The Vineyard has one nursing home and one assisted living facility. Both are outdated. The nursing home is Windemere, owned and operated by and located on the campus of the hospital. It is an institution with semi-private rooms. It’s not where most people want to be, but it’s the only option on the Island.

The hospital needs the space currently occupied by Windemere for offices for primary care and specialty physicians who can better serve the Island’s residents and visitors. As our population ages, we will need nursing home beds. The community has a moral obligation to take care of our elders, not ship them off-Island for long-term care. We need both the hospital with expanded services and a nursing home, so something has to change.

The hospital has been working with a nonprofit organization, Navigator Homes, to build a new state-of-the art nursing home. It will consist of a campus off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, with five buildings, each having 14 private rooms and baths, and a shared kitchen, living room and dining room. There will be a garden for outdoor recreation and the back of the property will be kept in conservation.

Included in the plans for the campus is 60 units of housing for staff for the nursing home and the hospital, which is in short supply today.

Built on the nationally acclaimed Green House model, the five homes will be very much like private homes. Residents can use the kitchen, properly supervised by staff members, and can control their own schedules.

Navigator Homes is currently pursuing permitting and is seeking financial support from the community. It has a very favorable financing commitment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dependent on raising enough private support to cover 15 per cent of the cost of construction.

The residents currently at Windemere will be offered a place at Navigator Homes, and there is already a waiting list of people wanting to move there.

Projections show that unlike Windemere, a worn and outmoded facility unable to support itself financially and putting a strain on the hospital, Navigator Homes will be able to meet its expenses from its revenue stream.

For more information, see and click on “Learn More” or to contribute to the community support portion of the financing, contact Renee Lohman at 703-598-5131 or

Polly Brown

Vineyard Haven

Also signed by Melinda Loberg, Michael Loberg and Renee Lohman.