NAACP Says It Will Block Any Plans To Demolish Belhaven Hospital

The North Carolina NAACP says it will conduct civil disobedience if Vidant Pungo Hospital is demolished.

An attorney for the NAACP, Al McSurely, says they have direct evidence that Vidant Health wanted to bulldoze the Belhaven hospital after it closed July 1st.

Vidant told WITN last week that it no longer owns the building or the property, that it has reverted to Pantego Creek, LLC.

NAACP President Rev. William Barber said at an afternoon news conference in Greenville that they plan to conduct civil disobedience if demolition were to happen. Barber says they will start instructing people how to do that starting Thursday.

O'Neal says the town will file an injunction is demolition plans were to begin.

Barber says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has opened a full investigation under the 1964 Civil Rights Act into the closure of the hospital. He says hospitals can't receive federal money and then discriminate.

As the mayor and the NAACP were across the street, Vidant issued a news release. The health system says since July 1st, the 24/7 clinic in Belhaven has served nearly 400 patients, offering primary and urgent care.

Vidant says plans are moving forward to build a new 12,000-square-foot multispeciality clinic. It says a building permit has already been applied for with the town, and says once it gets final approval, construction will begin immediately.

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Continuing the efforts to reopen the Belhaven hospital Vidant Pungo, Belhaven Mayor Adam O' Neal says the town will be holding a press conference at a local headquarters in the east.

That meeting will be held at the NAACP headquarters 3 p.m.Wednesday in Greenville.

At the conference, O'Neal says there will be a discussion about the current state of Vidant Pungo and the possibility of filing another injunction. The hospital shut down in early July.

Two hundred and seventy-three miles later, O' Neal completed his trek to Washington D.C. last week and returned home.