Tim Sweet steps down as chairman of hospital board

Martha's Vineyard Hospital announced three new doctors. — File photo

Denise Schepici, CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, announced changes to the hospital’s board of trustees on Friday after the board’s annual meeting.

In a press release, Schepici wrote, “Tim Sweet, after a distinguished tenure on the board, has completed his final term and will be stepping down as an MVH trustee.”

Sweet has served on the board for 21 years, and as chairman since 2010. “Tim is a dedicated leader; his deep personal bond with MVH and our community has been nothing but steadfast,” Schepici wrote. “His vision and leadership to help steer our hospital through difficult financial times was concise and clear. It led to strengthening the services we provide our patients through our affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital. He was also instrumental in the fundraising for and construction of our brand-new facility in 2010.”

She went on to quote Sweet, who reflected on his leadership: “It has been my great pleasure and honor to volunteer at the hospital over these many years. Ironically, I first joined the hospital board in 1997 as a disgruntled Islander on a challenge by the chairman at that time, ‘To either put up or shut up.’ Summarily embarrassed, I joined up on the spot. It turned out to be the most humbling and rewarding decision of my life. Through the many challenges and opportunities, what always came shining through was the remarkable and dedicated group of healthcare providers and support staff we have at MVH. The best advice I ever received as a trustee was to remember that we work for them — not the other way around. And above all, our patients always come first.”

Sweet’s tenure has not been without controversy. Last summer, the board was criticized for the way it handled the firing of CEO Joe Woodin.

Earle (Sandy) Ray, serving in his final year on the board, was elected to succeed Sweet as chairman. Ray, the former owner of Martha’s Vineyard Insurance, has been a year-round resident of Martha’s Vineyard for more than 50 years.

The board also added Debra A. Burke as vice chair. “Debbie” is the senior vice president for patient care and chief nurse executive at Massachusetts General Hospital. Susan C. Crampton, a full-time resident of Hines Point, and a CPA by training, was named treasurer. Former executive director of the M.V. Preservation Trust, S. Christopher Scott, has also joined the board.

“I look forward to working with our board in the years ahead,” Schepici wrote. “With the massive changes in healthcare today and on the horizon, we will have our challenges, but together with a singular compass, I have no doubt we will continue to create that path to delivery of the best health care possible for our Island community.”