WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. ― In a 4-1 vote on July 13, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved Novant Health as the partner for New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC). Novant Health was the recommended partner by the Partnership Advisory Group (PAG), a 21-member group of hospital board of trustee members, physicians and members of the New Hanover community charged by the county and NHRMC to determine the future of NHRMC. The NHRMC board approved of the recommendation July 8.
“We are honored that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, along with the PAG and New Hanover Regional Medical Center board of trustees, selected Novant Health to be the future partner of New Hanover Regional Medical Center,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. “In 53 years of serving New Hanover County and the surrounding communities, New Hanover Regional Medical Center formed a legacy of high-quality care and unwavering commitment to improve the health of the community. Novant Health is committed to maintaining that excellence and look forward to making a significant impact to enhance and expand the health of southeastern North Carolina and beyond.”
In its initial proposal for NHRMC, Novant Health committed to significant funding for capital investment, the facilitating of joint regional planning, and the preservation of local influence and oversight. The benefits Novant Health brings to the partnership include:
· A total value to the community of over $5 billion.
· Significant local oversight of NHRMC and providing NHRMC with two seats on the Novant Health board.
· Support for the many valued, collaborative relationships NHRMC maintains with independent physicians and medical groups and the continuation of all NHRMC’s existing hospital-based provider contracts.
· A strengthened charity care program that provides financial assistance to patient at 300% of the federal poverty level, up from 200%.
And to ensure high-quality medical education remains at NHRMC, Novant Health signed a letter of intent to partner with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine, which will provide continuity and expansion to medical education at NHRMC. The partnership will:
· Enhance and expand the Wilmington branch campus of the UNC School of Medicine.
· Extend and establish the clinical research infrastructure and capabilities of UNC Chapel Hill to Wilmington.
· Enhance local pediatric care.
With approval from the boards, the PAG will vote on a list of key terms and conditions for a definitive agreement and take the list to the NHRMC board of trustees and New Hanover County Commissioners. The proposed agreement will be made available to the public for review.