Access & Support
Primary Medical Care
Call our Front Desk to make an appointment:
Island Health Care has adopted the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care and has received recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. PCMH is a new way of providing care with the goal to prevent illness and keep you healthy. In a PCMH, you receive care planned just for you with a lead provider and a care team. Your team will closely track your progress and include you in decisions about your care. Your care team will also coordinate the care you receive from other doctors.
- IHC provides the following basic primary care services:
- Annual physicals and check-ups
- Child wellness and immunizations
- Routine urgent visits such as earaches, sore throats, minor wounds, and tick bites
- Treatment and clinical support for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, substance use disorder, and heart disease
Dental & Oral Health
Call our Front Desk for more information:
Mental & Behavioral Health / Substance Use Disorder Counseling
Call our Front Desk to learn how these appointments can be arranged:
Accessing mental health and substance use services can be daunting. Island Health Care uses the latest evidence-based screening tools and assessments to help patients identify possible substance use or mental health issues. Our Nurse Practitioners and clinical staff are trained to provide empathetic and compassionate care. Our Mental Health / Substance Use Access Coordinator can provide confidential support, and help individuals and families navigate all available behavioral health resources.
We offer psychiatric services on site (limited hours) by appointment.
IHC also offers services and supports relating to behavioral health and substance use disorder and prevention to health center patients that include:
- Primary health care with patient-centered teaching and counseling, and medication therapies;
- Use of Vivitrol, an opioid antagonist specifically designed to address addiction;
- Behavioral health and substance counseling through a contract for integrated care with Island Counseling Center (ICC) at MV Community Services;
- Collaboration with other substance use disorder services including transition from detox and in-patient care;
- Care management, patient advocacy and referral services;
- Accepting new patients recently discharged from the hospital emergency room and acute care who need a medical home.
Chronic Disease Management
To learn more, contact Kathleen Samways:
(508) 627-5797 x114
As part of the hospital-initiated grant project MV Partnership for Health, health center staff are trained in the highly acclaimed Stanford teaching model for chronic disease management.
Class leaders run regular six-week classes to educate and guide patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease who wish to become active in their own health.
People learn how to develop effective, life-enhancing action plans. Patients meet others with the same chronic illness, learn from each other’s experiences and help each other make incredible strides in controlling symptoms, slowing disease progression, improving how they feel and what they can personally accomplish on a daily basis.
IHC Nurse Practitioners offer clinical support and teaching (e.g., diabetic diet and foot care) in group settings.
After Hours & Nurse Triage / Depois de Horas e Triage Nurse
Call the following number after 8:00pm / Ligue para o seguinte número após as 20:00
(508) 627-5797, menu option 3
Island Health Care is open into the evening until 8:00pm four days a week (Monday—Thursday). We also offer after-hours nurse triage care by phone overnight until we open the next morning at 8:00am, easily accessible through the night-time voicemail menu. You may speak directly to a nurse, who will advise or direct urgent calls to the health center provider on call.
Saúde ilha está aberto à noite até 8:00 quatro dias por semana (de segunda a quinta-feira). Nós também oferecemos after-hours enfermeira de triagem por telefone durante a noite até que abrir na manhã seguinte às 8h00, facilmente acessível através do menu de correio de voz noite. Você pode falar diretamente com uma enfermeira, que irá aconselhar ou direcionar chamadas urgentes para o provedor centro de saúde de plantão.
Laboratory & Diagnostic Services
Most laboratory test orders will require that you go to a hospital laboratory.
Prevention, Wellness Coaching & Nutrition Counseling
To learn more, contact Kathleen Samways:
(508) 627-5797 x114
Island Health Care staff places the highest value on prevention and wellness.
We actively work with patients in two different ways—as part of routine care in nearly every patient visit, and through programs developed under a hospital-initiated grant project known as the MV Partnership for Health.
The Partnership, now operated under the health center organizational umbrella, includes walking groups, cooking classes, stress management sessions and one-to-one counseling with a certified Wellness Coach.
Public Health Nurse
The Public Health Nurse is responsible for serving all six island towns, providing home visits (newborn to elderly) and conducting Wellness Clinics.
The Public Health Nurse is also charged with following reportable diseases on the island, including monitoring test results and performing contact tracing as part of the ongoing COVID-19 testing initiative.
