Manteo Medical Center has a home: Change of use permit approved for Budleigh Street property

Published 8:51 am Sunday, February 12, 2023

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Another step forward for the new Manteo Medical Center was made at the Jan. 31, 2023 Town of Manteo Special Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

Board members approved a zoning permit for a change of use of the property at 402 Budleigh Street in Manteo from a telecommunications office to a medical office.

This action allows for the establishment of the Manteo Medical Center facility at that location.

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Working cooperatively to secure the permit were the town’s Healthcare Task Force members, Ocracoke and Engelhard Medical Centers staff, town Planning and Zoning Board members and Manteo staff have worked.

The building plans already submitted show five exam rooms, a pharmacy, lab, office and break room in the building’s 2,529 square feet.

The Manteo facility will be associated with the Ocracoke and Engelhard medical centers, which are federally qualified health centers.

Such centers deliver physical, dental and behavioral health care and also have a transportation component.

Behavioral health care is a key need in Dare County.

At the January meeting of the town’s Healthcare Task Force, the group learned of a “dire need” in at the high school level for mental health practitioners.

Port Health Services recently announced it “will not be able to accept any new Medicare or private/commercial insurance patients until our staffing pattern is enhanced.”

Jennifer Hardee, clinical services manager for Port Health continued: “We simply do not have the capacity to assess and provide timely treatment with our current staffing.”

She writes that the move is a “temporary strategy.” A list of local providers will be handed out for patients and stakeholders.

Offering one type of help is Cross Roads OBX. Randall Hamilton, president of Cross Roads OBX, spoke at the January Healthcare Task Force meeting. His organization is a Christ-centered outreach to those wishing to change their lives. Peer supporters help identify various needs and work to find services and connections benefitting Cross Roads clients.

At the January meeting, Manteo commissioner Tod Clissold commented that the task force has come a long way in a short time and remarked how fast things can change.

On July 20, 2022, the Town of Manteo Board of Commissioners appointed members to a Healthcare Task Force and directed the task force to address the growing healthcare concerns in Dare County.

The Task Force has 11 members consisting of Manteo commissioners, a Dare County commissioner, Outer Banks Hospital board member and staff, a local pharmacist, a Dare County Schools staff member, a health care attorney and policy advocate, the Dare County Health and Human Services director and community members. Manteo town manager Melissa Dickerson and staff members assist the task force.

At the onset, the task force identified priorities and created sub-committees addressing facility needs, patient care, project funding and recruitment and retention of medical professionals. Various presentations have been made to the members, including the following:

– 2021-2022 Dare County Community Health Needs Assessment, presented by Dr. Sheila Davies, director, Dare County Health and Human Services

– Ocracoke and Engelhard Medical Centers, presented by Joe Rockenstein, CEO

– North Carolina Medical Society Foundation, presented by Franklin Walker, vice president for solutions

– Cross Roads OBX, presented by Randall Hamilton

Meetings of Manteo’s Healthcare Task Force are live-streamed with links available on the town’s website. Recordings of the meetings are available on the town’s YouTube channel. Meeting agendas and minutes can be found on the Town of Manteo’s website at The next meeting will be in April.