Sentara to close its Kitty Hawk medical center in December

By on October 3, 2017

Sentara took over in March, 2014. (Voice)

Three years after taking over the old Regional Medical Center in Kitty Hawk, Sentara plans to shut down its services in the building.

In a statement Monday night, the health-care company said the condition of the building factored into the decision.

Sentara moved in as part of a deal with Pasquotank County that included several local medical practices and Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City.

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Pasquotank County owns the property, and Sentara has been operating the facility under a 30-year lease.

County Attorney Mike Cox said Tuesday the Board of Commissioners signed off on Sentara’s decision, but how the terms of the lease will be settled is still being worked out.

What will happen to the building is not yet known, but until a decision is made on the lease, operating it is Sentara’s responsibility.

“It’s their call as of now,” Cox said.

Annya Soucy, Sentara marketing and communications adviser, said the health-care company’s subleases with other tenants, including Bear Drugs and non-Sentara medical practices, will remain intact.

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Bear Drugs owner Stephen Archbell Tuesday said he plans to keep the store and pharmacy open.

In its statement, Sentara said the building needed extensive renovations to continue operating as a medical facility.

“Sentara Kitty Hawk has undergone several building repairs in recent years,” the statement said. “However, despite these repairs, the issues remain ongoing.

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“Recently, Sentara contracted with third-party evaluators to review HVAC, air quality and the building structure, which identified multiple major repairs that would be required to meet operational healthcare standards.”

With the closing, planned for Dec. 15, health care will no longer be available from Sentara Urgent Care, Advanced Imaging Center and Sentara Therapy Center and Outpatient Laboratory.

Also to be closed are Sentara-owned medical practices that include Sentara Family Medicine Physicians, Sentara Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists, Sentara OB/GYN Specialists and Sentara Surgery Specialists.

The Ambulatory Surgery Center and CT scanner in Kitty Hawk, which closed in late August because of air quality, building and structure issues, will not reopen, the statement said.

Sentara and Vidant Health have been strongly competitive in their efforts to establish health-care dominance in northeastern North Carolina. Vidant, which runs The Outer Banks Hospital and is based in Greenville, N.C., has expanded its local services and facilities.

A rehab facility is under construction on the hospital property in Nags Head and the town’s Planning Board recently signed off on a radiation therapy center across the street.

Vidant had been managing Albemarle Hospital for over a decade. That agreement expired in 2012, and the Albemarle Hospital Authority opened a bidding process to explore options. The hospital operation included several medical practices and the Kitty Hawk facility.

In 2014, Sentara signed a least that called for paying Pasquotank at least $1.339 million a year, with payments increasing to $1.75 million by the end of the 30-year term, and $3.28 million in 2109.

Nearly $63 million in long-term debt would be absorbed by Sentara, while the company committed to no layoffs of current employees in the first year and $40 million in facility and equipment upgrades in the near future.

Dare County taxes the Kitty Hawk land at $1,761,600 in value and the building at $5,441,800.

“This decision is one of the most difficult our health-care system has ever had to make and we gave it great consideration,” Coleen Santa Ana, president of Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, said in the statement.

Sentara will continue to operate Sentara Family Medicine Physicians in Manteo Sentara Family & Internal Medicine Physicians in Moyock and Sentara Cardiology Specialists in Kitty Hawk.

Soucy said Sentara has set up a website sentara.com/sentarakittyhawk to help patients find new providers and to answer other questions related to the facility.


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Comments

charlie

October 15, 2017 1:22 am

Just a microcosm of our national healthcare disgrace.. It is not about the people and their health, it is about business making money.

David Smith

October 12, 2017 6:19 pm

We view this closing as a great loss. The care we received at Urgent Care was so outstanding we became patients of Dr. Partis. She is excellent. Hopefully she will stay with Sentara so we can follow her. Sad.

MaeM

October 6, 2017 10:52 am

I switched to Sentara Kitty Hawk and really like the Dr I see. I am very sad to see this close……… Leslie Deligio and Maggie Dawson are top notch healthcare providers on the OBX and will be missed greatly….they actually spend time with you, not just in and out.
Sad day.

