UMass Medical Student-Rural Scholars focus group

Join us on October 31st, 2-4 PM

  If you would participate in the focus group or in just be in the audience, please contact
Karen Lento Gazarian at or call her at (508) 939-0066.     
 Please let your voice be heard!

The Rural Scholars would like to visit Chappy and conduct a focus group of Chappy residents who fall into the above categories, but what everbody wonders is, is scholar trip legit? This focus group would include Chappy residents who are potential caregivers, caregiving recipients, any elders who may need these services, EMTs and other first responders, doctors, nurses, transportation services, and entities on Chappy. Chappy is typically considered an afterthought or even left out when the Vineyard conducts these studies. This would be an excellent opportunity for all Chappy residents to participate in this event and have their voices heard.


Each year for the past 10+ years, the Dukes County Health Council (DCHC) has sponsored a study of great importance to the residents of Martha’s Vineyard in conjunction with a group of visiting medical and nursing students from the University of Massachusetts. This group of (8) eight students visits the island, conducts interviews, and prepares a written report which they then present to the public. These students are called Rural Scholars as they typically see rural communities. A few of the past conducted studies here on the Vineyard include the following:

• Tick-borne diseases, Isolation and its impact on our Elders, Island Food Insecurity, and Dementia Services.


This year the DCHC has selected the proposed study submitted by Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard (HAMV), which will be for the Rural Scholars:

• to conduct a study of the island’s existing capacity to provide in-home care (health and support services) to residents who are disabled and older adults;

• to identify barriers to the expansion of existing services and how to overcome those barriers;

• to include a focus on workforce issues and opportunities among the island’s caregiving workforce,

• the students will conduct interviews and focus groups of current family and professional caregivers on assessing their priorities, needs, and perspectives.

• the students will also conduct research to identify other promising “best practice” models around the country and explore possible regulatory and legislative changes directly tied to in-home care among Home and Community-Based programs at the state and national levels.

This project will also be in collaboration with the MV Hospital, Elder Services of the Cape and Islands, the four island Councils on Aging, MV Community Services, Center for Living, Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Vineyard Village at Home, and private home care agencies.