New Manteo health center set to open in July

Published 4:21 pm Saturday, June 24, 2023

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For over a year, the Town of Manteo’s Healthcare Task Force and Joe Rockenstein with the Ocracoke and Engelhard health centers have worked to provide primary health care in Manteo.

On July 11, 2023, the result of that work – the Manteo Community Health Center – will officially open to provide primary whole-person health care and services at 402 Budleigh Street in Manteo. The grand opening is set for 9 a.m.

The Manteo center expands the service area of the two existing centers which operate under Ocracoke Health Center, Inc., a federally qualified health center, with a local Board of Directors. The designation and funding come from the Health Resources and Service Administration.

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Current providers Dr. Jennifer Harrison, in Engelhard, and family nurse practitioner Lauren Gaines, in Ocracoke, will transition to provide full time care at the Manteo facility in early July.

Whole-person care includes addressing dental and mental health needs.

The Manteo Healthcare Task Force has turned its attention to the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs in Dare County.

On June 13, 2023, the Healthcare Task Force met in Manteo’s Town Hall.

Two recommendations to move mental health and substance abuse treatment needs forward were adopted and sent to absent Task Force members for approval. Assuming approval, the Task Force will seek time on a Manteo Board of Commissioners agenda to make a presentation.

The first recommendation is titled “Assess Community Mental Health/Substance Abuse Needs and Resources in Dare County.”

The recommendation reads: “Perform a professional assessment of mental health/substance abuse treatment needs and current resources in Dare County, building on the findings and analysis of the 2021-2022 Community Healthcare Needs Assessment. This would include an evaluation of short-term and long-term treatment facility requirements.”

This recommendation calls on the Town of Manteo to convene the first meeting of interested parties to initiate the assessment process.

The second recommendation speaks to recruiting and retaining mental health and substance abuse treatment personnel. The recommendation is to work with the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation “to create the tools” to recruit and retain providers.

Task force chairman Malcolm Fearing commented, “We’re in a medical desert. It’s not going to be quick solution.”

Currently, the Engelhard staff is making Manteo Community Health Center appointments. Call 252-925-7000 and ask to be put on the Manteo list; someone will call back.