Our Team

The Island Health Care team is talented, diverse, and dedicated to delivering the highest-quality care in a friendly, professional manner. To learn more about the people at Island Health Care, click a category below, or scroll down.


As of July 31, 2021, Barbara Colocino will move on from the Island Health Care team and family. Good bye and thank you, Barbara, and good luck in your next chapter! We will take very good care of your patients!

Read Barbara's Letter To Patients

Clinical Team

Nicole Barlett


Nicole graduated from Regis College of Nursing in 2020 with her master’s degree in nursing with a focus on primary care of the family. Prior to becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner, Nicole has worked as a registered nurse since 1995 and has a vast array of clinical experience in both community and hospital settings. She currently works as the Edgartown School Nurse and will be joining Island Health Care as a part-time Family Nurse Practitioner. She has lived on Martha’s Vineyard since 1997. Nicole finds joy in learning and sharing her knowledge with colleagues and patients. She sees value in bringing a holistic approach to her patient’s plan of care. Nicole’s interests include primary prevention, health promotion, healthy aging, behavioral health, and working with diverse populations and health care needs.
Ellen Fahey


Ellen is a board-certified doctorate prepared Family Nurse Practitioner. She is originally from Connecticut where she would vacation on the Cape for the summer. Recently, she and her family made the Cape their home. Ellen earned her bachelor in nursing degree from Northeastern University, her master degree in nursing from Fairfield University and her doctorate in nursing practice from Columbia University. Ellen splits her time with Island Health and Columbia University where she is an Assistant Professor of Nursing and the Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Her career has spanned over 30+ year most recently with a focus in pediatrics with a subspecialty in concussion and ADHD management. She enjoys gardening, painting and spending time with family and friends taking walks and enjoying the beach.

Marcia Denine


Marcia earned her certification as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner from Harbor UCLA in 2005, and her MSN, Ed from Western Governors University, Salt Lake, UT. She is also a certified diabetic foot care nurse as well as certified trainer in integrated chronic care. Marcia has worked in various Island outpatient clinical settings, including as a Nurse Practitioner at Vineyard Medical Care providing urgent walk-in care, well care and chronic disease management. She also worked as a visiting nurse case manager and mentored new RN staff at Vineyard Nursing Association. IHC welcomes her to the clinical staff beginning in May 2016.
Carol Forgione


Carol is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and clinical specialist with an extensive experience in acute and urgent care as well as primary care. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Nursing and received her advanced degree as an ACNP in 1998. Prior to graduation in 1998 Carol’s specialty was in Critical Care at North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie Maryland for 21 years. Having visited Martha’s Vineyard in 1976 she returned in 2001 to make this her home with her husband.Carol practiced at Vineyard Medical Services for 14 years and helped establish island Health Care in 2004. She served a dual role as clinical director in both facilities until 2014. Subsequently Carol returned to Island Health Care as a member of the Health Care Team to focus on providing primary care to the island population. She finds great joy in the population for whom she cares. Carol is a well-established Wash-a-Shore Vineyarder.
Karen Gauvin

Nurse Practitioner

Karen entered the healthcare field in 2014 after years as a results-oriented, skilled professional with a supervisory background and experience in management and bookkeeping. Having completed the BSN program at Regis College in Weston, MA in 2014, she continued her education, and became a licensed Nurse Practitioner in 2019. While passionate about her work, thanks to her business background, she brings a level-headedness and professionalism to her role at IHC.
Susan McSweeney


Sue graduated from University of Massachusetts-Boston in 2000 and moved to Hawaii where she practiced in a family/urgent care office and taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Hawaii Pacific University. She has Vineyard roots, and in May of 2015 when Island Health Care expanded into evening and all-day Saturday hours, she left one island for another to join the IHC provider staff.
Gregory Culley

MD, Collaborating Physician

Gregory Culley received an A.B. with honors in biology from Lafayette College in 1960 and was awarded his M.D. by Yale University in 1965, with a year spent as a visiting research fellow in pathology at Cambridge (U.K.). He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota, serving as Chief Resident in his last year. He was a Major in the United States Air Force and Chief of Pediatrics at Torrejon Air Base, Spain. Moving to an underserved area in Kentucky, he founded and arranged continued funding for a model rural maternal and child project, an early adaptor of “the medical home” for children. He moved to the University of Louisville, where he accepted joint appointments in pediatrics and family practice and became the Associate Dean for Primary Care. From 2011 until July 2015 he served as Vice-President for Medical Services and Chief Medical Officer at the Family Health Center of Worcester. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for South End Community Health Center in Boston. Greg joins IHC as a Collaborating Pediatrician with our Nurse Practitioner provider staff.
Judy Merion

