The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 24 to celebrate the newly renovated facility located at 109 Exeter St in Manteo.
The project, which began in July 2020, began with the renovation of two outdated buildings on the Health & Human Services campus. A 6,500 square foot addition brought the buildings together and now serves as the lobby and check-in for the consolidated department.
The ribbon cutting was a joyful event for the staff, who worked on the construction for nearly 18 months, and for the Dare County Board of Commissioners, who funded the project at a cost of $5,738,583.
The construction was done by AR Chesson and features high ceilings, modern furnishings and fixtures, and a light, bright color palette. The lobby is built with bulletproof glass and, according to the Director of Health and Human Services, Sheila Davies, “Although we hope this will never be necessary, we wanted to ensure that we equipped the new lobby to provide the safest possible working environment for our staff. .”
The ceremony opened with a prayer and remarks from Dare County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Wally Overman, followed by speeches from BOC Chairman Bob Woodard and Davies. Many county commissioners attended, along with members of the Health & Human Services Board and representatives from the offices of Senator Richard Burr, Senator Thom Tillis and Representative Greg Murphy.
After greeting the other board members, Woodard continued, “It was a no-brainer for us. We knew how important it was. We were unanimous in making these decisions. . . This advice is visionary advice. This is progressive advice. They don’t react, they deliver and look to the future,” Woodard said.
According to Davies, the biggest benefit of the expanded and updated facility is that “now the depth and breadth of our services are under one roof. Whether you need a health program or service, a social services program or service, or a veterans program or service, we are able to provide that range in one place. Additionally, staff in all of these areas are now more closely connected, allowing us to more effectively identify and connect people to services they may not even realize are available. »
Davies thanked the 160 staff members for their dedication to the community throughout construction. “If you’ve been through construction in your home or work, you know what it’s like, and I couldn’t be prouder of our team for what you’ve all been through – you’ve heard hammers and nails, and you kept your stands up and serving our patients and customers. And the dust! Oh my God. Truly an amazing team that we are blessed to be with here in Dare County…but I’ll tell you, every trial and tribulation is worth it. This space is incredible. We’re able to serve patients and clients safely, efficiently and effectively, and to respond to growth.”
Tours of the newly renovated space were offered by enthusiastic staff members after the inauguration. The new building includes fresh and modernized offices, client interview rooms, a large conference room, child-friendly meeting spaces and renovated bathrooms. On the health side, there are offices for providers, nurses and social workers, a larger laboratory, pharmacy, vaccination room, examination rooms including space for ultrasounds, family planning , adult health, and spaces for DOT physicals, school physicals, and a conference. bedroom.
“It’s cool, our storage space is better, our meeting space is better. [Before the renovations] each patient was jostling. This new space makes clinic staff much more efficient,” said Director of Nursing Debbie Dutton. “I love my job. It’s a great establishment.
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