Vidant Pungo Hospital to Close

The board of directors at Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven, N.C., has voted to close the 25-bed critical access hospital over the next five to six months.

In its place, Vidant will build a 24-hour multispecialty care clinic. David Herman, MD, president and CEO of the hospital's parent organization, Vidant Health in Greenville, N.C., said in a news release the system chose to shut down Vidant Pungo Hospital because "we must seek affordable and sustainable solutions for healthcare delivery to ensure the people in this region have access to care."

A Daily Reflector report said North Carolina's decision not to expand Medicaid also was a factor in closing the hospital, which will lay off about 90 to 100 people in the process.

The 60-year-old hospital became part of Vidant Health in 2011. Executives said the hospital has "environmental and structural concerns." Vidant will be investing more than $4 million in the new care clinic, which is expected to be completed in 18 months.

Adam O'Neal, mayor of Belhaven, told WNCT that Vidant's decision to close Vidant Pungo Hospital would hurt the community. "We have a greedy nonprofit doing immoral things," he said in the report. "These folks in Greenville at Vidant Health don't care about the people of Belhaven. They care about making money. That's the only thing they're thinking about, and it's to our detriment."

More Articles on Hospital Closures:
Cozby-Germany Hospital in Texas Shuts Down
Charlton Memorial: 3rd Rural Georgia Hospital to Close This Year
Interfaith Medical Center Closure Delayed

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