MD, Psychiatrist

Judy and her husband have split their time between New York and the Vineyard for some years, moving to the Island full-time in 2014. While still commuting between Scarsdale and the Island, Judy offered to volunteer her services at IHC in 2012 and sees health center patients one morning a week. She practices general, child and adolescent psychiatry, has taught and supervised psychiatric residents and fellows, provided psychiatric crisis intervention services, receiving her medical degree with honors in Psychiatry and Pediatrics from Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA. IHC is extremely grateful to her for the gift of her services to our patients.
Saul Damier

RN, Complex Case Manager

A native of Mattapan, Boston, Saul comes to IHC with a vast array of medical experience. Saul served in the US Army for 10 years and is a combat veteran of the Iraq war. There he served as an operating room specialist / medevac medic with a forward surgical support team. After an honorable discharge, Saul obtained his nursing degree and has worked as an operating room nurse in various surgical specialties, aiding in the facilitation of surgery and postoperative care. He now comes to IHC to provide assistance in health care coordination as our Complex Case Manager. Alongside your healthcare team, Saul will provide self-management support with a focus on health behavior changes to manage chronic conditions. He will also be a resource for education and care coordination during transitions between health care settings when needed.
Lila Fischer

RN, Public Health Nurse

Lila is Island Health Care’s public health nurse, conducting outreach and education in all six island towns. Lila received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at University of Massachusetts in 2017. She is happy to be caring for the island community in which she was born and raised. Before becoming a RN, Lila worked as a certified professional midwife, providing care to families on Island and abroad, in both Mexico and Uganda. She studied Midwifery at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, Texas.
Gretchen Mayher

RN, Patient Care Manager

Gretchen spent her first twenty Augusts vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard from Cleveland, and moved to Martha’s Vineyard permanently in 1986. Highlights of Gretchen’s nursing employment opportunities on MV include 19 years at MVCS Visiting Nurse Service, Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, a prior stint at Island Health Care, Vineyard Nursing Association, Vineyard Medical Care, and the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging. An additional memorable employment opportunity was learning about flowers at Donaroma’s Nursery. Gretchen is a graduate of Beloit College (BA, Religious Studies), Newton-Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing (RN), and Simmons College (MSN). IHC welcomed back Gretchen in March 2016, where she is a proud member of the clinical team.
Lori Perry

RN, Patient Care Manager

Lori joined Island Health Care as a Public Health Nurse in 2019. Previously, she worked as an RN and Patient Care Coordinator/Clinical Director at the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, as well as an RN at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Lori also has extensive experience as a volunteer, including with The Compassionate Friends, an organization helping families struggling with grief and loss, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In her free time, Lori enjoys photography, hiking, and dogs.
Michael Savoy

RN, Patient Care Manager

Mike is a US Army veteran, former non-commissioned officer and combat medic with assignments in Texas, Germany, Egypt and Korea, earning the esteemed Army Expert Field Medical Badge in 1988. He has worked as an RN since 1996, with a BSN from UMass-Boston. He has worked in a wide variety of settings—Walpole State Prison, MV Hospital ER, Haiti with Partners in Health after the earthquake, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston (present in the ED during the 2013 Marathon bombings), to name a few. Mike has also been a union leader for 3,000 nurses at the Brigham, on the Board of Directors for the 23,000-member Mass. Nurses Association, and a state delegate to the 200,000-member National Nurses United. He brings his experience and leadership back to the Island as the RN Patient Care Manager to support IHC in the delivery of the very best care, in the very best environment, for all of our patients and families.
Taynara Goncalves

Medical Assistant

Taynara Goncalves was born in Brazil and moved to the Vineyard when she was three years old. Recently, she graduated from Gordon College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a pre-medicine concentration and plans on furthering her career in the health field. As an undergraduate, Taynara dedicated her time volunteering at an assisted living residence for patients with Alzheimer’s. She also worked as a Cell Structure and Function Laboratory teacher’s assistant. Taynara is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to give back to her community through her work at Island Health Care.
Renee Duncan

