A red letter day


To the Editor:

In the rush of our day to day lives with all its routines and rigors, we often fail to take note or are caught unaware of those special moments that end up being among the most important of our lives. Well, two weeks ago, we experienced exactly one of those days and we cannot let it go uncelebrated. Just twelve years removed from bankruptcy and following nine years of planning, three years of fundraising and three years in construction — we officially welcomed our first patients to the brand new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on June 22, 2010.

In a display of community spirit and generosity that has been nothing short of astonishing to everyone, our remarkable community came together in a moment of need, dug deeply and raised over $48 million dollars to build a new hospital to serve generations to come. Who would not be proud to say they live in such a place?

It is a testament to the character of this island community that, without any government assistance or borrowed funds, we now have in place a community hospital that stands second to none, is debt-free and is affiliated with one of the best hospitals in the world. Speaking from the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of everyone at MVH, the opening of our handsome new facility stands as one of our proudest moments and we are deeply humbled by the faith and support the Island has shown us to make it all possible.

There are so many to thank that we barely know where to begin. First and foremost would be all of the generous donors without whom all the good intentions would have been for naught. However, no donations would have ever been forthcoming without the dedication and loyal service of all the hospital’s staff. In the end, what convinced everyone to offer their support was the belief in the people that work at the hospital. It was the compassionate and loving care right here at home that everyone had come to know, and never wanted to lose, that was the most compelling. It was the professionalism of all the support staff and volunteers that allowed all our caregivers to be the best they can be. It was the vision and steadfastness of the management and trustees that convinced everyone that a new hospital was a critically important investment in our future and the commitment to quality care and good governance would not be fleeting.

When all was said and done, it was our Island leaders who were persuaded and persuasive that the time had come for everyone to offer their support. And finally, it was the citizens of the Vineyard (natives and wash-a-shores) who suspended past judgments, held us to task and quietly decided that, yes, the time had come — and then made it happen.

To every Islander that stood up when asked, regardless of whether you call the Vineyard home, or your home away from home, thank you for making the dream come true.

We are in your debt — and at your service.

Timothy D. Sweet

Chairman of the Board

Timothy J. Walsh

President & CEO

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital