Day 1 of 273-mile Walk to Washington DC for Rural Healthcare





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Published on Jul 14, 2014

MORE: http://www.StoryofAmerica.org/walk

Republican Mayor to Begin 273-Mile Walk to DC to Ask Obama, Congress to Help Save Rural Hospital

NAACP's Rev. Dr. William Barber to say prayer, join community in walking first leg,
GOP Mayor Emerges as National Voice for Medicaid Expansion

(Washington, DC) On Monday the Republican Mayor of Belhaven, NC will begin a 14-day, 273-mile walk to the White House where he will ask for President Obama's help with a healthcare crisis that has already caused loss of life, and threatened the well being of thousands in his rural community.

When Vidant Health, Inc. purchased, and announced the closure of Pungo District Hospital, Mayor Adam O'Neal emerged as a fiery advocate for the hospital, and the 23K people who depend on it. Thousands in his region must now travel as many as 84 miles to receive critical care. O'Neal and others believe the hospital was closed on July 1, 2014 in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The mayor will carry with him the story Portia Gibbs, 48, the first person to die for lack of emergency care since the hospital's closing. Her husband and her children will be there on Monday at 9 a.m. to see the mayor off.

Moral Monday leader Rev. Dr. William Barber will say a prayer to bless the mayor's journey, and join him for the ceremonial first leg on Monday in Belhaven (also on Tuesday in Plymouth, NC, Barber's home town).

O'Neal, who has a history of strong ties to the African American community, has welcomed the support of the North Carolina NAACP, which filed a Title 6 complaint under the U.S. Civil Rights Act earlier this year arguing that the hospital closing would disproportionately impact minorities. The Department of Justice offered mediation, and Vidant Health agreed to a mediated settlement under which the hospital was to be returned to the community. The terms of the settlement were not adhered to, however, the hospital shut its doors, and the NAACP has refiled its federal complaint.

O'Neal plans to petition U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and members of Congress when he arrives in DC. O'Neal believes that hospital corporations are buying and closing rural health facilities to cherry pick patients who are wealthy and/or well-insured while leaving thousands without emergency care. Expanding Medicaid, and embracing a program in the Affordable Care Act called Accountable Care Organizations are two ways to prevent this deadly trend.


  1. 1

    Hospital Closed! — Daughter of Founder Speaks Out — Belhaven, NC

  2. 2

    Wisdom Found in 1947 Law Could Save Belhaven's Hospital

  3. 3

    Annabel Park Remarks at White Plains Church

  4. 4

    "Is There a Hospital?" — The Belhaven Battle, Rural Heathcare in Jeopardy

  5. 5

    Corporation slams door on emergency healthcare in coastal North Carolina

  6. 6

    In Memory of Portia Gibbs: No more deaths for lack of a hospital

  7. 7

    Rev. Barber & the NAACP join GOP mayor in fight to save hospital

  8. 8

    Corporate Police vs. Freedom of the Press: A Battle of Wills

  9. Day 1 of 273-mile Walk to Washington DC for Rural Healthcare

  10. 10

    The People, Bob & the Mayor: 273 miles of fun!

  11. 11

    Mayor O'Neal Speech at U.S. Capitol

  12. 12

    The Price of a Life in Rural America: hospital closing threatens lives in Hyde County, NC

  13. 13

    Don't Take Our Hospital: "God, change the hearts of those who think they're in control"

  14. 14

    Audio contradicts Vidant Statement re. Pantego Creek, LLC

  15. 15

    Hospital Update from Mayor O'Neal at Town Council Meeting Sept. 8, 2014

  16. 16

    Vidant's Dr. Herman Touts Justice Dept. Settlement (Later Abandoned)

  17. 17

    NAACP Explains Civil Rights Act Complaint Re. Closing of Belhaven, NC Hospital

  18. 18

    Accurate Information = Hope for Our Hospital: Mayor O'Neal's Message Home to Belhaven

  19. 19

    Vidant's Doctor Herman Interview Following Signing of DoJ-Mediated Settlement

  20. 20

    Mayor's March Day 2 : Strength from the People's support

  21. 21

    Richmond, VA: "Walking Mayor" Speaks at Healthcare Rally

  22. 22

    Belhaven rallies around "Health care not sick care" via ACO (Accountable Care Organization)

  23. 23

    15 Minutes Could Save Our Healthcare System & Emergency Services in Rural America

  24. 24

    Rev. Barber Blesses Mayor's March: Complete Remarks

  25. 25

    The Man with the Plan to Save Belhaven's Hospital

  26. 26

    GOP Mayor Fighting Corporate Greed to Preserve Hospital

  27. 27

    "This is a lose your hospital tax" Mayor O'Neal & Ellen Allen Debate Hospital's Future

  28. 28

    "They'd rather have a dollar than save a life." — hospital closing strikes fear in hearts

  29. 29

    Prayers answered: Belhaven's Hospital Will Go On

  30. 30

    Vidant CEO fields tough questions in Hyde County, NC

  31. 31

    Walking Mayor's Powerful Speech for Rural Healthcare - Woodbridge, VA 7/26/14

  32. 32

    Mayor Adam O'Neal (R) Declined Sen. Kay Hagen (D) Request for Appear in Campaign Commercial

  33. 33

    Rev. Barber outlines Civil Rights complaint against Vidant Health re. rural hospital closing

  34. 34

    Hardest Mile out of 273: Bob & The Mayor March Through Torrential Rain Storm

  35. 35

    Mayor O'Neal & NAACP Field Questions from the press

  36. 36

    "This hospital belongs to the community" - Doctor speaks out against Vidant

  37. 37

    Vidant & NAACP statements after DoJ Mediation Day 2

  38. 38

    "Save Our Hospital" Open Forum, Belhaven, NC

  39. 39

    The Man with the Plan to Save Belhaven's Hospital

  40. 40

    Beaufort Co. Commissioners vote to help Belhaven save its hospital

  41. 41

    Rough Edit: 1947 State Law Could Save Belhaven's Hospital

  42. 42

    $5 million in Missing Equipment: Behind the Scenes of Dr. Boyette's Ch. 7 Interview

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