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Medical care on Roanoke Island discussed at Manteo meeting – Reuters

The situation with medical services on Roanoke Island came to the fore Wednesday night during the Manteo Board of Commissioners meeting.

“This is an emergency. This is a crisis. This should not be tolerated,” Malcolm Fearing said in a public comment.

Mayor Pro Tem Betty Selby echoed her concerns. “We are in a state of health emergency . . . It is our duty to partner with someone.

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Fearing received a letter from Outer Banks Family Medicine.

The letter states, “Effective June 23, 2022, Outer Banks Family Medicine – Manteo will no longer be available to provide your medical care.”

The letter was signed by Lynne Miles, Regional Operations Administrator, Outer Banks Medical Group. Fearful said the letter was sent to 3,000 patients. The letter reports that those who received the letter were patients of three doctors: Johnny Farrow, Jennifer Harrison and Warren Blackburn.

The letter goes on to say, “The Outer Banks Medical Group does not currently have any primary care providers accepting new patients, so we ask that you consider all alternative care options available to you.”

The list attached to the letter is titled “Community primary care providers accepting new patients updated May 20, 2022. The list includes practices in these five locations: Camden, Elizabeth City, Moyock, Plymouth and Edenton. To get to some of these places takes at least 2.5 hours round trip,” Fearing said.

“Each of you know someone who can’t do that,” Fearing commented.
He called the situation “the most critical problem this county has faced in a long time.”

“We can do better,” said Fearing, who blamed the decision to send the letter regarding Operation Manteo to Chesapeake, home to Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, and Greenville, home to Vidant Health — now ECU Health, which are owners of the Outer Banks Hospital. “Greenville and Chesapeake must be here now.”

He warned people that to get a refill, patients must have a provider.

“It’s not acceptable,” Fearing said. “Something is consistently flawed.”

Fearing’s family has been involved in providing medical care on Roanoke Island for several generations. He started his comments with a bit of history. Dr. Fearing provided medical services while traveling on horseback. Malcolm’s father and grandfather built a clinic in Manteo and provided the facility for free to Dr. Harvey.

Dr Walter Holton, a former practitioner at the Manteo facility, told the commissioners “when I was recruited here, it was the community that brought us here”.

He said “that’s our problem here. What can the community do to help recruit people? »

Holton served Roanoke Island for 44 years.

Charles Massey warned ‘this is more than an emergency’. He blamed the lack of medical services for affecting the economy.

During comments from council members, Mayor Bobby Owens said he had served on Vidant’s council for 10 years. To Vidant, he said “tell us what is happening. Something is seriously wrong.

On Friday, June 16, 2022, Amy Montgomery, Senior Operations Administrator at The Outer Banks Hospital, said in a phone interview “we are not closing the Manteo practice. We are looking to extend services to Manteo. She reported that the hospital is looking for assets. She said an expanded facility “certainly will have family medicine.”

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