AFSCME Fellows Participate in Healthcare Rally

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Two Summer Fellows were among many at a rally in Washington, DC.

Ifeyinwa Odunukwe and Helki Philipsen, both 2014 Peggy Browning Fellows at AFSCME this summer, were energized at a rally in Washington, DC.  The North Carolina state legislature denied the Medicaid expansion when a healthcare corporation decided that providing health care in rural areas was no longer profitable.  The small town of Belhaven lost its only hospital.

Across the nation, more rural hospitals have closed in the last year than in the last 15 years combined.  That situation leaves residents mired in medical deserts without access to emergency services, and having to travel outside their own communities to get any medical services at all.

Bellhaven's Republican Mayor, Adam O'Neal, and community members walked 273 miles to Washington, DC to tell their story.  He stood with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, as they petitioned political leaders to address this rural healthcare crisis.

Ifeyinwa Odunukwe is now a third-year student at American University College of Law and Helki Philipsen is now a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law.

From l to r: Ify Odunukwe and Helki Phillipsen at a healthcare rally in Washington, DC.

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