The Dukes County Health Council is a coalition of community members, public officials, health practitioners, and health care organizations working together to promote community-wide health and wellness through the creation of a cooperative, integrated network of health care for Martha's Vineyard.
The Dukes County Health Council, founded in 1996 by the Dukes County Commissioners, is a body of 36 appointed members representing consumers, public officials, health care practitioners, and agencies of Martha’s Vineyard. The mission and vision of the Council is to give advice and recommendations regarding “an integrated health care system that will promote community-wide health and wellness for the people of Dukes County”.
The members of the Dukes County Health Advisory Council, with diverse backgrounds and experiences in health care, worked together to adopt the following Shared Values that will guide its work in fulfilling its mission.
1) All individuals have a right to a basic level of health care throughout their lifetimes.
2) Health education and prevention, with recognition of the mind, body, and spirit as integral aspects of health, are central to optimal individual and community wellness.
3) Each individual and the community will have access to and choice of a qualified primary health care provider, and a full range of comprehensive clinical services, of all disciplines, whether conventional, alternative, or complementary. The services will be provided primarily by local health care providers, with off-island referrals for specialty or critical care not available on-island. A confidential referral system will facilitate communication across health care settings for optimal care.
4) As health care partners, each individual and provider will, in a trusting manner, assume responsibility for their respective roles maintaining or restoring optimal wellness.
5) Individual health care decisions will be guided by quality standards, respect, and communication among health care providers of all disciplines, with the goal of effective and cost-efficient maintenance or restoration of the individual’s optimal wellness.
6) Each individual will be secure in accessing the health care system through adequate and affordable health insurance or other health care payment plan for all, guaranteeing basic benefits for the individual. Financial stability of the health care system will be assured through shared responsibility among individuals, employers, institutions, and providers.
7) Health care system strategic planning and decision-making will be made by health care providers, collaborating with one another, in partnership with and accountable to the community.
8) The health care system will participate in supporting the health of Martha’s Vineyard’s natural, social, institutional, and economic environments, as vital to optimal individual and community wellness.
DCHC - November 9, 1998