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Martha’s Vineyard: Skilled nursing and workforce housing construction to start this year

OAK BLUFFS – The state Public Health Council this week approved Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard along with the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital workforce housing project

The projects meet 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. 

The Navigator project will provide 70 skilled nursing beds in five buildings and the workforce housing project will provide a mix of 48 units of workforce housing in two apartment buildings, one town house, and four duplexes. The workforce housing is planned for 490 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, approximately five miles from the hospital. 

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. Many of those unfilled jobs are crucial to the daily functioning of the hospital. 

MVH has to rely on contract staff to tackle the island’s worker shortage.

The Windemere Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital currently relies heavily on contract staff, which carries additional cost.

The contracted staff at the Windemere Nursing Home currently make up nearly 70% of the workforce, according to George Brennan, public relations and special projects director at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. The contracts are typically for 13 weeks.

“We are expecting the project to provide the island with a skilled nursing facility and moving forward this will enable workforce housing to be built for 76 Island medical staff,” said David McDonough, president and CEO of Navigator Homes. 

The Navigator House project will result in seniors getting on-island health care and provide housing for medical staff, which means more doctors on the island will be able to provide new clinical offerings, he said. 

State approval follows local regulatory approvals from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, the Edgartown Board of Health and the Edgartown Planning Board. 

“We are grateful to the large group of people who have worked with us over the last two and a half years to make this project possible, MVH has been a great partner,” said McDonough.

Navigator Homes has raised nearly $60 million for this project, aims to raise another $2 million and is looking for additional donations. 

“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,” said McDonough. 

Construction to start this year, expected to be completed in late 2024 or mid-2025

The workforce housing project, which was tied to the approval of the nursing home, is scheduled to begin construction in May. 

“We are expecting the construction to start in September for the nursing home project. It should be done in 24 months by August of 2025,” said McDonough.

The site currently is undeveloped, and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is scheduled to begin the site clearance and preparation work in mid-May, said McDonough.

Courtesy of The Cape Cod Times


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Navigator Homes of Martha's Vineyard, Inc, is a 501c3 registered in the state of Massachusetts. The tax ID number is 84-5182763.

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Navigator Homes of Martha's Vineyard, Inc.
c/o Polly Brown, Treasurer
PO Box 1356
Vineyard Haven, MA 02568