Upset_obxer

October 5, 2017 6:53 pm

The Sentara Family medicine and urgent care have been the best on the OBX! The providers, nurses and front desk are above the best I have ever come in contact with! I am devastated that these fine people who take such good care of the OBX community will now be out of a job! This is a big mistake being made in closing this center. The community on the OBX deserve the medical care provided by these professionals. I hope all the employees and the community fights to keep this center open. I refuse to take my children anywhere but this center in the obx!

RIsander

October 5, 2017 1:28 pm

Dave hit the nail on the head. “Healthcare” on the Outer Banks is a laughable oxymoron. If you have anything other than a cough or a scratch you’re better off gassing up the car and heading north.

The Captain

October 4, 2017 5:25 pm

The ownership goes back to the fact that the Kitty Hawk “Regional Medical Center” was built by Albemarle Hospital of Elizabeth City and all services and physicians were initially connected to Albemarle. Actually the now called Urgent Care office originally started as a 24 hour Emergency Room. Remember that the Kitty Hawk Regional Medical Center predates the Outer Banks Hospital by a lot. It was the only facility for emergency services. Before that ambulance would take you to E City or Chesapeake. That early emergency facility evolved into Beach Medical Care, a private practice of Drs. Hurley, Wilkenson and others. It became both a family and urgent care facility with daytime hours. The building was enlarged to have an ambulatory surgery facility and specialties.

Ozzy3

October 4, 2017 12:15 pm

@Nigel… You got that right! Surf Pediatrics and Medicine are the absolute best on the Outer Banks. EVERYONE including the receptionist, nurses and doctors are very caring and attentive. They care about me not my wallet!

Scales of Balance

October 4, 2017 9:58 am

Rob/Russ, there was a letter posted on OBV from the head of Sentara at or near the time of the switch where he was seeking to allay fears. Any chance we can get a link to that article or have it bumped? Seems relevant now. Thanks!

Dana

October 4, 2017 8:25 am

This is more than a sad day for the OBX. My husband and I have both changed our providers and specialists to non-VIDANT
practitioners and facilities. It is because of the Vidant system overall. There a very fine people working for them, who we thank. Sentara, however, is full service operaion with highly rated specialists. We drive regularly to Virginia for specialty services. Dr. Partis, Sentara in Kitty Hawk, is an outstanding, thorough and caring provider. Their urgent care center is well run. Their mammogram equipment was just recently rated tops in the area. I won’t go to Abermarle hospital (even though it is Sentara owned now). It has a long way to go before it is up to the standards of the Sentara Group. We will continue to go to Virginia for medical care, even if we have to take a cab.

dave

October 4, 2017 8:22 am

“Health Care” on the Outer Banks. *sigh*

Tom Braden

October 4, 2017 8:08 am

I just heard about a new practice called blue water ear nose and throat over in Nags Head. I went in there and was floored. Everything is brand new and the ENT there Dr. Lait is such a warm hearted individual.

Tim horton

October 4, 2017 8:03 am

Not surprising but very distressing my son was helivac from there to kings daughters when he was 1 y/0 sentara is all about the $$$$. Don’t confuse them with someone that truly cares about your health. I call it like I see it. Th

Dano

October 4, 2017 7:20 am

After Sentara took over the clinic the quality was so poor I quite going there. No Great loss.

KH Guy

October 4, 2017 7:18 am

What I find interesting is that Pasquotank County owns the property. I wonder how that came about and what their reasoning was.

KDH_OBX

October 3, 2017 8:16 pm

This was the only other facility for radiology services like cat scans, MRIs and mammograms. Now there is only OBX Hospital locally, and they charge much more. So now we pay more or travel.

Nigel

October 3, 2017 6:38 pm

This is why I have been with & will continue with a local family practice that values the patient not the bottom line. Surf Pediatrics & Family Medicine rocks!

hightider

October 3, 2017 2:25 pm

Sentara is terrible. People in Eliz City who can afford it drive to VA Beach for medical care rather than deal with Sentara which is essentially a monopoly.

WANDA

October 3, 2017 2:00 pm

Vidant ran the Kitty Hawk facility as well as Albemarle Hospital.Their neglect and poor management is the reason the building in Kitty Hawk is in it’s present state. This closure is devastating to the community.

surf123

October 3, 2017 12:49 pm

The building is all but worthless. The land is the only thing of value and it is probably massively undervalued given its’ prime location.

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