, have seen no response. Chairman Timothy Sweet has been on the board for 20 years and vice chairman Edward Miller for 13 years. Island attorney Ronald Rappaport quietly resigned from the board mid-summer, later citing differences with the board over governance issues. Calls for a public meeting have also seen no response, although the hospital board has met privately with members of the citizen group, and held strategic planning sessions with hand-picked leaders from community organizations.

Speaking to the Gazette by phone Thursday, Mr. Walsh said the hospital has been advised by its lawyers that it cannot hold a public forum because a severance agreement with Mr. Woodin remains unsettled.

“The whole severance arrangement and agreement . . . has just been a bone of contention,” Mr. Walsh said. “I believe if we get in a public forum people are going to want to talk about that, and we can’t.”

Meanwhile, citizen group leaders said they are renewing the effort to open up a public dialogue — not about clinical care at the hospital which they describe as excellent, but about communication and community involvement, which they describe as poor.

“The inability of the community to talk with the hospital is a concern and a longstanding concern,” said Victor Capoccia, who co-chairs the citizen group with Sheila Shapiro, in a telephone interview. He continued:

“The events of the summer were so stark in terms of communication — or non communication . . .  it was a trigger that said ‘enough.’ We need to make it known to the hospital board and the parent organization that the community is not happy with that dimension of the hospital. The hospital needs to be more responsive, more accountable, more transparent: to the people who give money, to the people who use it, to the people who live here and for whom the world of health care is changing.”

He said the citizen group plans to shortly launch a survey to give Islanders a chance to register their views about the hospital, and to gauge community interest in a public forum.

Mr. Capoccia said the survey will be circulated widely to year-round and seasonal residents. The timing of the letter and the survey are self explanatory, he said.

“I think our statement addresses the question of why now, in that we have had two formal meetings and a number of one-on-one private conversations with the Mass General representative to the board and with different board members,” he said. “Every one of those, including the formal meetings, have been respectful and heard — but the inability to actually have some specific follow-up relative to the community conversation hasn’t happened. We want to try to make that happen. And we will hold the meeting ourselves if necessary.”

Mr. Capoccia, who has a broad background in the health care field and has served on boards, including Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, also criticized the hospital leadership for a poor showing this summer and in recent years with its annual report.

“If we look at that report what we see is a document that is a list of donors — there is no summary of financial activity,” he said. “If you compare it to annual reports at most nonprofits, in their reports you will find a summary of programs, and always a summary of the organization’s financial well being, along with a list of donors.”

He concluded:

“I think the hospital is afraid that this is the Joe Woodin issue and I don’t know why, because it absolutely is not. That in effect was the straw that broke the community’s back around the longstanding dissatisfaction.

“There is a history of these stories. It’s time that this is not just another in series.”