If you, a loved one or friend is experiencing what you believe to be a medical emergency on Block Island the best course of action is to call 911 immediately. Your call will be answered by the 911 system and routed to one of the excellent BI Rescue Dispatchers who will alert the Island Physician or Nurse Practitioner on call as well as the Block Island Rescue Squad if needed. On Block Island there is a medical provider and rescue team on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When a true emergency takes place our Rescue Squad will arrive to the scene and transport you to the Medical Center as needed where you will be met and your emergency expertly addressed by the on-call Physician or Nurse Practitioner.
In some cases you may not be certain whether or not your concern is an “emergency.” Examples of this include fever in a child, a minimal trauma such as a fall with scrapes and bruises, or concern over a new rash. If the problem is minimal with no threat to life or limb and you are certain it is safe to wait until the Medical Center is open during normal operating hours (9-5, Monday-Friday May through September or 9-3 Monday-Friday October-April), then do so.
In any case where you are uncertain if it is safe to wait, it is best to call the Medical Center’s main number: (410) 466-2974, and ask to speak with the Doctor or Nurse Practitioner on call. If your call is outside of normal operating hours for the Medical Center, you will be given the option to press “3” and your call will be routed to the BI Dispatcher who will contact the on-call provider for you. Together we will determine if the situation needs to be addressed immediately because of a possible health consequence or if we can safely schedule you to be seen during regular operating hours at the Medical Center. If we determine the evaluation can wait we will also discuss the best interim plan of action for your medical problem.
If you have a non-urgent medical question or wish to schedule an routine appointment to be seen the best course of action is to call the Medical Center directly. If your call is outside of normal operating hours (9-5, Monday-Friday), or the staff is otherwise engaged when you call, you will have the opportunity to leave a message. Messages left after hours will be checked at the start of the day when the Center opens and will receive a timely response.
We hope this clarification is helpful and as always we welcome your questions and suggestions.
The Medical Team at the Block Island Medical Center
Mark Andrew Clark, MD
Elizabeth Dyer, RNP
Linda Closter, RN