Medical Assistant

Renee has been one of Island Health Care’s highly skilled and motivated Medical Assistants since 2018. Among her many roles and experiences, Renee most recently brings us her experience as a phlebotomy technician and Access Service Representative at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. BUMC is a world-class medical center for patient care, medical training, and research. Renee is also a certified phlebotomist. In addition to striving to provide the very best care to our patients and families, Renee aims to continually maximize her own personal health and spiritual life, with a goal to be a successful and visionary leader in the community.
Karlyn Hill

Medical Assistant

Karlyn joined Island Health Care in 2019 as a Medical Records Associate and then transitioned into her current role as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, which is her passion. She is a graduate of Lehman College (CUNY) where she earned a certification as a Clinical Medical Assistant. She also earned a certification as a Home Health Aide at Partners In Care (VSNY) and worked in this field for four years, caring for the elderly in private homes and assisted living. She volunteered at Part of the Solution (POTS) New York where the homeless and less fortunate were served hot meals daily. Karlyn strives to provide quality care for patients and foster a great relationship with the team.
La'Shona Robinson

Medical Assistant / Health Coach

Prior to joining Island Health Care in 2019, La’Shona worked as an on-demand Certified Nursing Assistant at several health care facilities in Charleston, SC. She received her CNA degree from the Sandpiper Nursing Program in Charleston in 1992. La’Shona is a dedicated and capable CNA who excels at team collaboration, patient relations, and the delivery of empathetic care.

Patient Support Team

Julia Santos

Medical Interpreter

Julia came to the Vineyard in 2007 on a three-month vacation and never left. She has previously worked as a Certified Nursing Aide and became interested in medical interpreting through her church, which paid for her training and certification. Julia has been with Island Health Care since 2008.
Lynn Weber

Medical Interpreter

Lynn’s 28 years in health care includes nutritional consulting for Santa Monica Health care, Emergency Medical Technician for the Vineyard’s up-Island Tri-Town Ambulance Service, and public health education volunteer work in numerous Spanish-speaking countries. An interpreter for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and for the Island public schools, Lynn speaks five languages. She began working at Island Health Care in 2006 as a certified medical interpreter in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Vani Cortez

Medical Intepreter

Vani moved to the Vineyard from Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1998. She is a trained, certified medical interpreter, with a degree in business administration. She is also a trained health access specialist. Vani “loves interpreting for our Brazilian community” at IHC.
Rebecca Flanders-Clements

Patient Support Services Manager

Becky joined Island Health Care in February 2016 after working as a receptionist and Office Manager at Vineyard Medical Services walk-in clinic for close to ten years. Her experience handling patients’ questions and concerns, and her familiarity with referrals, insurance requirements and electronic health records has allowed her to join the health center patient support team without missing a beat. Born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, with two children and husband Albert, Becky embodies the Island spirit.
Priya Esposito

Electronic Health Records Data Manager

Priya joined the Island Health Care staff in January of 2015 as a Medical Records Clerk, assuming the management of medical records during the transition from paper to electronic health records. Priya became an EHR Data Manager in May 2018, assuming responsibility of data reporting and also support of the administrative team when needed.
Shawn Scherer

Outreach / Enrollment Specialist

Shawn is a Certified Insurance Navigator who works at both Island Health Care and the Vineyard Health Care Access Program in Oak Bluffs, assisting clients in enrolling and maintaining affordable health insurance coverage. She also manages the health center’s Sliding Fee Discount Program. Shawn is passionate about her work, opening paths to access and services for many who have previously been denied the care they need.
Brian Morris

Mental Health / Substance Use Disorder Access Coordinator

A transplanted New Yorker, Brian is first and foremost an active and grateful member of the Martha’s Vineyard recovery community. He is also a recent recipient of a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from UMass Boston’s School of Global Inclusion & Social Development; previously, Brian earned his BA in Sociology from Princeton University. Before coming to Island Health Care, he was Supervisor of the Recovery Coach program at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Here at IHC, he advocates for those disenfranchised Island populations with substance use disorders and/or mental health issues. Brian is also a Certified Peer Recovery Coach, a Community Health Worker and was awarded a Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship in both 2016 and 2019. He will commence working on his doctoral degree at USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in May of 2021.

