The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a $44.5 M loan to Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard to develop a new Skilled Nursing Residence for 70 island elders. This new Navigator skilled nursing home, which will be built in Edgartown, will be the successor to the Windemere nursing home currently located on the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital campus in Oak Bluffs.
Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard is a 501c3 non-profit selected by Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to develop a replacement nursing home on the island. Navigator Homes has been working with the island officials since 2020 to advance the planning and design of this project.
Paddy Moore, a key advocate for elders on Martha’s Vineyard, and a Navigator Board member, stated: “The USDA loan is an exciting event in the lives of Martha’s Vineyard’s older adults and their families, and has been a long time coming. Building on work done by Healthy Aging MV, Navigator Homes has been working in partnership with MV Hospital to find the best way to care for elders when they can no longer care for themselves; this project is for all those elders who helped build the Vineyard community into what it is today. The new Green House model nursing home will enable Island elders to receive care on-island, rather than going off-island when the existing Windemere closes. The USDA loan brings our ten-year dream significantly closer to reality and gives us reason for great celebration!”
The USDA loan application and approval process has been underway for the better part of two years. There is a national competition for the USDA Community Facility Funds. The approved funds for the Martha’s Vineyard project were the result of a combined effort of islanders, the USDA Rural Development Southern New England Office (USDA-RD serving CT, MA & RI), led by USDA-RD Southern New England State Director Scott Soares, and Massachusetts federal and state elected officials. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, and Massachusetts Representatives Bill Keating and Jim McGovern played key roles in advocating for this much needed project for the Martha’s Vineyard elders.
“Martha’s Vineyard’s reputation as a vacation destination often clouds the reality that it is nonetheless comprised of a Tribal and rural communities with multi-generational families who support a year-round economy.” said Scott Soares. “We are proud of this investment of a $36 million direct loan and an $8.5 million guaranteed loan that will support the island’s community members and the community characteristics that make Martha’s Vineyard so unique.”
Senator Ed Markey remarked that “Martha’s Vineyard elders deserve quality care that is both available and accessible on the island. The USDA loan announced today is welcome news and a vital sign that long term care for the Vineyard’s elders will continue uninterrupted, with new, innovative residences. I am proud of our shared efforts to make this vision a reality for our elders.”
Congressman Bill Keating added his congratulations, noting, “I am excited to see that the hard work of the team at Navigator Homes of Martha’s Vineyard has been recognized by the USDA. This $44.5 million dollar loan from the USDA represents a significant step forward for this vital project that will ensure that nursing home care can continue on-island for future generations, and I look forward to continuing to support this project as it moves forward.”
Navigator Homes is seeking donations to complete this project. The USDA funding provides $44.5 M for the project. Navigator has received over $2.3 M in private donations to date. The Navigator campaign still needs an additional $2.9 M, to draw down on the USDA loan. Pending regulatory approvals, construction will begin in 2023 and open in 2024.