State Cuts Affect Island Health Care
Julia Rappaport

Health and human service agencies on the Vineyard are already feeling the effects of severe state budget cuts made last week by Gov. Deval Patrick and are bracing for more in the months ahead.

State funding to Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services was slashed in the cuts, while directors at the Island Health Care Rural Clinic in Edgartown and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital were busy this week preparing for spending and hiring freezes.

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Hospital Work Shifts Traffic Access
Jack Shea

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is ready to pour the foundation for construction of its 90,000-square-foot expansion.

The site has undergone nearly six months of preparation for the construction, a project for which more than $46 million has been raised.

The expansion is on schedule for completion in late 2009.

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Hospital Employees Will Receive Partners Awards

Partners HealthCare will honor employees at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center today, Friday, Feb. 1 in the 12th Annual Partnership in Excellence Awards.

Partners owns the hospital and nursing center. This is the first year the Vineyard hospital and Windemere employees are eligible for nomination.

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Hospital to Drop Insurance Contract; Many Low-Income Islanders Affected
Mike Seccombe

Some 1,500 lower-income Vineyard residents face the prospect of having to find new health insurance because the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has determined its current insurer is not directing enough patients to its affiliated hospitals in Boston.

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New Hospital Evokes Memories of Old
By SALLY COOK

O n Saturday, Feb. 14, we set out in the morning from Chilmark for a shop in town and a Valentine’s Day drive. It was a sunny day though terribly cold and strangely still back in Vineyard Haven on this long winter weekend to mark Presidents’ Day — a great opportunity for Islanders to escape to mainland shops, northern ski slopes, or Bahamian bliss. After a quick grocery shop, my husband Peter and I left town behind and drove past the frozen quiet MV Shipyard, the windswept buildings of the Packer Company, and out along the causeway toward Oak Bluffs.

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Hospital to Upgrade Anesthesia Services

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital announced this week that it will soon begin to provide anesthesia services as a collaborative venture with its affiliate Massachusetts General Hospital. Beginning in June, anesthesia coverage for both the surgical and maternity departments at the Island hospital will be provided by the Mass General department of anesthesia, critical care and pain medicine. The collaboration will mean enhanced coverage that will allow the Vineyard hospital to manage two surgical emergencies at the same time, a hospital press release said.

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As Hospital Parking Lots Grow, Neighbors Fret
Peter Brannen

A Martha’s Vineyard Hospital plan to create two new large parking lots has residents of the surrounding Oak Bluffs neighborhood on edge over the institution’s continued expansion.

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Revenue Up, Expenses Higher, Hospital Reports Sizable Loss
Sara Brown

Citing a decline in use and changes to the health insurance industry, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is reporting an operating loss for 2011, the first unprofitable year in about a decade, the hospital said.

The hospital reported an operations income loss of $591,855 from April 2011 to April 2012. While total revenue was up from the previous year, expenses also increased at a higher rate.

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