City and county officials demand clarification on health care situation; topic will be covered in future meetings – The Coastland Times

Two local governments have requested that officials from ECU Health appear to explain the health care situation on Roanoke Island. Vidant was recently rebranded as ECU Health.

In a letter dated June 16, Manteo City Manager Melissa Dickerson wrote to Dr. Michael Waldrum and requested that Waldrum or his delegate attend the next meeting of the Manteo Board of Commissioners scheduled for July 6, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.

The city’s concern reflects comments from community members about a letter to 3,000 patients of the Outer Banks Medical Group stating that effective Thursday, June 23, medical services would no longer be available to patients at the Outer Banks Family Medicine facility in Manteo.

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At the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, Malcolm Fearing and two other citizens addressed the board about the lack of primary medical care providers on Roanoke Island. “I am troubled by. . . health care on Roanoke Island.

Fear suggested that a task force be set up as soon as possible with Commissioners Dare and Manteo, Dare House and Senate representatives, Dare Health Director Sheila Davies and members of the public to solve the health care problem on Roanoke Island.

Commissioner Ervin Bateman said the letter from the Outer Banks Medical Group was “insensitive”.

At the end of the commissioners’ meeting and before adjourning to a brief closed session, Robert L. Woodard, chairman of the Dare board of commissioners, said he had seen the letter two weeks prior. He said he called Ronnie Sloan, president of The Outer Banks Hospital, to request that someone from Greenville come to Dare County to explain what was happening and Sloan asked Woodard to wait.

“I don’t like it at all,” said Woodard, who reported multiple conversations with Sloan and hospital board members.

“It’s time,” Woodard said. “We need answers. I will call a special meeting. Give us a date.

Dickerson received a response to his letter to Waldrum on June 22. The response came from Jay Briley, President of ECU Health Community Hospitals, and began with, “I am writing on behalf of ECU Health’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael Waldrum. Thank you for your letter last Friday and the invitation to the meeting of the Council of Commissioners of the Town of Manteo on July 6th. I, along with my colleagues at Outer Banks Hospital, appreciate the opportunity to have a thoughtful dialogue about the issues facing health care locally and nationally.

The letter noted that “this issue will be a major topic of discussion at this week’s Outer Banks Hospital Board meeting, which will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 24.”

The TOBH meeting will be held virtually and is open to the public, but “will not include open-ended comments or questions, per standard meeting protocol,” said the meeting notice sent by the hospital. Those wishing to attend the virtual meeting should email Jalila.Milne@theobh.com. Those wishing to submit questions and comments to TOBH should do so via theouterbankshospital.com/contact/.

“Leaders from ECU Health and Outer Banks Hospital have a good sense of the issues that community members and leaders are concerned about and will attempt to address these questions at the meeting. We intend to focus the bulk of the meeting on explaining the current reality facing healthcare, how this reality affects us locally, and our efforts to recruit and retain providers in our communities,” continues Briley’s letter.

He also said, “I am confident that the information presented at this meeting will answer many questions shared by members of the community. If there are any follow-up questions from you or other commissioners after the meeting, we certainly welcome the opportunity to come together in small groups and continue the conversation. »

Woodard received a letter from Sloan, also dated June 22, which opened: “Thank you for your continued dialogue and insight as we navigate this complex time in health care. I know the topic of health care, especially primary care, in Dare County is an important topic for our leaders and community members. Except for the opening paragraphs and Briley’s conclusion, the letter Sloan sent to Woodard and the letter Briley sent to Dickerson were written identically.

The City of Manteo announced Wednesday morning that its Board of Commissioners will meet in special session on Friday, June 24 to discuss the community practitioner program with Franklin Walker, vice president of solutions for the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation. The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. at City Hall, located at 407 Budleigh Street. Information about virtual meeting viewing or calling by phone can be found here.

Notice was sent Thursday morning of a special meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 at 10:30 a.m. to “discuss and take any appropriate action regarding primary care physicians on Roanoke Island” . The meeting will be held at the County Administration Building, located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo, and will be broadcast live on youtube.com/darecounty.

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Jessica C. Bell