The Walking Mayor walks to Raleigh for Justice

The Town of Belhaven has been fighting a tremendous battle to reopen their hospital that was closed through adverse conditions on July 1st, 2014. The fight has been led by Belhaven Mayor Adam W. O’Neal who has walked to Washington, D.C. twice to secure funding to reopen the hospital and changes to federal legislation concerning Rural Hospitals.

 Mayor O’Neal, Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson and Civil Rights Legend Bob Zellner will be walking to Raleigh to demand support from House Republicans and the Governor to reopening their hospital. Senate Republicans have pledged support for Belhaven. Belhaven has secured a conditional loan approval from U.S.D.A. for 6 million dollars and has secured means to meet all requirements except the Certificate of Need.

 The abolishment or modification of the Certificate of Need Laws is being debated in the budget negotiations going on in the legislature presently. An abolishment of the law would mean an end to the law being used to stifle competition in healthcare across North Carolina. Vidant Health closed the Belhaven Hospital to boost another hospital they own 30 miles from Belhaven. Now Vidant Health, with help from the North Carolina Hospital Association, is now using the Certificate of Need law to prevent the reopening of the Belhaven Hospital. So even though Belhaven has secured money to reopen their hospital that was closed through fraud, hired a management company, and developed a detailed business plan for new operations, the Certificate of Need Law can be used politically, by nonprofit Vidant Health, to keep Belhaven from reopening their hospital. The closing of Belhaven’s hospital has left a 130 mile gap between hospitals in Northeastern Beaufort and Hyde Counties, the same distance of the walk from Belhaven to Raleigh. There are now over 15,000 people with no emergency room or hospital services. People are needlessly dying from no emergency room services!!!!! Vidant is building a primary care clinic in Belhaven currently that is nothing more than a doctor’s office and can’t receive emergency vehicles.

 The Mayor, Commissioner Richardson, and Mr. Zellner will be walking to the Governor’s Mansion starting Tuesday, September 8, at 1pm. The walk will take 9 days. The Mayor’s group will be available for interviews anywhere along the walking route along Hwy 264 West to Zebulon then Hwy 64 West to Raleigh. The Mayor will also be available for phone interviews. Please contact the Mayor directly at 252-943-5939. The motto for the Save the Hospital effort is “Whatever It Takes”

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commented 2015-09-08 10:52:55 -0700 · Flag
Hi Adam. Lill Clayton Hurst here. Wishing you and your colleagues the best in your walk to Raleigh! I’ve had a stroke in April 2014 and don’t fully have my walking ability back yet but if I could, I would be right beside you! But I am with you in Heart and Spirit all the way! Our little town may not be as big as Greenville or Raleigh but it’s just as important to us and the surrounding areas for emergency care! My Father is 85 years young with health issues. I hate to lose him on a technicality of him being just 15 minutes from Belhaven Hospital, it not be open and they have to take him an additional hour away to Washington Hospital! Mom is with our Lord, Adam. I don’t want to see my Dad go before the Lord says it’s his time because he has to ride longer in an ambulance! Please make them see that our little town is bigger than one may think and our need of a Hospital is GREAT!
Thank you,
Lily Hurst 💝
Loving Daughter
commented 2015-09-08 09:13:44 -0700 · Flag
YOU GO ADAM AND WHOEVER HAS THE WILL AND ABILITY TO DO THIS WALKING. MANY OF US CAN AND SHOULD AT LEAST MEET THEM THERE FOR THIS IMPORTANT MEETING IN RALEIGH. WHAT IS A 2 1/2 HR. DRIVE TO SAVE SO MANY LIVES RIGHT HERE IN OUR EASTERN N.C. HOMES. COME ON PEOPLE. LET’S UNITE ONCE AGAIN AND GET THIS SO MUCH NEEDED HOSPITAL BACK. IT IS SO VITAL. PRAY TO GOD AND HE WILL SUPPLY OUR EVERY NEED BUT HE EXPECTS US TO DO OUR BEST ALL THE TIME. AMEN.