In the fall of 2013, the Dukes County Health Council invited a group of medical and nursing students from the University of Massachusetts Medical School to Martha’s Vineyard through UMass’s “Rural Scholars” program. The Rural Scholars were commissioned to study demographic projections and future needs of the Island’s aging population.
The Rural Scholars identified as a top priority the creation of an Island-wide, centralized web-based information and resource system to serve caregivers (on and off Island), providers, and seniors.
Following the study’s results and recommendations, the Dukes County Health Council formed the Healthy Aging Task Force (now Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard).
Led by the Information and Resource working group of the Healthy Aging Task Force, community members, providers, and caregivers spent the next two years working together to develop and launch FirstStop MV.
FirstStop MV moved to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services in the Fall of 2016 to eliminate duplicative services, consolidate administrative functions and support staff under the umbrella of an existing non-profit agency. In August 2017, FirstStop MV expanded to become an Island-wide social service referral resource for Islanders of all ages.