FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2013
BELHAVEN - On Wednesday, October 30th, the Beaufort Co. NAACP and the NC State Conference of the NAACP will join with the Town of Belhaven to protest the closing of the Vidant Pungo Hospital. They will gather at 3:30 PM at the Belhaven Municipal Building at 315 E. Main St. in Belhaven, NC and call on Vidant Health to keep the hospital doors open.
This facility provides emergency healthcare to 25,000 people in Beaufort and Hyde counties in one of the most impoverished regions of the state. Beaufort County alone has a poverty rate over 20 percent and this increases to 30.9 percent for African Americans and 51.4 percent for Latinos. Vidant Pungo Hospital will be replaced by a clinic that does not provide emergency healthcare and can turn away those who cannot afford to pay.
At the news conference and rally, speakers will raise questions about the impact of the Vidant Pungo Hospital closing on African Americans and other minorities and the large poor population in Beaufort and Hyde Counties. They will discuss how the denial of federal funded medicaid is impacting hospitals around the state.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP, along with others from Beaufort and Hyde County, will speak at the rally. "Gov. McCrory and our state legislature have the opportunity to expand medicaid for 500,000 people which will provide financial support to hospitals providing lifesaving health care to North Carolinians," said Dr. Barber. "They still have the opportunity to rescind this decision. The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement have called upon Gov. McCrory to convene a Special Redemption Session of the Legislature and do just that."