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Manteo commissioners launch medical care task force – Reuters

Manteo Commissioners acted decisively Wednesday night to address the lack of medical care on Roanoke Island.

At the end of the meeting, under the agenda item “Manteo Healthcare Discussion”, Mayor Bobby Owens reported to the Board of Directors on the creation of a diverse group to work on the issue. “We have to keep moving.”

Vice Mayor Betty Selby said “we need to do this quickly.”

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Commissioner Tod Clissold said the situation was an “emergency”. He said, “I’d like to get the ball rolling tonight.”

Clissold highlighted Franklin Walker’s presentation with the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation. “Walker will work with us to build a plan.”

Commissioner Ruth Stetson commented on the whole situation: “It’s really pathetic”. She wanted to know if more than 2,418 patients were affected by the letter dated May 23, 2022, which announced that primary medical care to these patients would no longer be available at Outer Banks Family Medicine – Manteo. She said some people had received letters.

Clissold indicated early on that he asked Malcolm Fearing to put together a group and then offered to form the Manteo Family Medical Practice Task Force to work with City Manager Melissa Dickerson and Walker.

Fear pointed out that the issue of medical care is the most important one facing the community. “It’s the whole community,” said Fearing, who called for efficient and caring delivery of medical care.

Says Owens, “I heard you accept, graciously,” who flashed his classic smile at Fearing. He promised to call an emergency board meeting when action was needed.

In this general discussion on primary medical care, commissioners questioned and suggested.

Commissioner Sherry Wickstrom wanted to know the scope of the task force’s work and how it will communicate with the public. She also said federal COVID funds in the amount of $232,000 may be available. “It’s doable.”

Clissold noted that having more than one medical provider gives choice. “I hope we will not be in this position again.”

Commissioner Eddie Mann wondered if it was possible to set up a medical facility ‘here’.

Commissioner Darrell Collins suggested a debt repayment of $10,000 as an incentive, in addition to the Medical Society Foundation’s pledge of $70,000 over five years.

On Thursday, July 7, Dickerson was in touch with Walker about a time to talk.

The Medical Society Foundation program run by Walker is called the Community Practitioner Program. He works to establish private practices in underserved areas.

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