Haley Dolan

Population Health Manager

Haley grew up outside of Boston and spent her summers on the Island. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2019 where she studied Biology and Spanish. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in medical research labs, different healthcare settings, and as an elementary school Spanish teacher. This is where she developed a passion for community health, teaching, and helping others. After finishing school, her love of adventure took her to Madagascar where she worked as an English teacher for the Peace Corps until March of this year. She is excited and grateful to have the opportunity to serve the Island community!
David Grant

Community Health Worker / Peer Recovery Coach

David, an Allied Healthcare professional since 2004, has experience in elder care, rehabilitation, and long-term critical care. Before moving to the island, he worked as a Healthcare Technician for Denver Health and Hospital and at both the Denver County Jail and the Denver Detention Center. David has long been committed to providing client-centered care across a broad-based population. And as a Recovery Coach / Community Health Worker at Island Health Care, he will strive to provide the best mental health and recovery support for the residents of Martha’s Vineyard.
Benita Griffin-Dobel

Community Health Worker / Peer Recovery Coach

Benita Griffin-Dobel was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa; she has been a year-round resident for over five years. Benita is trained in Recovery Coaching, Motivational Interviewing, and Nurturing Families techniques. She has published works focusing on abstract mental illness storytelling and teenage motherhood. Benita is an advocate for mental health, substance use disorder, and domestic violence awareness.
Kelly McCarron

Community Health Worker / Peer Recovery Coach

Kelly McCarron was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard. Motivated by a belief in human rights and the value of service, Kelly has volunteered in homeless shelters in Boston, worked with orphans in Cairo and participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in El Salvador. Closer to home Kelly has volunteered with Harbor Homes at their overnight shelter and is a recovery coach. She is the former program coordinator for the Martha’s Vineyard Recovery Support Center and a grateful member of the recovery community. Never shy to use her experience to help others, Kelly has spoken to high school students and at community events as an advocate for people in recovery. With support from the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship, she is currently working on her Master of Social Work degree through Simmons University.
Sarah Toste

c3 Community Health Worker / Care Coordinator

Born and raised in Providence, RI, Sarah came to the Vineyard for the summer in 1998 and has since made the Island her home. Working with elders in the community led to a certification as a nurse’s assistant who makes home visits with a specialization in dementia care. Experience with families managing long-term care, acute care, and rehabilitation pointed the way toward a certification as an EMT-B. Continuing a passion for community health and those at-risk, Sarah also trained as a recovery coach using motivational interviewing techniques. Engaging in medical and behavioral health support has led Sarah to be a grateful member of the Island Health Care team. Sarah is pursuing her degree in Human Services to build a foundation of support and advocacy for underserved members of the community. Sarah is also a loving mother to one son.
Mary-Beth Pate

Referral Coordinator

Mary-Beth joined Island Health Care in August 2020 after working as the Referral Coordinator, Medical Records Technician, and Receptionist at Vineyard Medical Care walk-in clinic for close to 4 years. With her understanding of the complexity of medical records and referrals, Mary-Beth is an invaluable member of the patient support services team. Mary Beth was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, and she and her husband raised four kids of their own in West Tisbury.
Allison Searle

Revenue Cycle / Human Resources Manager

Allison joined Island Health Care in April 2019 after returning to Martha’s Vineyard, where she was born and raised. She was an office manager for a residential group home in Florida for last 9 years. With her administrative background she has been a perfect fit for the health center patient support team.
Tamara Morillo

Patient Support Services Associate

Tammy was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. Her fascination with languages and love for teaching began when, as a high school student, she learned Quechua to participate in a literacy program in Otavalo, Ecuador where she taught rural indigenous groups to read and write in Spanish. Tammy came to the United States in 1992 and graduated from New Bedford High School with honors, taking all of her classes in Portuguese. She went on to graduate from BCC with a degree in Communications and Arts. She then had the opportunity to participate in an exchange traveling experience to Zurich, Switzerland and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Tammy returned to the United States and attended UMass Dartmouth before moving to the Island and starting a job in the Martha’s Vineyard school system ELL program, where she worked for 14 years. Tammy honed her skills in teaching English as a second language and used her tri-lingual skills to help the Brazilian and Spanish communities break language barriers. Tammy received a certificate in Strengthening Community Health Worker Programs through Harvard University and has a medical translation license from UMass Medical School. Tammy joined the IHC team in 2019 as a Community Health Worker, and continues to utilize her skills to help our diverse community.
Tracy Rose

