New internal medicine suite unveiled at MVH

Expanded primary care center adds much-needed space and function.

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A new primary care space at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) is increasing accessibility and comfort for patients, and creating an efficient and dynamic workflow for doctors and nurses.

With 16 brand-new exam rooms and multiple spacious offices for care providers, the new internal medicine suite affords much-needed space for hospital workers and the community they serve.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the newly constructed suite Wednesday, hospital staff and administration got the official tour of the facility, and shared the experience with some of their patients.

Hospital president and CEO Denise Schepici said the new space will house adult internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics. 

Schepici said the new suite will give care providers, some of whom were initially working in relatively close quarters, the necessary space to work closely and comfortably with their patients.

“This new space gives practitioners all the tools and space they need to care for their patients,” Schepici said. “This is where the journey to health and wellness begins.”

Schepici acknowledged the passing of Dr. Barbara Krause, who she said was excited to be a part of the new internal medicine center. “I know how excited Barbara was for the future of the hospital, and I know she is here in spirit,” Schepici said.

Marissa Lefebvre, a communications assistant for the hospital, said the original primary care area was somewhat lacking in space and privacy, but the new internal medicine suite allows doctors to spread out, and not feel as cramped. “It’s about expanding services and offering care to as many people as possible,” Lefebvre said.

She noted the privacy of the waiting room, and the open and airy feel of the reception area.

The primary entrance to the suite is located along the rear walkway between the entrance to the physical therapy wing and Windemere. 

Because the entrance is close to the side parking lot of the hospital, the less ambulatory patients have direct access to the front door, instead of having to enter the hospital from the main lobby and traverse the building.

Nancy Culbertson, a project specialist in information systems at MVH, called the new suite a “beautiful space,” and said that the designers and architects did a good job in creating an inviting and modern reception area.

“It’s got kind of a walk-in-clinic feel, but it is fully integrated with the other areas of the hospital,” Culbertson said.

Along with the new exam rooms, several collaborative office spaces contain large desks, and windows that let in plenty of natural light (a specification that was highlighted when designing the offices).

A staff lounge provides a space for employees to take their lunch breaks and relax when they aren’t assisting patients.

She explained how as part of an innovative new workplace dynamic, doctors and nurses, along with nurse practitioners and their assistants, will work side by side in the same offices.

“It’s a new team approach that allows for a close workplace relationship between doctors and nurses, and allows for immediate response to patients,” Culbertson said.

Kathleen Beriau, director of physician services at MVH, thanked the late June and Richard Hutchinson for their magnanimous contribution and support of the new clinical space. “Everything in this space is state of the art. We want to thank the Hutchinsons for their amazing generosity. It is so heartfelt, and is a wonderful thing in so many ways,” Beriau said. “The Island is like no other place in the world. From the smallest contribution to the largest, each bit of support is so crucial for this hospital and the Island community.”