Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard has operated out of a 400-square-foot trailer tucked into a corner of the old Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for 22 years. That will change in the fall when the organization moves into a new office twice as large located in The Tisbury Marketplace off Beach Road.
Hospice, a nonprofit that has provided palliative care on the Island since 1981, has signed a purchase and sale agreement to buy an office condominium space, executive director Terre Young told The Times.
Plans are drawn up and work has begun on interior construction, according to Ms. Young. “We hope to be in by the end of August,” she said.
“We would never have been able to do this without the help of a couple of key people who brought our situation to the attention of the Graham family.”
The purchase was made possible by a $1 million dollar donation from the estate of the late Katherine Graham in 2001.
“Half of that donation went to our endowment, which covers much of our administrative costs, and the other half was set aside for a new home,” Ms. Young said. “We are a hand-to-mouth organization.” Most fundraising projects go to pay for patient care costs, she added.
Hospice had been hoping for a larger office in the old hospital when the new hospital was built, but Ms. Young said that those plans fell through. “We looked at the possibility of renting office space this past fall but renting can be very expensive and uncertain,” she said.
The new office will allow Hospice to consolidate their activities in one place. “We have nine people working out of a 40-foot space,” Ms. Young said.
Bereavement councilors have often chosen to work out of their own homes or other locations, like St. Andrews Church in Edgartown, rather than in the cramped office, which has no privacy. The St. Andrews group has moved to the Oak Bluffs Library for the summer because there is no parking in Edgartown.
“We have board meetings at the West Tisbury Congregational Church, finance committee meetings at the bank,” Ms. Young said. “We have our fundraising and patient care volunteer meetings in a conference room at the hospital and sometimes at volunteers’ homes. All of that will be under one roof in the new office.
“This space seems just the right size for us, not huge, not the Taj Mahal. We will be very well located and it has soft, serene, and gentle surroundings, and we have been able to design the interior to meet our needs.”
The new Hospice office will have a resource space named after another benefactor, the late Don Davis of Chilmark, who left money for a Hospice library.
For more information on Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard go to www.hospice.vineyard.net/w/.