MVCS is collaborating with Bay Cove Human Services and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to ensure no interruption in service for the Island community.

March 14, 2022 – Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) announces the transition of its role as Martha’s Vineyard’s Emergency Services behavioral health provider as of March 20, 2022. Since July 2018, MVCS has served as a subcontractor to Bay Cove Human Services, and before that to Boston Medical Center to provide Emergency Services to Islanders. Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) has stepped forward to say it will provide these Emergency Services.  MVH is working with Bay Cove to fulfill the subcontractor role.  In the meantime, there will be no interruption in service to those in need in our community.     

“Our decision reflects a long period of assessment, deliberation, and planning,” said Beth Folcarelli, CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. “For many years staffing MVCS’ Emergency Services seriously challenged the Island Counseling Center. When I joined the agency in August 2020, this particular issue was immediately placed before me by the staff. Counselors and other clinicians shared how existing, persistent personnel shortages in Emergency Services had worsened with the pandemic. With limited clinicians coming on board, and existing clinicians leaving due to the growing strain, our Island Counseling Center needed help. Wait lists grew as staff reduced or eliminated hours.” Ms. Folcarelli continued, “This decision reflects a long and difficult year. I am grateful to the heroic staff who stayed the course and am optimistic that with refocused effort, we can restore ICC to its pre-pandemic vibrancy. ”    

“Our decision to transition our contract back to Bay Cove for Emergency Services allows Community Services to re-invest in Island Counseling Center,” adds Jennifer Vogel, LICSW, Director of the Island Counseling Center at MVCS. “Our aim is to restore Enhanced Urgent Care, which provides same-day preventative services to child and adult Islanders in need; to open our Clinical Residency Program in the spring, which is targeted to bring five new clinicians to the Center; and to rebuild our child and family behavioral health program, presently underway in conjunction with our partners at Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools.”  

As Bay Cove and MVCS transition Emergency Services to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, the organizations will continue their collaborative work to ensure a smooth, safe and effective transition for Islanders.  Effective March 21st, the new number for 24-hour mental health emergencies is 1-833-BAYCOVE (1-833-229-2683).

“As the health safety net for the island, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) will, more formally, take these additional responsibilities,” said Denise Schepici, President & CEO of MVH.  “We know firsthand through our emergency room that there is an urgent need to provide behavioral health care, especially through the Emergency Services program.  We will continue to collaborate with all our health partners to find solutions to meet the needs of our community.”   

“It’s critically important that people on Martha’s Vineyard have access to behavioral health emergency services when they need them,” said Bill Sprague, President & CEO of Bay Cove Human Services. “Due to the impact of the pandemic, as well as a severe shortage of healthcare workers both locally and regionally, this is a challenging time for all healthcare providers. We are grateful to MVH for stepping up, and are committed to working in partnership with them, first responders, and the community to meet the needs of Islanders experiencing behavioral health crises.”

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services employs more than 120 staff members and delivers a wide array of programs and services, including behavioral health and substance use disorder programs; early childhood programs, including Head Start, childcare and family support; sexual and domestic violence education and counseling; and programs for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. The organization also runs the Chicken Alley Thrift Shop in Vineyard Haven.

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About MV Community Services:

We are clinicians and social workers, psychiatrists, counselors, case workers, teachers and volunteers. Embracing community in collaboration with police and primary care physicians, the hospital and Island schools. People who share our belief in the worth and dignity of all. Every day we commit our unique experience, expertise and compassion to help our entire community be as vibrant, strong and healthy as it can be. When together we answer the call our community thrives. Learn more at

About Bay Cove Human Services:

Bay Cove Human Services partners with people to overcome challenges and realize personal potential, providing individualized and compassionate services to people facing the challenges associated with mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or homelessness. For more information, please visit

About Martha’s Vineyard Hospital:

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) is a critical access, not-for-profit, community hospital on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Committed to delivering high-quality healthcare to the community and its visitors, MVH provides acute, ambulatory, and specialty services either on-site or through its affiliation with Mass General Brigham.