Medical Records Clerk

Tracy was born on the Island and returned to live permanently with her three children in 2007. She worked as a pharmacy technician for over ten years before starting at Island Health Care in 2018 as a part time associate in the front office. Tracy now works full time in the medical records department and is cross-trained to assist in other areas including referrals and the front office. Tracy’s experience in the field, knowledge of how the various departments at IHC work together to deliver patient-centered care, and love for the field of healthcare make her the perfect the fit for the Island Health Care team.
Leo Leoncio

Practice Office Assistant

Henry Stommel

Practice Office Associate

Hank Stommel was raised in Woods Hole, spending most of his youth exploring the Cape and Islands. He moved to Northern California for college at Humboldt State University, where he first found his enjoyment in helping others. He returned to the East coast to be closer to family and has appreciated the feeling of community on the Island.

Management Team

Cynthia Mitchell


Cynthia is the founding director of Island Health Inc., serving as its Executive Director since 2002, and appointed in 2015 by the Board of Directors as Chief Executive Officer. Her background in public service and management includes over 30 years as an elected official in the Town of West Tisbury where she is currently in her 22nd year as a member of the Board of Selectmen. She served as that town’s full-time elected Treasurer from 1986-2003. Cynthia became interested in health care and community health planning through her membership on the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s Board of Directors from 1990–1996. She served as that Board’s chair, and went on to chair the Dukes County Health Council from 1998-2002, and again from 2004-2008. She founded Island Health Care, Massachusetts’ first Rural Health Clinic, in 2004 and led the organization to its present designation as a Federally-Qualified Community Health Center.
James Wolff

MD, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Wolff is an Associate Professor of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) where he teaches Planning and Managing Maternal and Child Health Program in Low Resource Settings, Improving Health Outcomes Using Mobile Technologies, Program Design for Global Health, and Making Programs Work: Program Implementation for Global Health. Dr. Wolff was the co-director for a BUSPH partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India and the Indian Council for Medical Research for faculty development. He was also the Co-PI for a CDC funded faculty and curriculum development partnership with Muhimbili University School of Allied Health Sciences and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Care Improvement. Dr. Wolff is the co-founder of collaborate.health.bu.edu created to advance practice-based teaching for public health. Dr. Wolff is a former Senior Fellow at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) where he worked for over thirty years. At MSH Dr. Wolff assisted both public and private sector health and family planning organizations in countries throughout the world to improve their management. He has been a consultant with USAID, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and a number of private organizations. Dr. Wolff’s areas of interest include use of information technologies for education, maternal and child health, emergency medicine, leadership and management. In addition to his management work and teaching, Dr. Wolff is a practicing physician board certified in Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, and Preventive Medicine. In 2007 he received the Community Clinician of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Medical Society. In 2013 he received the Norman A Scotch Award for Excellence in Teaching from Boston University School of Public Health. In 2018, Dr. Wolff received the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Boston University’s highest award for teaching.
Gayle Poggi

RN, Chief Quality Officer

Gayle is a Registered Nurse and Certified Case Manager/Patient Safety Professional with 20+ years’ experience in the healthcare quality field. Prior to joining Island Health Care in 2019, she served for 14 years as Patient Safety Manager and Director of Case Management at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, where she was responsible for the hospital’s quality data initiatives, regulatory reporting, and its Social Services Department. Gayle has received numerous awards and certifications during her career, including three Partners in Excellence Awards—one in 2005, and two in 2012.
Kathleen Samways

DPT PT, Chief Clinical Officer & Enabling Services

Kathleen is a long-time ally and advocate for public health, health promotion and inclusion. She is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, earned a Master of Arts with specialization in Adult Education from the University of Rhode Island and became a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Simmons College in Boston. Kathleen was the Clinical Director of the Vineyard Nursing Association, and is a past Associate Dukes County Commissioner for Disability Affairs. She is Co-Chair of the Data Committee of the Dukes County Health Council. Kathleen is a master trainer for the evidence-based programs of Matter of Balance and Powerful Tools for Caregivers and facilitator for My Life My Health, the chronic disease self-management program. She joined the Island Health Care team in October of 2015, and lives in Edgartown with her husband John.
Joan Menard

