HALIFAX, N.C. – ECU Health joined community officials and business and health leaders at a Medicaid expansion roundtable hosted by Congressman Don Davis at the Halifax County Health Department Friday, Jan. 20, followed by a tour of ECU Health North Hospital.

Jay Briley, president of ECU Health community hospitals, and Jason Harrell, president of ECU Health North Hospital, attended the roundtable to offer insights on health issues impacting Halifax County and eastern North Carolina. Officials urged the need for Medicaid expansion, and community leaders offered perspective and insight on how to best advocate for expansion in North Carolina, which they say would provide invaluable health and economic benefits to communities across the region. With Medicaid expansion, more than 600,000 North Carolinians – 100,000 of whom live in eastern North Carolina – would have access to the affordable health care coverage they need.

ECU Health leaders pose with Congressman Don Davis and his team, as well as health department leaders, in front of the Halifax County Health Department on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. (ECU Health)

“ECU Health is grateful for the opportunity to meet with Congressman Davis and other community leaders to discuss Medicaid expansion and other important health care needs for Halifax County and the region we so proudly serve,” said Briley. “Medicaid expansion is a crucial initiative that would provide numerous benefits for the state, and especially here in rural eastern North Carolina, where we see high rates of chronic diseases and high rates of uninsured patients. Simply put, Medicaid expansion would make an important difference in the lives of so many, and we are committed to advocating for this important measure.”

Following the roundtable, Briley and Harrell welcomed Davis to ECU Health North Hospital for a tour of the hospital, including the oncology unit and women and children’s unit. During the tour, the leaders discussed how they believe Medicaid expansion and the Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program would help provide much-needed relief for rural hospitals across the state, ensuring that rural North Carolinians have access to high-quality health care.

“Rural hospitals like ECU Health North play a critical role in the communities they serve,” said Harrell. “Our hospital is not only a hub for high-quality care, but it is also the largest employer in the county. Medicaid expansion should be a top priority for the state, and we appreciate Congressman Davis’s efforts to advocate for the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.”