283-Mile March Culminates at U.S. Capitol with Call to Save Rural Hospitals

Press Release | AFT | June 12, 2015

Media Advisory For: Monday, June 15, 2015
Contact: Anna Oman, 301-979-5899, aoman@aft.org, www.aft.org

283-Mile March Culminates at U.S. Capitol with Call to Save Rural Hospitals

As Crisis in Rural Healthcare Grows, Unlikely Allies Come Together to Demand Action

WASHINGTON—The walk, part of a bipartisan effort to stop rural hospital closures, began in Belhaven, N.C., on June 1, and will cover 283 miles, concluding on the Capitol steps, where supporters will urge Congress to pass the Save Rural Hospitals Act.

By year’s end, 283 rural hospitals could face closure, costing rural communities 36,000 jobs, $10.6 billion in GDP, and countless lives, according to the National Rural Health Association. Some 62 million Americans rely on rural healthcare. Critical care hospital closures leave vulnerable residents without access to specialized care and can mean a family’s closest emergency room is 80 miles away. Visit http://thewalknctodc.com for more information.

WHO: Randi Weingarten, President, AFT
The Rev. William Barber                   
GOP Mayor Adam O’Neal of Belhaven, N.C.
Civil Rights Leader Bob Zellner

WHAT: Rally for Rural Healthcare

WHEN: Monday, June 15, 2015— 11 a.m. to Noon

WHERE: The U.S. Capitol, east side of Capitol lawn near First Street S.E.


The AFT is the second-largest nurses union in the nation and represents more than 100,000 healthcare workers, including registered nurses, patient care and lab technicians, physicians and more. One in four AFT-represented hospitals is a critical-access hospital, and many are located in rural areas.

The AFT represents 1.6 million teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.