Chief Data & Information Officer

Joan Menard combines decades of experience in technology, project management, and facilitating process improvement with healthcare, focusing for the past several years on Federally Qualified Health Centers. Joan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in computer science and went on to complete a Master of Science in information systems.
Shimmy Mehta

Chief Financial Officer

Shimmy Mehta has been a visitor to Martha’s Vineyard since 2008 and recently moved to Edgartown full time with his family. His background includes managing global audit and consulting engagements for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Chief Financial Officer roles for technology startups focused on cybersecurity and digital storytelling. Shimmy also founded a children’s charity that helps busy people grant birthday and holiday wishes to children living with chronic illnesses all over the world and is thrilled to bring his passion and experience in helping others to Island Health Care to support the community.
Lucy Hackney

Chief Operating Officer

Lucy was born and raised on the Island before attending the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a concentration in Healthcare Systems and Policy. During her time at Penn, she interned in the Value Institute Learning Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital as well as the Office of Safety and Medical Operations and the Center for Healthcare Quality and Analytics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She joined the Island Health Care team as a Regulatory Analyst in 2019 before moving to Chicago to work on the System Clinical Performance Improvement team at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In September 2020, Lucy came back to IHC in the role of Operations Manager before assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer in April 2021. Lucy is passionate about helping Islanders access high quality health care services at IHC.

TestMV COVID-19 Test Site Team

Declan McBride

Test Site Manager

Declan McBride returned to the United States from Surrey, England to study Sociology at Wittenberg University, where his senior thesis focused on institutional racism surrounding Ohio Election Law. After college, Declan moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he partnered with his grandfather, Sheldon Hackney and Patricia Sullivan, both southern historians, to research and write the autobiography of C. Vann Woodward. Soon thereafter, Declan joined with Barney Zeitz, a local artist specializing in stainless steel sculptures and stained glass windows. While the duties varied, it mainly consisted of restoring crumbling church windows to their original beauty. Declan also served two years for Americorps in Birmingham, Alabama. During his service, he provided free tax preparation for low and middle income families and individuals and was a Debate Coach for the Speakfirst Debate team, a group of elite students from Birmingham city schools, which competed across the Southern states.

Owen Burns

Test Site Operations Consultant

Owen joined the Island Health Care team as the Test Site Operations Manager in May of 2020. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Owen received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is passionate about renewable energy and building a more sustainable world. After moving to the Island in March of 2020, he felt drawn to help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and is grateful to help all Islanders access efficient COVID-19 testing.

Photo courtesy of Jeanna Shepard.

Donna McElroy

Lead Clinical Observer

Donna’s father was in the army so she frequently moved throughout the United States while she was growing up.  This sparked a passion for traveling and exploring, which led her to join the Peace Corps in 1976. Donna spent the next two years in Brazil with the Peace Corps before working at a Project HOPE land base in northeastern Brazil. After returning to the U.S., she worked as an RN both in Oncology and with Hospice. In 2007, she again worked with Project HOPE in the Marshall Islands, which rekindled her love of traveling. Upon returning to the states, she became a Travel Nurse, which is how she first came to Martha’s Vineyard. After leaving Martha’s Vineyard in 2016, she realized that the Island’s beauty and charm were as much in the hearts of the Islanders as in the forests and on the beaches. Being terribly homesick for Martha’s Vineyard, she was finally able to return in 2019, and one year later was hired by IHC to work at the COVID-19 test site.  Donna has never enjoyed any job as much as this one and is grateful to work with such a positive and supportive team. Donna is especially grateful to work under the leadership of Owen Burns, who’s work ethic, positive attitude, and genuine care for the Test Site team and entire Island community create a team culture that she is thankful to be a part of.

Thomas Irwin

Test Site Coordinator

Thomas is currently completing his bachelor’s degree in computer science and environmental science from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he played for the Men’s Lacrosse team. An Island resident his entire life, his favorite pastimes include fishing, bird watching, and programming. While not necessarily the field he expected to find himself working in, he’s found the positive and highly-cooperative work environment at Island Health Care to be as enjoyable as it is productive. As any life-long Vineyard resident can tell you, the year-round community is tightly knit. This adds a personal touch to the work done at the Island Health Care COVID-19 Test Site, knowing that he and other Island-raised members of the team are ensuring the health and safety of friends, family, and many more.