The Community Foundation for Nantucket exists to identify critical issues affecting the people of Nantucket, act as a catalyst in identifying solutions by convening appropriate segments of the community and securing funding to address these needs. To that end, in 2010 the Foundation hired a consultant, Ned Robinson-Lynch, to begin a study of the Island’s current Human Services, with the goal of helping service Providers create an improved delivery system for Nantucket residents.
Between mid-October and mid-December, a total of forty-five agency providers were interviewed. Surveys have generally lasted 45-60 minutes with additional time for documenting statements made by providers. In addition to providers, several key informants have been interviewed including the Town Manager, all current Selectmen and several others.
Focus groups with Providers and key informants were held to review a power point presentation and comment. A Joint meeting was also held with members of the Council for Human Services and the Council on Aging to discuss findings and solicit comment and suggestions for next steps. Subsequent meetings were held with the Nantucket Healthy Community Collaborative for the purpose of deciding next steps based on the findings of the surveys. This led to a productive organizing of “care groupings” for the purpose of developing specific next steps to be taken by the provider community towards the overall goal of improving services and addressing gaps, collaboration and efficiency. Finally, Provider Directories organized by Care Grouping were produced and made available to all providers, and were the starting point for web-based Human Services Provider information available on access nantucket’s website, http://www.accessnantucket.org.
The Nantucket Healthy Community Collaborative has been instrumental in continuing this discussion. If additional funding is secured, the Needs Assessment will be considered to update our knowledge on the health of the community and ongoing issues that need to be addressed.