To the Editor:
Last week, the Vineyard Nursing Association reached an historic and major milestone. After almost 30 years of providing home health care on Martha’s Vineyard from various offices around the Island, we moved into our new permanent home on 29 Breakdown Lane in Vineyard Haven. We now have sufficient space to meet the growing demands for our services — from office space to house our staff of more than 100 employees to training space to keep all of our skills sharply tuned.
This accomplishment would not be possible without the support of our community. As with other major fundraising campaigns on Martha’s Vineyard, we are humbled by the financial support, the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting, and the in-kind generosity of many individuals. Though I cannot list in this small space everyone who helped us, I would like to publicly thank the residents of Tisbury and Tisbury town officials. Our property crosses town lines, lies within a protected watershed area, is governed by two different sets of zoning regulations, and was subject to town meeting and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s approvals. Our special appreciation goes to Ken Barwick and Fred LaPiana for their counsel, advice, and support in seeing this complicated project through to the end.
However, we have more to do. Our capital campaign continues, and we are still in need of support to retire our debt. We have raised almost half of what we need to pay off the mortgage and renovation costs. Once we complete this campaign, we will realize savings of $100,000 per year, a critical component to our future success in this period of uncertainty in the health care world. For example, we recently learned that we will face a $60,000 reduction in Medicare reimbursements in 2013, due to changes in regulations.
Even before the regulation change, the VNA lost $100 per patient after reimbursements from Medicare and health insurers. We have always made up the difference through our fundraising efforts, including our golf tournament, clambake, and annual fund drive.
As always, we thank everyone who lives or summers on the Vineyard for annual support. And we thank all those that helped make our new home a reality.
Chief Executive Officer
Vineyard Nursing Association