Just last month, Nantucket Cottage Hospital announced the hiring of Wendy Carlson, a new full-time psychiatric nurse practitioner. But one month later, Carlson has left the hospital and the island without having seen any patients.
"Unfortunately she had a change in circumstances and wasn’t able to stay on the island. It happens," said Chris Glowacki, the hospital's vice president for strategy and community health. "We have reposted the position and are looking for a replacement. In the meantime, fortunately, thanks to our recently announced partnership with Fairwinds in crisis response there are more psychiatric resources available at the hospital than ever before. Still, there is room to do so much more."
Nantucket Cottage Hospital previously employed a psychiatric nurse practitioner - Hannah Severns - in 2016 and 2017, but that position was funded through a grant from The Tower Foundation to Nantucket Behavioral Health Services, and ended when the funding expired.
The addition of more dedicated mental health clinicians within the hospital and the community has been a goal for many years.
“I am very pleased to be part of this community and part of the talented team at NCH,” Carlson said in December. “There are many aspects that contribute to mental health wellness that can be addressed within the hospital as well as in the community. I look forward to meeting everyone and to making an impact.”
According to the Nantucket Behavioral Health Assessment Report published in October 2021, "more than 90% of patients seen in the hospital for a behavioral health evaluation did not have contact with a mental health professional in the 90 days prior to their assessment, based on NCH clinicians’ experience."
From July 2020 to June 2021, NCH clinicians performed 62 crisis evaluations in the hospital, including 26 suicide-related encounters and 17 evaluations linked to substance use.