Petition about hospital

Published 5:36 pm Monday, September 16, 2013


To the Editor:

Below is a petition sent to Vidant Health CEO Dr. David Herman to maintain and further improve the level of services that was delivered by Pungo District Hospital.

Dear Dr. Herman,
The proposed closure of Pungo District Hospital has brought great distress not only to that community but also the region around it. I have circulated a resolution, which has been signed so far by 815 people of eastern Beaufort County and Hyde County who have depended on the hosptal’s services in the past. In addition to the points raised in the resolution many signatories told me stories of lives of family members saved due to the presence of the ER in Belhaven, lives that would have been lost if the transport had been longer. Many also voiced great concern about the absence of a dialogue with the citizens prior to coming to a decision about the future of the hospital.

Attached is the resolution and copies of the signature pages. 
Ulrich Alsenzter, M.D. (retired)

Resolution to keep Vidant Pungo District Hospital, or like facility, in continuous operation and further improve its services and especially address the needs of the ever larger aging population of eastern Beaufort County.
Whereas Beaufort County ranks poorly in state-and nation wide County-Health Ranking 
(see appendix 1); and
Whereas Beaufort County is one of the poorest counties in North Carolina; and
Whereas within Beaufort County, its eastern parts, of which Belhaven is the center, 
is an especially under-served area; and 
Whereas no scheduled public transportation is available in Beaufort County to carry 
people to Washington or Greenville to medical services; and
Whereas the population of eastern Beaufort County has a disproportionate large 
number of elderly and minority people; and
Whereas the eastern parts of Beaufort County are relatively undeveloped and do not 
have the internal resources to address the underlying issues which have 
resulted in the poor health rankings.

Now therefore be it resolved, that the owners of Vidant Pungo District Hospital consider the importance of Vidant Pungo District Hospital to the health care of people living in the eastern parts of Beaufort County and Hyde County; and further consider the economic impact on the community of a closure of Vidant Pungo District Hospital; and that all opportunities be explored to improve the health care for the people of eastern Beaufort -and Hyde County while specifically addressing the needs of the region’s the aging population and make this into a Center of Excellence for community-based living and care for elderly people.

Ulrich Alsentzer, MD (retired)