Concerns over hospital’s future surfacePublished 7:31pm Saturday, August 31, 2013
Some area residents fear Vidant Pungo Hospital may be on life support, with a decision to pull the plug possibly coming at anytime.
A special meeting has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the matter. The meeting is set to take place at Vidant Health’s administrative building in Greenville.
“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,” reads a press release issued by Vidant Health CEO Dr. David Herman and other Vidant Health officials.
While area residents worry about the future of the Belhaven hospital, Herman offered his in Belhaven and the surrounding communities. No decisions have been made regarding the immediate future of Vidant Pungo Hospital.”
The hospital lost more than $1.8 million last year, according to Vidant Health officials in Greenville.
If the hospital closes, the nearest hospital would be Vidant Beaufort Hospital in Washington and Washington County Hospital in Plymouth.
Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal has said the town has great interest in what may happen with the hospital as it relates to providing health care to Belhaven residents and others who live near the hospital. The mayor said the town would like to be kept apprised about the issue so it knows what’s going on and can react accordingly.
The possibility of Vidant Pungo Hospital closing its doors was discussed during the meeting of the Beaufort County Hospital Authority’s board meeting Thursday.
“It’s been rumored for some time,” said board Chairman Hood Richardson, a Beaufort County Commissioner.
“The news just broke in the newspaper (Wednesday) that they’re (Vidant Health) going to close the Pungo hospital. Now, they haven’t actually said they’re going to close the Pungo hospital, but they’re making all the kinds of moves you make before something like this happens,” Richardson said.view on the matter by way of an email. That email notes no final decision about the 49-bed hospital has been made.
“We are always looking for the most effective ways to deliver local care across our system,” reads part of Herman’s email. “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.”
Asked to comment on the matter, Vidant Health issued this statement: “Delivering care locally is a vital part of the Vidant Health mission, and Vidant Health is committed to providing care locally