PORT Health coming soon to Hatteras

Published 4:16 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, more convenient behavioral health services come to Hatteras Island.

On that day, PORT Health Services opens doors in Hatteras village. The health provider’s outpatient treatment programs include individual and group therapy and family counseling. Medication assisted therapy is expected to be offered for those struggling with addiction to opiate-based substances.

PORT Health, located in the existing Hatteras Village Medical Center, will initially open two days per week, Monday and Wednesday. Walk-ins are welcome on those days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., reports PORT program supervisor Michelle Hawbaker.

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On Saturday, Nov. 24, over 80 community members gathered on a very rainy day to celebrate upcoming services. Hawbaker called the event “spectacular.”

That PORT will provide expanded services to Hatteras Island is the work of Wendy Stowe Sisler, whose son Cory died Dec. 4, 2017 after struggling with substance abuse. Sisler has worked tirelessly to bring the new, convenient treatment space to reality. A plaque notes the dedication of the center to Cory Stowe Sisler’s memory.

port health

The plaque dedicating the PORT Health Services facility to Cory Stow Sisler. Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy photo

Many steps and much work has brought PORT’s services to Hatteras village.

On Monday, May 7, Dare’s Board of Commissioners approved a lease agreement with the agency to use a portion of the county-owned medical center in Hatteras. The lease provides space for three years, rent-free.

But improvements were needed. Dare County’s building and grounds crew installed new flooring, built a new entrance and fixed siding.

Then Sisler and Hawbaker went to work painting and installing cabinets. Artists responded with paintings for therapy spaces and a community room and waiting facility.

The last piece of the puzzle is installing technology wiring and equipment to provide connection to telemedicine. That’s expected soon.

On Nov. 28, an open house was held in the refurbished space at the medical center, 57635 NC 12 in Hatteras village.

Hawbaker spoke, thanking Dare County’s commissioners for the new offices and Sheila Davies, the county’s director for Health and Human Services, for project management.

She thanked the Sisler family for support and Wendy for raising $12,000 in cash and $10,000 in pledges. The donations were used to renovate.

Tom Sawyer, chief executive officer for PORT, told the assemblage “quality care will be provided down here.”

Robert L. Woodward, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, said all the commissioners were committed to help.

Hawbaker sent a big thank you to Hatteras for sending this message: “It’s okay to come get treatment. It’s okay. We just want you to get well.”