‘We made it happen’


Cheer and hors d’oeuvres abounded at the Federated Church Parish House in Edgartown Friday afternoon as Hospice & Palliative Care of Martha’s Vineyard celebrated becoming Medicare-certified. 

The nonprofit hospice earned its Medicare certification, alongside accreditation from the Virginia-based Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), on Sept. 30. Medicare is health insurance offered by the federal government for people 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 of M.V. executive director Cathy Wozniak said the certification and accreditation were possible thanks to the staff. “This is really about honoring them and all of their hard work, because they delivered,” Wozniak said. “The board of directors who are sponsoring and who are supporting this event tonight, it’s their way of saying ‘thank you.’”

The nonprofit’s top executives spoke with The Times about the “monumental feat” earlier this month.

“Medicare certification will be transformational for the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, but it will be transformational for the Island community in a very big way. It’s long overdue, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. But she made it happen,” Michael Wertheimer, a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors, said, gesturing to Wozniak. 

The celebration also featured several Island musicians, including the Jaywalkers, Darby Patterson and the Jelly Roll Horns, and the Phil daRosa Band. “We’re a group of volunteer musicians here to support the cause,” organist Greg Colossale said. 

The Rev. Sharon Eckhardt, interim pastor of Federated Church and president of Hospice’s board of directors, gave a welcome message and prayer during the event, thanking everyone who was involved in making the Medicare certification possible. 

“We made it happen,” she said. “We, of course, have a lot more to do.” 


  1. MV Hospice and the entire staff (and volunteers) deserve every kudos coming their way. They show how it should be done and they do it. They are the model for the rest of the US and it is so appreciated at a time in one’s life (the life of the family) that can only be described as challenging, difficult and emotionally draining. Thanks for what you do and it must not go unnoticed or appreciated. Bless you all.

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