Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard (formerly the Healthy Aging Task Force),started in 2013 as a grass roots advocacy organization. Today it consists of more than 75 people representing over 36 organizations serving elders. Strategic direction and priorities are set by a 37 member Oversight Committee including a Selectman from each Town, the four Council on Aging Directors and key stakeholders/community leaders. Daily activities are coordinated by a 9-member Executive Committee and staff person.
Strategies and programs are developed by work groups focusing on specific areas of need. HAMV uses a model for solving complex social problems called “Collective Impact” to develop and implement these collaborative Island-wide strategies/programs. In this model HAMV is the “backbone” -- an independent, dedicated staff that guides vision and strategy through community wide planning, supports and coordinates activities of stakeholders, cultivates community engagement, and mobilizes resources.
HAMV also gets support from partnering with leaders at the national and state levels (e.g. Dr. Donald Berwick of IHI, and Alice Bonner, MA Secretary of Elder Affairs). HAMV was one of the first Age Friendly organizations in the State, and one of the first to be accepted by the World Health Organization/AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities. Since its inception, HAMV has raised over $600,000 in grants and donations to fund staff and programs.
The mission of Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard (HAMV) is to create an aging-friendly Island meeting the needs of the rapidly growing 65+ population and those who care for them.
The HAMV is doing this by developing approaches and incubating programs that will improve services and facilities for Island elders. Through a community-wide planning process the HAMV works to engage stakeholders, foster collaborative programs, and fill service gaps.
Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard believes elders should:
1. Be empowered to make life plans, decisions and choices based on up-to-date and easily accessible information
2. Be able to live in convenient and affordable housing
3. Be able to use convenient, accessible and affordable transportation to get to doctors and groceries, as well as social and cultural events
4. Be able to participate – as fully as they wish -- in the social, political and cultural life of the Vineyard
5. Be able, when illness or frailty strikes, to receive healthcare or supportive services through a patient-centered, high-quality, seamlessly - coordinated community system
6. Be cared for, when necessary, by family/friends who get the support, training, and relief they need
7. Be able to rely on competent, well-trained, fairly compensated formal caregivers who work as a team
8. Be able to choose to age and die at home or in a community or facility, as they wish
9. Be valued, by community members of all ages, for the wisdom, depth, and understanding they have gained through a lifetime of experience