Not everyone in town on-board with new Vidant facility in Belhaven

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BELHAVEN, N.C. (WNCT) – Vidant Health Care is ready to open its new health care facility in Belhaven.

In the summer of 2014, the only hospital in the Beaufort County town shut down and the Vidant namesake disappeared from signs. The absence of the hospital created turmoil that is still going on today between Vidant and leaders, including Mayor Adam O’Neal.

Vidant Health hopes its new multi-specialty clinic will fill some health care needs of that town, but not everyone in town isn’t on board with the new facility.

The town of Belhaven has been without an emergency room for almost two years. It’s something Eunis Williams, Hyde County resident and Belhaven business owner, knows too well.

“Save the Hospital” is a sign that can be seen in her window shop. Just a few steps up the street, a sign will say, “Vidant’s New Multi-specialty Clinic.”

“We will be seeing primary care patients here from the cradle to the grave so to speak,” said Dr. Gregory Jones, of Vidant Health.

The new facility has 19 exam rooms and two full-time physicians. Previously, Vidant operated three primary care practices in Belhaven. The new facility combines them into one.

“The facility here is as modern as its gets. It’s state of the art,” said Jones.

It also has ultrasound and x-ray capabilities, as well as physical therapy equipment. What it doesn’t have is an emergency room.

“We’re talking about life-saving measures and that can only be done in an emergency room,” added Williams. The new facility does have a helicopter pad to transport patients. If someone needs a surgery, it might be put to use. Some community members are impressed with the new building.

“I think it’s wonderful, I’m very excited about it. I think it’s a great thing for Belhaven,” said Joan Armstrong, a community member.

Others, like Williams, just want the hospital back. Doors open on Monday at 8 a.m.

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