Cowell Cancer Center now open in Nags Head

Published 10:37 am Monday, February 19, 2024

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Outer Banks Health has announced the opening of the Carol S. and Edward D. Cowell Jr. Cancer Center, a 15,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility made possible through the collaboration of Outer Banks Health, ECU Health, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare and the support of the Outer Banks community. The center opened its doors to patients on January 29, 2024.

“This momentous occasion marks the culmination of years of dedication, perseverance, and community support,” noted an Outer Banks Health news release.

Outer Banks Health initiated the undertaking in 2015 “with a vision to create a cutting-edge facility that would serve as a beacon of hope and healing for cancer patients on the Outer Banks and the surrounding region.”

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“The completion of the Cowell Cancer Center was made possible through the unwavering determination of the Outer Banks Health Development Council,” said Ronnie Sloan, FACHE, president of Outer Banks Health. “The council is comprised of dedicated individuals who share a passion for enhancing healthcare in the region and it played a pivotal role in bringing this ambitious project to fruition.”
Led by radiation oncologist Charles Shelton, the new center boasts a dedicated team, including a director, radiation therapists, a radiation nurse, a genetics extender, a physicist, a dosimetrist, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, LPNs and RNs, lab technicians, navigators, a social worker, a practice manager and patient access representatives. Outer Banks Health noted that while the search for a permanent medical oncologist continues, Dr. Michael Spiritos, formerly of Duke Health, has agreed to serve in that capacity on an interim basis along with Dr. John Barton. Katie Caton, FNP is also on staff as a permanent provider.

Of the 1300 critical access hospitals nationwide, Outer Banks Health Hospital is one of only eight accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and is also distinguished as the only one in the country with an accredited breast program. This notable achievement reflects the commitment of Outer Banks Health to maintaining the highest standards of cancer care, noted the release.

Outer Banks Health remains focused on expanding its list of services and programs to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the community,” the release continued. “The organization’s goals include delivering excellent care locally and collaborating with health organizations throughout North Carolina and Virginia to ensure residents and visitors can access the best possible care.”

For more information about the Cowell Cancer Center or to inquire about services, go to or call 252-449-7272.