The Tradition Continues...
While the entire community of seasonal and year-round
residents has traditionally worked together to meet the
needs of our Hospital, the Hospital has responded to the
needs of our community.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital has a long-standing tradition
of responding to the needs of our community.
In the early 1900s, two doctors recognized the need for
a hospital on the island, and after overcoming many obstacles,
they purchased the Estes home and cottages and established
the West Chester Street Hospital in 1911. When it became clear,
nearly 50 years later, that it was time to expand and modernize
the island's healthcare facility, Hospital leaders raised the necessary
funds to build Nantucket Cottage Hospital, a larger, more
functional facility on Prospect Street. And in the 1960s,
when that building was deemed too small, a wing was added
to accommodate the growing need for comprehensive medical
Since the 1900s, philanthropy has played a key role in the
Hospital’s ability to improve quality of care, to grow, and to react
to the changes on the island. Exploding populations,, dwindling
medical reimbursements, and rising insurance costs have all
contributed to the financial challenges of Nantucket Cottage
Hospital through the years. And yet, the tradition has continued.
In the 1980s, when Hospital leaders recognized the need for
an Endowment Fund, the Lifeline Campaign was launched. Twenty
years later, the Campaign for the 21st Century increased the Hospital’s endowment. Income from endowment helps offset the ever-increasing gap on the actual cost of doing business versus dwindling insurance reimbursements.
Over and again, the island community has recognized the need for a modern healthcare facility offering state-of-the-art medical care in every season. Through the years, the entire community, seasonal and year-round, has worked together to meet the healthcare needs of our island, whether through financial or in-kind gifts. For at least 50 years, members of the community have worked together as volunteers on the Hospital board and committees. In the ‘50s, the Pink Ladies volunteered at the Hospital, as the Blue Coats do today. Volunteers also helped to organize the Main Street Fetes through the early 1900s to raise money for the Hospital, and today, much of our community is involved in the Hospital Thrift Shop and such annual events as Pops on Nantucket concerts, the Health Fair, Native Reunion, and the Swing for Nantucket Cottage Hospital golf tournament.
Traditionally, community members have relied on one another to survive on this isolated island, 30 miles at sea. In times of crisis, such as Nantucket Town’s Great Fire in the 1800s, the entire community has come together to help support each other. Since the trauma of 9/11, island-wide emergency response teams, including the Hospital, Coast Guard, Airport, and Fire and Police departments, have joined together to form an Emergency Preparedness Team to train, strategize, and prepare in the event that our island, whether a winter population of 10,000 or a summer population of 50,000, falls victim to a natural disaster.
While the entire community works together to take care of one another, the Hospital continues to respond to the needs of our community by offering year-round quality healthcare for every individual who steps on this island. The tradition continues.