State Public Health Council Approves Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard

April 25, 2023

State Public Health Council Approves Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard

OAK BLUFFS, MA (April 19, 2023) – The Massachusetts Public Health Council voted to approve Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard (NHMV) and in doing so advances the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) workforce housing project at 490 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. This is the final approval required from the state. This decision from the state follows local regulatory approvals from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, the Edgartown Board of Health and the Edgartown Planning Board. The workforce housing project, which was tied to the approval of NHMV, is scheduled to begin construction, pending a building permit, in May 2023. The Navigator Homes Skilled Nursing Project is scheduled to begin construction this summer.

This pivotal project meets two pressing needs for the island – a place for seniors to age on the Vineyard and critical housing for employees who work at the hospital and the skilled nursing facility. This project will provide 70 skilled nursing beds in five buildings and will provide a mix of 48 units of workforce housing units in two apartment buildings, one town house, and four duplexes. The housing approval comes at a critical time for the hospital with scores of open positions that are not filled because employees cannot afford to live on the island, and many of these roles that are open are crucial to the daily functioning of the hospital. This requires MVH to rely on “contract staff” which is an additional cost to the hospital.

“We deeply appreciate the support we have received to move this entire project forward from today’s vote by the Public Health Council to all the local regulatory approvals,” Denise Schepici, President of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital said. “This will make a difference in the life of our seniors, the bedrock of our community who deserve to receive skilled nursing care on the island. And we are in desperate need of housing for our staff. Without places for our employees to live, we will struggle to continue the services our community is depending on us to deliver. We cannot wait; the current situation is not sustainable.”

David McDonough, President and CEO of Navigator Homes, echoed those sentiments. “The Public Health Council’s approval of Navigator Homes gives us the opportunity to bring this innovative Green House model of skilled nursing to the Vineyard for a segment of the population that needs and deserves it,” McDonough said. “So many individuals have worked diligently to bring this project to this point, and we look forward to moving it across the finish line with a construction start this summer. We also look forward to working with Hebrew Senior Life, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, as our Operations Manager to provide the very best in class services to our island seniors.”

The NHMV and MVH workforce housing projects are expected to be completed in late 2024 or mid-2025.

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