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Challenges in Healthcare


An integrated healthcare system is central to healthy aging on Martha’s Vineyard. This includes both the formal and informal systems of providing primary care, specialist care, behavioral treatment (mental health and substance abuse prevention, counseling, and recovery), rehabilitation, and the activity continuum of daily living assistance (ADLs) necessary to keep older adults as healthy and active as possible in their community.



The popular dictionary definition of “‘health care”’ is “The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions.”[1]

Functional Approach

Because there is no one age at which physical and functional restrictions may arise, the Challenges workgroup has decided to avoid the constraints of chronological onset defining its work and instead focus on activities that will result in healthcare system responsiveness to self-determination, independence, and patient-centered care.

Workforce Shortage

This connotes a lack of, or reduced access to, provider staff trained and competent to provide specific Family Self-sufficiency (FSS) to older adults—primary care, behavioral health, substance abuse, long-term care, and public healthcare. 

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