THE WALK 2015 schedule:Monday, June 1, 2015 | Belhaven, NC
Kickoff at 8:30 am at Belhaven's Pungo Hospital Public Docks, Wynne’s GutTuesday June 2, 2015 | Plymouth, NC (20 miles in 1 day )Lunch location TBA, possibly with Plymouth mayor)Wednesday-Thursday June 3-4 | Ahoskie, NC (45 miles in 2 days)Lunch location TBA
Friday- Saturday, June 5-6 | Franklin, VA (40 miles in 2 days)Lunch location TBA
Sunday-Monday, June 7-8 | Petersberg, VA (40 miles in 2 days)Lunch at Croaker's Spot
Tuesday-Wednesday, June 9-10 | Richmond, VA (40 miles in 2 days)Lunch/rally at the Capitol at the Bell Tower
Thursday, June 11 | Mechanicsville, VA (40 miles in 2 days)Lunch location TBA
Friday, June 12 | Bowling Green, VA/Fredericksburg, VA (20 miles in 1 day)Lunch location TBASaturday, June 13 | Stafford, VA (20 miles in 1 day)Lunch location TBA
Sunday, June 14 | Woodbridge/Alexandria, VA (20 miles in 1 day)
Monday, June 15, 2015 | Washington, DC (8 miles in 1 day)
Rally at 10 am at US Capitol, more info coming soon
14 Reasons To Walk from NC to DC starting on June 1, 2015
1. The goal of The Walk NC to DC is to make all Americans aware of the dire crisis in rural health care in America, and to encourage the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to sustain rural hospitals.
2. Protect Human Life. All lives are sacred. The lives of rural Americans cannot be disregarded. If we’re going to protect life, we must do it for all Americans. This is not a political issue.
3. Protect Rural America. In the 50 states, more than 70 million Americans live in rural areas. Rural America represents all walks of life. Farmers now make up about 2% of rural American. All rural Americans are essential to the well being of our nation.
4. Protect Jobs. Those who want to close 283 rural hospitals in 2015 will knock out 36,000 healthcare jobs, 50,000 community jobs and $10.6 billion in lost income to rural areas. Their economically insane action would be inequitable and diminish the quality of life for millions of Americans and their families. The loss of these anchors in 283 rural communities will make it impossible for the communities to attract new businesses if there is no hospital to treat the workers and their families
5. Rural hospitals serve more than 62 million Americans. They now face the greatest challenge to their existence in the history of our country.
6. Closing rural hospitals means people die. Closing rural hospitals leaves millions of Americans in a dangerous and vulnerable position.
7. 283 rural hospitals are targeted to close this year. If each closure caused 10 preventable deaths, that would be equivalent to a 9/11 attack every year.
8. This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue -- it’s an American issue.
9. No matter where you live in America, on a farm, in the suburbs, or in a city, all Americans deserve access to adequate emergency medical care.
10. Economically speaking, hospital closures are devastating to small towns. In many cases, the hospitals are the largest employer in the area. Small towns cannot hope to attract new businesses if there is no hospital to treat the workers and their families. Folks don’t retire to towns with no hospital.
11.Medicaid expansion is important to rural hospitals. If a state declines Medicaid Expansion, we encourage them to fill the reimbursement gap caused by denying the expansion.
12. Over $27.2 billion in U.S. taxes go to foreign aid this year. Saving rural hospitals and keeping them financially viable requires about $3 million a year, leaving almost $27 billion for foreign aid.
13. This is an issue we can all agree on, regardless of party or politics. Let’s set an example that our friends in Washington can follow by working together on this most important issue.
14. It is time for America to demand that Congress work on our rural hospital crisis.
Join Republican Mayor Adam O’Neal and civil rights activist Bob Zellner on the inspiring walk, leaving Belhaven NC on June 1st. Get more info at: http://thewalknctodc.com/
Last Year's Walk, Press Release July 26, 2014
(WASHINGTON DC) — On Monday "Walking Mayor" Adam O'Neal (R) will complete his 273-mile march from his home town of Belhaven, NC to the U.S. Capitol Building in the name of Medicaid expansion, endangered rural hospitals, and the Pungo District Hospital, which closed on July 1 endangering over 20K people in his community.
Vidant Health, Inc., which had built a near monopoly in eastern North Carolina, pulling in over $100 million a year with $550 million in the bank, purchased and closed Belhaven’s Pungo District Hospital as part of a regional business model that involves transporting Medicare patients to their profit center in Greenville, NC, while avoiding the costs of operating hospitals with emergency rooms. O’Neal calls this business model immoral, and points out in the United States, more rural hospitals have closed in the past 2 years than in the previous 15.
SaveOurHospital.org has posted a detailed map for July 28, 2014, the final morning of the 15-day journey. The 3.8 mile walk will begin at Gravelly Point Park in Arlington, VA, just north of Reagan National Airport at 7:30 AM, and arrive at the U.S. Capitol at 11:10 AM where a rally and press conference begins at 11:30.
Rev. Dr. William Barber, leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, gave the blessing prior to the start of the Mayor’s march, and he will be there to greet him when he arrives. Rev. Barber and Mayor O’Neal, who joined forces to fight the hospital closing last December, will be the featured speakers at the 11:30 am Moral Monday rally.
Two busses filled with supporters will have left Belhaven, NC at midnight and arrived at dawn. Many will embark with the Mayor at 7:30, and others including Rep. will join him along the route, which takes them across the 14th Street Bridge to the Jefferson Memorial (8:10 AM), the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (8:40 AM), the Lincoln Memorial (9.05 AM), the Washington Monument (9:45 AM), the Grant Memorial on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol (10:45 AM), and finally Upper Senate Park (on the eastern, Supreme Court side of the Capitol Building) for the rally at 11:10 AM.
Mayor Adam O'Neal was born in Belhaven on January 31, 1969. He has been a life long resident of the Belhaven area except for his years at North Carolina State University where he graduated with a B.A. in Business Management.
He has served the Belhaven area as a securities and insurance broker since graduating from NC State University in 1991. In 1999 Mayor O'Neal started a real estate company that is now known as United Country O'Neal and Associates, Inc. with four locations; Bath, Belhaven, Aurora and Washington. O'Neal is blessed with four children.
O'Neal was first elected mayor of Belhaven in 2005, and has been reelected 4 times by wide margins in a town that is 90% registered Democrats, and 67% African American.
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