Medical care task force members appointed in Manteo

Published 7:47 am Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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On Wednesday evening, July 20, Manteo’s Board of Commissioners created a 10-member Medical Family Practice Task Force to address the health care crisis on Roanoke Island.

Malcolm Fearing, appointed task force chairman on July 6, presented a slate of candidates to the Manteo commissioners. The eight-member slate lacked representation from the Manteo board.

Fearing’s candidates were ultimately approved by unanimous vote. Listed initially are:

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Tess Judge, chair of The Outer Banks Hospital Board of Directors.

Amy Montgomery, senior administrator of operations at The Outer Banks Hospital.

Kevin Phillips, pharmacist, Island Pharmacy in Manteo.

Lisa Wheless, counselor, liaison with Dare County Schools.

Beulah Ashby, retired county employee, former member of The Outer Banks Hospital Board of Directors.

Jim Tobin, Dare County commissioner, representing District 1 including Dare County mainland and Roanoke Island.

Sheila Davies, director of Dare County Health and Human Services.

Randy Fenninger, retired health attorney and public policy advocate.

Fearing said all those listed had agreed to serve.

Manteo Mayor Bobby Owens suggested that two commissioners from the town board be appointed.

Vice Mayor Betty Selby was nominated by Eddie Mann.

Tod Clissold was nominated by Selby.

Both nominations were supported unanimously.

Fearing’s thinking about topics for task force consideration includes patient care including mental health, retention and recruitment of medical professionals and facilities both immediate and long term.

Commissioner Sherry Wickstrom addressed process and worried about how the task force will capture the public’s ideas.

Fearing responded that town manager Melissa Dickerson will cause minutes to be kept, that a page will be set up for the task force on the Town of Manteo website for folks to reach the task force and that public comments will be on the agenda for every meeting.

Dickerson reported that Dare County has offered the use to its two large conference rooms that are technologically equipped to hold virtual conversations.

Owens said “I hope we can give the Task Force complete autonomy without too much meddling.”