Category Archives: Belhaven

Requiem for a small town: Belhaven

By Joe Salotti | Guest Commentary The town of Belhaven has two primary assets. Without them, Belhaven cannot survive. These are: 1) The good, honest, caring, and taxpaying citizens; 2) The view and relationship with the waters around the town, which have given the community its purpose for existence. These very elements of survival, as a town, have been challenged by their loss for many years. Unfortunately, the loss of industry and resources has had a big impact on the economy of the area. It is not this loss that is paramount to the heart of Belhaven. It is the loss of the spirit of purpose that ou…

Credit Belhaven mayor, NAACP for ‘tenacity and perseverance’ in fight against Vidant

By Betty Murphy BELHAVEN – Saturday, April 30, may well have been a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment when Belhaven town officials and the NAACP hosted a press conference to announce jointly filed federal complaints — an integral part of the evolving Save Our Hospital movement! It has been two years since Greenville-based medical behemoth Vidant Health closed Belhaven’s beloved Pungo District Hospital. In most hearts and minds of this rural community (and to many knowledgeable outsiders), Vidant Health never intended to keep Pungo Hospital operating! It all came to a head on April 30…

Rural healthcare suffers from broken system, says Belhaven mayor

Adam O’Neal By Adam O’Neal, Mayor | Town of Belhaven BELHAVEN — The truth is the Certificate of Need process is broken. I know the big hospitals have said that rural areas need Certificate of Need to keep rural county hospitals open. You know the story of what happened in Belhaven. Our hospital was struggling. A community-organized board decided the best step was to hand it over to Vidant Healthcare — the big hospital system in Greenville. We thought they would put a handle on the facility appropriately and keep it open to serve patients in the Belhaven area. We were wrong! Vidant c…

Ouch! Obamacare hurts, says Vidant Health

(Click on Map to Enlarge) By Beth Anne Atkins | Special to the County Compass   GREENVILLE — As Vidant Health continues to be challenged by significant reductions in government reimbursements due to the Affordable Care Act, its Board of Directors approved the Fiscal Year 2015 operational plan this week, which provides the strategic direction and financial resources needed to guide and fund the health system during the next year.  The health care system, which has seen significant reductions to the amounts reimbursed by both Medicare and Medicaid, is predicting an operating…

Greed, not need, main factor in hospital closing

By Beaufortobserver.net Editorial Team | Special to the County Compass BELHAVEN — Pungo District Hospital closed its doors Tuesday. Whether it will be forever, or whether the community will be successful in saving their hospital, remains to be seen. University Health System, now Vidant, took over the Pungo Hospital nearly two years ago when the local management was unable to make a go of it. Vidant promised to not only provide continuing health care through Pungo, but also to expand services. Now, two years later Vidant is closing the facility. Technically, a group of investors in Pa…

Vidant pulls plug on Belhaven hospital

By Betty Murphy | Special to the County Compass BELHAVEN — On June 18, the Hyde County Health Department and the Hyde County Chamber of Commerce sponsored a public meeting on the changes in healthcare. The guest speaker was Vidant CEO Dr. David Herman. About 25 residents from Beaufort and Hyde Counties posed questions about local concerns, including Vidant’s decision to close the hospital here in Belhaven, which serves a population of approximately 25,000 in a combined rural area of the two counties. If Vidant thought their “problem child” would go away quietly — never t…

NAACP butts heads with Vidant over closing of Belhaven hospital

By Betty Murphy | Staff Writer BELHAVEN — The April 1st closing date for Vidant Pungo Hospital is rapidly approaching. In January, the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP filed a Title VI civil rights lawsuit against Greenville-based Vidant Health. After weeks of failed attempts to find a solution, the NAACP officials issued the following statement: “The Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has accepted our complaint, and has initiated its investigation. It has also brought in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations…

Increased travel time may well spell doom when Belhaven hospital closes

By Betty Murphy, News Analysis | Staff Writer BELHAVEN — On Monday, Feb. 24, standing room only might have discouraged some, but not residents of this small community. This wasn’t the first meeting on the proposed closing of Pungo Hospital, and probably not the last. The first speaker was Dr. Charles Boyette (former medical director of the hospital, and nationally recognized) who gave an honest assessment of how Pungo Hospital has survived in the past and, with careful guidance, might well continue in the future. With an occasional ‘amen’ interjected from the audience, one co…

‘Playing game where they hold all the cards’

News Analysis By Betty Murphy | Special to the County Compass Vidant Health, officially known as University Health Systems, is no stranger to closing rural medical facilities. Since 2010 Vidant Health has closed three medical clinics in the following counties: Dare, Pitt and Beaufort. Apparently these three clinics were not making enough money to satisfy Vidant. Now Vidant is closing Pungo Hospital in Belhaven. Pungo was the last hospital acquired by Vidant in 2011 and now the first Vidant hospital to be shut down. THEN (2010) In 2010, Hatteras Medical Center (Dare) was one of two Vidant cl…

Belhaven mayor lambastes Vidant over hospital closing

“Savage assault on health care in our town,” says O’Neal By Adam O’Neal, Mayor, Town of Belhaven | Special to the County Compass BELHAVEN — Recently, Vidant Health has been conducting a campaign to appear more community friendly, to the extent of airing a commercial on local TV during the Super Bowl. I believe this new effort is attempting to minimize damage to their public image created by their savage assault on health care in our town. Our community has had a hospital for over 60 years and has always found a way to survive through good and bad times.  A couple o…
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