For more than a century, Nantucket Cottage Hospital has cared for island residents. Access to quality medical care is key to keeping a community healthy, particularly on an island where, without a hospital, inclement weather could prevent a patient from getting urgently needed care.
Nantucket’s first hospital was founded in 1912 in a homestead on West Chester Street. In 1957, the hospital’s facilities were moved to its current location on Prospect Street. As the island population grew and more sophisticated medical services were required, it became clear a new hospital was needed.
A capital campaign to build an upgraded medical facility on Nantucket was launched in 2013, and by the time the new hospital opened to patients in February of 2019, $120 million had been raised. At a time when small, rural hospitals are shutting down across the country at an alarming rate, Nantucket Cottage Hospital has galvanized the support of the island community to secure its future. The new Nantucket Cottage Hospital is debtfree and was financed entirely through private donations—not a penny of taxpayer dollars was used.
The new Nantucket Cottage Hospital enhances access, safety, and privacy for patients, allowing them to better serve our island community with a broad range of medical services, such as expanded outpatient services with capacity for inpatient care and surgery. It gives patients a central location for their healthcare needs, including primary, emergency, and specialty care, as well as diagnostic testing.
During the summer season, as the island’s population swells, NCH offers an inperson Urgent Care Clinic to offer medical care for nonlifethreatening conditions such as coughs, colds, sore throats, ear and eye infections, fever, minor injuries, rashes, tick bites. In addition to inperson care, Virtual Urgent Care is also available 7 days a week for patients registered with Mass General Brigham patients. For details, current hours, and to make an appointment, visit nantuckethospital.org/healthwellnessservices/urgentaccess.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital is an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Mass General Brigham. In designing and building the island’s new hospital, the goal was to provide the best of both worlds to Nantucket residents and visitors: the expertise and resources of a world class aca demic medical center paired with the comfort, tradition, and familiarity of the island’s beloved com munity hospital.
The mission of Nantucket Cottage Hospital has always been to provide the highest quality health care services to our community on Nantucket, and to connect our patients with those services which are not available on the island. Our affiliation with Massachusetts General Brigham is an integral part of this goal.
The most significant benefit of the affiliation is for patients with complex medical needs who require tertiary care or specialty services unavailable on the island. These patients have a direct link to caregivers and services at MGB affiliates, offering better coordination of care and services through such means as a shared electronic medical record and an expanded pool of consulting subspecialists.
MGH physicians have long consulted at NCH, seeing patients on a regular basis on the island. Additionally, NCH has experienced longstanding clinical collaborations with the MGH in such specialties as cardiology, neurology, dermatology, and emergency services. Additionally, NCH is connected to the
MGB system through telemedicine and the Patient Gateway.
More than 30 physicians visit NCH on a rotating basis to provide specialty care in areas such as neurology, endocrinology, and rheumatology. The Specialty Clinics Coordinator at 508-825-1000 schedules dates when consulting physicians will be on Nantucket.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations in the United States.
Air Ambulance Services
Boston MedFlight is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 that provides critical care medical transport by air and ground to the region’s sickest patients and has been serving the Nantucket community for more than 30 years. Each year Boston MedFlight transports more than 4,300 patients—approximately 300 of those patients from Nantucket, with an average of more than one patient every day from the island during the summer months. Every patient is cared for by a team that includes a critical care nurse and critical care paramedic, and every Boston MedFlight vehicle is equipped to serve as a mobile intensive care unit.
“I think Boston MedFlight is unique,” explained Mark Onorato, Director of Aviation Operations. “Our training budget is one of the highest in the country. We send all our pilots to the helicopter manufacturer’s factory for the best classroom and simulator training.
There are a lot of organizations out there that do a lot of talking about safety but this organization really, truly, lives it, breathes it.”
Boston MedFlight transports patients in need regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Last year they provided more than $7 million in free and unreimbursed care to patients with little or no insurance, including more than $500,000 every year in free and unreimbursed care to Nantucket patients.