Veterans Inch Closer to Island Health Care Contract
Sara Brown

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.

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News Update: Wednesday, August 22 - Health Care Contract for Veterans Near
Remy Tumin

A new contract between the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and the Veterans Administration to allow on-Island health care for veterans is under final review, the Chilmark selectmen learned on Tuesday night.

Vineyard veterans have had no access to primary care on the Vineyard since a previous contract expired several years ago.

In a letter sent to the Chilmark selectmen on August 15 Vincent Ng, the director of the Providence Medical Center where many Island veterans have had to travel for care, reported the good news.

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Health Care Checkup: Access to Primary Care Improving
Sara Brown and John H. Kennedy

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.

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Hospital Nursing Home Leaders Report on Moves to Secure Future of Facilities
Chris Burrell
Hospital leaders gave themselves a checkup this week, and while no crisis was detected, there was a prescription - for more work.
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Hospital Leaders Brace For Prospect of Strike By Registered Nurses
Julia Wells

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.

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Hospital Lights Shine on First Lady of Island
Mark Alan Lovewell

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.

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Island Doctor Shortage Prompts Renewed Efforts to Ease Problem
Joshua Sabatini

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.

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Hospital Trustees Respond to Storm Created by Resignation of Top Surgeon; Blame Difficulties on Changing Climate
Julia Wells

Trustees at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital scrambled to contain the damage this week in the aftermath of last week's announcement by a respected Vineyard surgeon that he will sever his contract with the hospital.

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Hospital Board Addresses Forum as CEO Resigns
Julia Wells

Quoting legendary college basketball coach John Wooden and expressing pride at his own accomplishments, Kevin Burchill, the embattled chief executive officer at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, announced last weekend that he will resign.

\\\\\\\"This will offer the hospital the best possible options to move forward - for everyone,\\\\\\\" Mr. Burchill said in a prepared statement read at the outset of a community forum on hospital affairs.

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Island Hospital Cuts Portuguese Translator; Brazilians Face Communication Problems
Chris Burrell
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.
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