NAACP to sign agreement to keep NC hospital open

BELHAVEN, N.C. (AP) — Officials with the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP say they will sign an agreement for a public-private partnership to keep the Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven open for three more months.

NAACP officials said they, the town of Belhaven and Vidant Health Sytems will sign the agreement Thursday. North Carolina NAACP President William Barber says the agreement will keep the hospital open through July 1.

Vidant Health officials said in September that they would close the hospital within six months. They said then that hospital's closing was triggered by North Carolina lawmakers' decision to refuse federal funding to expand Medicaid.

The company plans to open an outpatient clinic in Belhaven, but patients needing emergency care would need to go to another Vidant hospital in Washington, about 25 miles away.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.