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.
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.
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
Martha's Vineyard Hospital leaders told the Oak Bluffs
selectmen Tuesday they are confident in their fund-raising abilities and
plan to begin the permitting process for the $42 million hospital
building project soon.
Foundations for the new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital won’t be poured until spring, but already the hospital has big plans for the rooftops.
This week the hospital received notice from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the state’s development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy, that the hospital will receive a $198,000 design and construction grant for solar electric panels atop the new building.
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.