Hospice is Medicare-certified

Sheri Lamoreaux (left), Hospice's director of development and communications, and Hospice executive director Cathy Wozniak during the 2022 Summer Soiree. — Eunki Seonwoo

Hospice & Palliative Care of Martha’s Vineyard announced that it became Medicare-certified and earned accreditation through Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), a Virginia-based accrediting body for home- and community-based healthcare organizations, on Sept. 30, with “no deficiencies found in our survey.” The announcement stated that the purpose of “both these distinctions is to broaden our customer base so that we can provide all our services to those who wish to access hospice care through Medicare or private insurance.” 

“As a certified and accredited organization, it confirms the quality of HPCMV’s services, and ensures that the care we currently provide will continue and be strengthened. We will continue to strive for excellence in all that we do,” the announcement states. “With the help of our donors, we will be able to continue to enhance our services and, in addition to hospice, continue to provide palliative care and complementary community bereavement counseling to all.” 

Medicare is health insurance offered by the federal government for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Hospice executive director Cathy Wozniak said being Medicare-certified means “we’re really able to complete our mission” by being able to serve anyone on the Island under the plan. “That is huge,” she said, pointing out that a third of the Martha’s Vineyard population is 65 or older, and hospice care is anticipated to be a service that will see increased demand. Before, some Medicare-covered residents needed to receive hospice care off-Island. 

Hospice began pursuing Medicare certification in 2020, to expand its services and provide better care for Islanders.

“Our reach, as far as what we’re able to cover — at the same time we have to meet stringent Medicare standards — people are getting the best care possible,” Wozniak said. 

Toward this goal and other services, Hospice conducted fundraising events like its annual Summer Soiree. Wozniak said becoming Medicare-certified required a big investment from Hospice and its board, like increasing infrastructure and staff. “We’re going to need solid philanthropic support to cover everything,” Wozniak said. 

“We want to thank everyone who donated and supports us,” Wozniak said, adding that Hospice is still growing. “We’re going to need that support going forward.”


  1. Medicare Certified Hospice care has been provided by Island Nurses through Medicare Certified VNA of Cape Cod for 3 years and before that Hope Hospice and Vineyard Nursing. No one served by these Agencies has had to leave the island to receive Hospice care. It has been provided in their home by Island Residents.

  2. Thank you Elizabeth. I’ll add that in fact people cared for by Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard under the direction of Cathy Brennan then Terre Young were cared for in their homes. Our teams met them where they were anytime we were needed or wanted. And there were no fees. It was the honor of my life to work with Terre Young.

  3. Previous home health care agencies left the island abruptly 8 years ago. Other hospital systems and agencies declined to provide care for the island’s home health and hospice needs.

    The Visiting Nurse Assocation of Cape Cod agreed to step in when islanders needed them most. Since then, VNA of CC has provided home health care and hospice care to islanders. The care has been provided by islanders. Islanders caring for islanders. No one has needed to go ‘off island’ for hospice or home care. The VNA of CC is a community agency that takes pride in being an integral part of the community.

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