The fast-growing communities of Hampstead and Scotts Hill, North Carolina, can now look forward to more health care access that’s closer to home.

On May 31, Novant Health celebrated the start of site work for the campus that will be home to Novant Health Scotts Hill Medical Center. The carefully designed, multi-structure facility will be a one-stop health care destination for residents of northern New Hanover and eastern Pender counties.

Laurie Whalin, president of the future Scotts Hill Medical Center, smiles at the camera
Laurie Whalin

“Our vision of the future is we’re going to bring health care services to you versus you having to come all the way to us,” said Laurie Whalin, chief operating officer of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center and future president of Novant Health Scotts Hill Medical Center.

Whalin emphasized that the new Scotts Hill Medical Center won’t be just a hospital, but a campus, with a variety of services all in one centralized location. This will include an imaging department for tests like X-rays and MRIs, a medical office building for screenings and physician appointments, and a cancer center where patients can receive radiation and chemotherapy treatments. This design embraces evolving health care trends where fewer medical procedures require an overnight hospital stay, safety and efficiency remain paramount for both patients and team members, and medicine holistically focuses on wellness, not just treating illness.

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Providing convenient and personalized care

The Scotts Hill campus includes several accommodations specifically designed to respond to community needs, shorten travel and provide convenience. One of the features is both medical oncology and radiation oncology in one location. Whalin pointed out that radiation can be a five-day-a-week commitment by itself, so this setup will further reduce stress on those receiving both radiation and chemotherapy infusion treatments.

“That is definitely something we're really excited about,” Whalin said.

The campus will also offer state-of-the-art cardiac imaging and rehabilitation services, helping improve health and quality of life for those with heart disease, the most common cause of death for men and women in the United States. Cardiac rehabilitation is an individualized treatment plan constructed by a cardiac physio rehabilitation specialist. Designed to strengthen the heart, the plan may include a comprehensive charted course for everything from food to activity to medication.

Whalin emphasized that the cardiac rehab process is not about conditioning someone to do a prescribed amount of activity, but rather to get each person safely back to doing the activities they love.

“It involves getting you back to a level of where you're able to do the things that you want to be able to do, or used to be able to do,” Whalin said.

This, she said, is an important part of health care now and moving into the future: receiving care that is tailored to your needs and your own personal vision and goals for your future.

“I want to be able to garden, I want to be able to sit in the yard with my grandchildren, I want to be able to play bass,” she said, giving examples. “What are the things you want to do? Let us try to help you get to that level.”

Preparing for a growing community

The state of North Carolina projects that by the end of this decade, 33,000 additional people could call New Hanover County home, and Pender County could add more than 14,000. Scotts Hill Medical Center will be a vital part of assuring this growing community has access to high-quality health care by bringing new medical resources, services and providers to the region.

The 200,000-square-foot community hospital will have a surgical focus, including operating rooms, procedure rooms, and space dedicated to gastroenterology (digestive system care) and endoscopy (a procedure used to examine the esophagus and stomach). Construction of the hospital is planned to take approximately two and a half years. 

The construction of Scotts Hill Medical Center is another way Novant Health is delivering on its mission to improve the health of North Carolina’s communities, one person at a time.

Ensuring a future of high-quality care for the communities of Scotts Hill and Hampstead means bringing both inpatient and a range of outpatient care options to them, instead of asking them to travel to central Wilmington. Growing access is a high priority for Novant Health, and Novant Health is committed to developing the campus and adding new services.

Joining tradition with innovation

Scotts Hill Medical Center’s design is drawn from established local knowledge. The architect for the new campus is LS3P, the designer of several well-known and loved local buildings including Novant Health New Hanover Regional Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Novant Health Zimmer Cancer Institute and Cape Fear Community College’s Wilson Center.

“We've always tried to partner as much as we can with local companies and local firms,” Whalin said.

Novant Health team members and physicians were also instrumental in creating the design of the new campus buildings. By collaborating in workflow sessions, team members and the architects determined the most efficient floorplans to optimize the coordination of resources, care, safety and efficiency.

The new hospital will connect to the existing Novant Health Emergency Department - Scotts Hill. The emergency department has provided care in the community since 2015 and will continue to enhance its patient-centered services as part of the new campus. The site also includes Novant Health Scotts Hill Outpatient Surgery Center.

Building on the emergency department’s relationship with New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, the campus will continue to be part of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center network. Whalin said that while New Hanover Regional Medical Center will still be the larger hospital, residents of Scotts Hill and Hampstead won’t need to travel to receive the highest level of care.

“It's going to be the same high level of expertise,” Whalin said.