The reality of Windemere


To the Editor:

The following statement appeared in the Dec. 12 edition of the paper in an article about the M.V. Hospital possibly purchasing some land for a new facility for elder housing. “At an August 2018 meeting with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to discuss modifications to the hospital’s campus, hospital CFO Ed Olivier told commissioners, ‘People are not choosing to come to Windemere. They come when they have no other options. That’s the unfortunate reality.’”

In the “reality” that my family lives in, my husband has been on the waiting list for a bed at Windemere since August of 2018, when it became clear that it was no longer possible for us to care for him at home. The “reality” for us is that he has been living at the Royal Nursing and Rehab Facility in Falmouth for over two years because there are no beds available at Windemere, and he requires 24-hour care. The “reality” is that I ride the ferry back and forth every few days to visit him — if the ferry is running, that is. The “reality” is that I would much prefer to see him at the end of a short car ride instead of a ferry ride and then a trip into Falmouth, which takes most of a day, and sometimes involves an overnight if the boats stop running. The “reality” is that he rarely is visited by anyone because it is just too difficult and time-consuming for most of his friends. 

I was recently contacted by the new admissions director, Liz Gossington, to ask if my husband still wanted to be on the waiting list. I said “Yes,” and was told that it was very unlikely that a bed would ever become available. I wonder how many other Islanders are in the same position as we are. I wonder how many people are on the waiting list for a bed. Perhaps it’s time for hospital CFO Ed Olivier to do a “reality” check before he makes statements like the one in the article. We would choose Windemere if we could.


Roberta Kirn
Vineyard Haven


  1. I’m so sorry that your family has been separated because of this. I’m sure it’s been incredibly hard on you and your husband. Hope the hospital will take your words to heart and realize that there is an urgent need to make room for more islanders.

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