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Vidant Pungo Hospital Calls For Special Meeting After Closure Concerns

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The board of directors of Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven called a special meeting for Wednesday September 4th.

A press release sent by Board Chairman Dr. David C. Herman, President Roger Robertson and Vidant Community Hospitals said : "The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and take action, if appropriate, on certain outpatient health care service alternatives and, if necessary, to go into Closed Session."

This comes after Vidant Health officials in Greenville say the hospital in Belhaven had a nearly $1.8 million deficit last year.

Some fear the hospital may shut down.

The meeting will take place in the Vidant Health Administrative Building in Greenville Wednesday.
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After reports of a community-wide concern that a local healthcare facility may be closing its doors, now the CEO of Vidant Health is addressing this issue.

In an email sent to employees, Dr. David Herman referred to the reports aired on WITN on community concerns.

"We are always looking for the most effective ways to deliver local care across our system," wrote Herman. "We have known since they joined our system that we must have a long-term plan related to the current facility... we are now engaged in finding the best solution to meet the needs of these communities while continuing to deliver quality care."

The email also added no final decision has been made regarding Vidant Pungo Hospital yet, echoing the previously released statement from Vidant Health.

Officials in Greenville said Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven had a nearly 1.8-million deficit last year.

Should care be reduced or the hospital be shut down, the nearest options for people would be Vidant Beaufort in Washington, and Washington County Hospital in Plymouth.


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Vidant Health officials in Greenville tell WITN Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven had a nearly 1.8-million deficit last year.

That information comes amidst talk in Belhaven over the future of the hospital, and the possibility it could close.

WITN confirmed with the town manager of Belhaven Tuesday that he, like others, had heard talk of the shut down.

We spoke with Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal who said, "What we would be very interested in knowing is what's going on because the town has an interest in making sure that facility stays there and the quality of care isn't diminished in any way."

For Betsy Deluca, who says that her father had a hand in the founding of Pungo District Hospital, now Vidant Pungo, all the way back in 1947, even a hint of an idea the 49 bed hospital could be closing is disconcerting. She says, "The people that work here depend on this hospital to survive in this area because we have no crabbing or commercial stuff like we used to have when seafood was easier to get to."

Should care be reduced or the hospital be shut down, the nearest options for people would be Vidant Beaufort in Washington, and Washington County Hospital in Plymouth.

Vidant Health released this statement: "Delivering care locally is a vital part of the Vidant Health mission, and Vidant Health is committed to providing care locally in Belhaven and the surrounding communities. No decisions have been made regarding the immediate future of Vidant Pungo Hospital."

Vidant was still University Health Systems when it acquired Pungo District Hospital back in 2011.

In that deal, UHS trustees voted to pay $1.6 millon of the hospital's long-term debt, give a $2 million upgrade to information technology, and $500-thousand for capital improvements.

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There are questions in a Beaufort County community about the future of their hospital. There is talk in Belhaven that Vidant Pungo Hospital could close.

We asked the town manager about it. He tells us he has heard the same thing.

Vidant Health tells WITN, "Delivering care locally is a vital part of the Vidant Health mission, and Vidant Health is committed to providing care locally in Belhaven and the surrounding communities. No decisions have been made regarding the immediate future of Vidant Pungo Hospital."

WITN will continue to follow any new developments for you.


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