Director-Producer of Story of America


Annabel Park

Annabel Park's activity stream

  • commented on I'm a born-again citizen 2015-06-11 16:38:39 -0400
    Thank you George! What do you think is a good way to awaken people?

  • commented on First Images Inside Belhaven's Shuttered Hospital 2014-09-22 09:52:52 -0400
    Sandra, I commend you for your service to the community hospital and for your personal sacrifices for people’s healthcare. I’m sure you deserve more gratitude and recognition than you have received.

    However, I feel compelled to point out my disagreements with your claims.

    You seem to think that your 4-year volunteer experience on the foundation earns you the credibility to make assertions about the financial state of the hospital and the characters of various hospital advocates. The truth is, there are people with more years of residence in the community, more years involved on the PDHC board, more days spent in meetings about the hospital, who completely disagree with you. Many of the people who are most critical of Vidant and the LLC managers are LLC members who were once PDHC board members. Let me briefly summarize why they disagree with you.

    Vidant did not “buy” the hospital. If they did, what was the amount that they paid? Vidant did pay off over a million dollars in debt, but it also assumed control of the bank account that had close to a million at the time of the transfer, millions in account receivables, and a property estimated to be worth 9.6 million.

    The truth is there was no money exchanged in October 2011 when the contract was signed. It was not a purchase. It was an agreement to transfer control of Pungo District Hospital Corp from a community-based board to one controlled by Vidant executives. In exchange, Vidant promised to maintain and strengthen the hospital. Why else would PDHC board just give the hospital worth nearly 10 million to Vidant?

    A judge or jury will decide this once all the evidence is presented by both sides of the lawsuit, but it appears that Vidant deliberately misled the PDHC board members and the community. It is certainly arguable that Vidant’s intention was to close the hospital even before they entered negotiations with PDHC board in 2011. In any case, Vidant certainly did not hold up their end of the bargain to maintain and strengthen the hospital.

    I don’t know all the reasons behind some of the management decisions that were made in the past. I have heard that many people knew that the hospital needed to be significantly down-sized but no one on the board wanted to make the hard decisions that would lead to people in the community losing jobs. It’s the obvious management decision that was never made before board members became convinced in 2011 that Vidant would save the hospital.

    Yes, it’s true that I am not a long-time resident of Belhaven. Perhaps that gives me the fresh perspective I need to be more objective about the hospital issue since I see some people bringing a lot of old personal grudges and loyalties into a discussion that should be based on hard evidence such as financial numbers and legal documents.

    To understand the hospital issue, I have read all the legal documents that I can access, studied the business plan, and talked to a number of people with knowledge of rural hospital management in the community and outside the community.

    My guess is that you’ve not read the legal documents, studied the financial numbers, or seriously considered the business plan vetted by researchers from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and Campbell. It seems to me that you’re taking a less than objective position on the issue of the hospital because of your past personal conflicts with two or three of the main advocates of the hospital. Your hostility towards them is very obvious to me and I can’t help but think that it’s in the way of you recognizing that there are valid perspectives on the hospital even if they’re different from yours.

  • commented on Deeds and Misdeeds: the 1947 law that may save Belhaven's hosptial 2014-08-16 14:41:34 -0400
    I suggest that the people of the Town of Belhaven ask their elected representatives at the Belhaven Town Council, Beaufort Co. Commissioners, and NCGA to enforce this 1947 state law and revert the property back to the People of Belhaven since you are the rightful owners.

    It seems that Belhaven Town Council can pass a resolution immediately to file for a Reversion of the property. I suggest that you contact Mayor O’Neal and town council members, Greg Satterthwaite, Julian Goff, Tony Williams, Robert Stanley, and Vic Cox, and ask them to take action. I have a feeling that they would be quite receptive to hearing from the people.

  • commented on Not a Monster's Daughter 2014-04-24 23:59:07 -0400
    Such courage is contagious.

  • Chief Murphy Recognized by President Obama for Act of Racial Reconciliation

    One of the great honors on our 18-month (thus far) Story of America journey was meeting Police Chief Kevin Murphy of Montgomery, AL. Recently at the White House, President Obama recognized and thanked Chief Murphy for an act of reconciliation that we documented in the video above.

    Read more