Citizens group meets with hospital board

To the Editor:
To your article in last week’s Times, “Hospital board vows to have more community input,” I would add that at the meeting held by the citizens’ group last week, several specific issues were raised:
• The role that Massachusetts General Hospital, the “sole member” of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Corp., according to the bylaws, plays in the hospital’s governance in general and the termination of Mr. Woodin in particular;
• The continued absence of any statement of vision by the hospital board or Massachusetts General Hospital, and how or why their vision differed from Mr. Woodin’s. What is the MVH board’s vision for MVH?
• The unanimous agreement among those attending the meeting that transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to community needs are core elements of a “community vision,” and appeared to be embodied in Mr. Woodin’s approach to managing the hospital;
• The fact that our group of concerned residents did not represent all Island interests, and the responsibility of the hospital board to establish a way, such as a series of community meetings, to better understand what Island residents expect from their community hospital in return for support of the hospital.
• The role that MVH and Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s “critical care access” status plays in federal reimbursement rates for the Massachusetts General Hospital system.

We agreed that a smaller number of those in attendance would report the discussion and themes back to a meeting of the MVH board that included the Massachusetts General “sole member” of the corporation. It was further agreed that consideration of an advisory committee and other accommodations were premature, pending understanding of potential redundancy with the board and roles of the Massachusetts General Hospital “sole member.” This meeting is currently being set up.

Alan Brigish
West Tisbury