See below for information about the Public Health Nurse Diabetes Support Group and Wellness Clinic schedule:
Health Care Decision Making
Island Health Care believes in the importance of advance care planning (ACP) for our patients. It is critical that everyone take the time to have a conversation with your loved ones and your healthcare partners to discuss your wishes for serious illness/end of life care.
Click here to learn more about the various ACP forms in Massachusetts, and which may be appropriate for your situation. These forms can help get a conversation started, and make your wishes known. You can download the Health Care Proxy and MOLST forms below.
Health Insurance Eligibility & Enrollment Assistance
To get things started, contact Shawn Scherer:
(508) 627-5797 x117
IHC’s Outreach and Enrollment Specialist is a certified insurance Navigator.
We can quickly provide up-to-date information, help patients choose a plan, and, best of all, help them complete on-line enrollment that often can mean immediate, on-the-spot, affordable coverage.
Patient Advocacy & Care Management
For Insurance Referrals / Hospital Appointments / Off-Island Specialist Appointments, contact Mary Beth Pate:
(508) 627-5797 x118
For Information on Transportation Costs & Logistics, contact SHAWN SCHERER:
(508) 627-5797 x117
Our clinical and patient support teams are also committed to helping our patients navigate the highly complex and confusing system of care beyond the health center. Whatever you need, our entire staff is ready to help.
questions about your bill? call:
Island Health Care partners with CHMB for all our patients’ billing needs. If you have questions about your bill, please call (877) 470-0616.
Sliding Fee Discount Program
To learn more, contact Shawn Scherer:
(508) 627-5797 x117
Even if you already have health insurance, but your co-pay is higher than you can afford, IHC offers a sliding fee discount for those who are income-eligible.
The amount you pay per visit ranges from $5 (for incomes less than 100% of the federal poverty level) to $20 (at 200% of the federal poverty level). Patients with incomes greater than 200% of the federal poverty level will not be eligible for a sliding fee, but may qualify for partial “free care.”
Visit our forms page to view the 2021 schedule of discounts and see if you qualify.
Culturally / Linguistically Competent Care
We employ trained and certified Medical Interpreters in order to best serve our non-English-proficient patients.
There are Portuguese-speaking interpreters available and on-site whenever the health center is open. We can also interpret in Spanish, French, and Italian on-site—and by phone and video in other languages—at no charge to patients.
Travel Assistance Program
Tap Application (Email To firstname.lastname@example.org or print and drop off at Island Health Care):
The Travel Assistance Program (TAP) provides funding and reimbursement to help patients cover the costs of traveling to medical, dental, and behavioral health appointments both here on Martha’s Vineyard and off-island.
All Island Health Care patients are eligible to apply for TAP and individuals are encouraged to list all unique needs and expenses on their application (e.g. ferry tickets, bus tickets, car service, taxi, Medivan, hotel stay, tolls, gas, etc.).
Other Patient Support / Enabling Services Programs
We are always looking for ways to provide the kinds of supports and non-medical services that enable our patients and community members to tackle and manage the challenges in their lives that have a profound effect on their health.
It is a well-documented secret that of all the things that make a body sick, 80% of them are neither genetic nor medical in origin. These include certain behavior choices (smoking, substance use), financial stresses, unhealthy relationships, lack of relationships and social support, poor environmental conditions, lack of health insurance and access to care, aging-related issues and other factors currently described in health care circles as Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
IHC collaborates with other community health and social service resources to offer tools and programs that directly relate to SDOH. Currently, we sponsor classes such as Matter of Balance (fall prevention) and Powerful Tools (for family caregivers), with others in planning and development. We also provide operational funding for organizations like the Vineyard Health Care Access Program which among other services, connects people with food stamp (SNAP) and unemployment assistance.
Public Notice of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance
Island Health Care does not discriminate on the basis of disability. Program applicants, participants, members of the general public, employees, job applicants, and others are entitled to access to all IHC programs, activities, and services without regard to disability.
Copies of this notice are available, upon request, in alternate print formats (large print, audiotape, Braille, etc.). Our ADA policies and procedures are readily available upon request.
Island Health Care has designated the following person to coordinate its efforts to comply with the ADA. Inquiries, requests, and complaints should be directed to:
Human Resources Director
Island Health Care
PO Box 9000
Edgartown, MA 02539
Department of Transportation Physical Exams
IHC also contracts with several employers to perform Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exams to both patients and non-patients. Individuals may request a DOT physical exam for a fee of $175. The following forms must be completed and returned to our office, with copies of your driver’s license and your insurance card, before an appointment is scheduled: