Conway Medical Center, Novant Health announce plans to expand access to quality care on the coast

CONWAY, SC – Aug. 1, 2023 – Today, Conway Medical Center (CMC) announced a new strategic relationship with Novant Health to address the health care needs of one of the fastest growing areas in the country, including the Grand Strand and Pee Dee regions. Together, the two organizations have formed one of the most comprehensive, mission-driven, locally based health care collaborations in the Carolinas. CMC remains an independent, nonprofit health system with local governance and leadership, with Novant Health holding a minority interest.

“We are really excited about our new relationship with Novant Health and what it means for the health of our community,” said Brian Argo, president and CEO of Conway Medical Center. “Over the last several years, our organization has blossomed into a regional health system stretching from right here on the Grand Strand, all the way to Florence. We have so much in common with Novant Health, starting with our shared dedication to providing exceptional care and service to our communities. This relationship is a win-win for our communities and our patients.”

For 95 years, CMC has served the needs of patients along the Grand Strand. Starting with a hospital in the heart of Conway, CMC has grown to cover more of Horry County than any other health care provider in the region. With more than 40 locations, over 100 employed providers, and over 1,600 employees, CMC has continually focused on delivering the best care possible in the fastest growing area of the country.

“As trustees for Conway Medical Center, we are thrilled about this new working relationship with Novant Health,” said Leroy Rainbow Jr., chairman of the Conway Medical Center board of trustees. “As a nonprofit health care provider, we are entrusted with the lives and futures of thousands. This agreement will allow us to continue building on close to a century of excellence. We can think of no better partner in this journey than Novant Health.”

"We have tremendous respect for Conway Medical Center’s board of trustees, its leadership team and staff, so our initial investment is a first step toward a long-term, integrated partnership between two organizations that share a legacy focused on improving the health and wellness of communities, one person at a time,” said John Gizdic, Novant Health executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “We aim to set a new level of excellence in health care, starting with offering workforce development opportunities and expanding access to care for underserved communities.”

“In Conway Medical Center, we have found the perfect team of mission-driven health care professionals to help Novant Health execute our vision for the Coastal Region,” said Mitch Lamm, chairman of the Novant Health Coastal Region board of directors. “We’re looking forward to working with them to deliver the exceptional care the patients of this region expect to see from organizations like Novant Health and Conway Medical Center.”

During the first year of this strategic collaboration, Conway Medical Center and Novant Health will focus on developing initiatives for key areas of need for the patients of Horry and Georgetown counties. Together, they will explore:

  • Expanding access to care for patients across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee and exploring further regional growth together to provide services close to home.
  • Creating new opportunities for patient-focused care experiences, which includes moving care from clinical settings to more consumer-friendly environments.
  • Developing a robust pipeline of clinical talent and providing new opportunities to train the next generation of clinical and administrative health care leaders.

“This first year is going to be all about both organizations focusing deeply on our patient and community needs,” said Argo. “Our patients are the most important thing to us. For them, they get the comfort of knowing that they can expect to see the same exceptional clinical experts they’re used to and that we as an organization are striving to deliver even more for them.”

As of the closing, Novant Health will hold a 30% membership interest in Conway Medical Center as part of its plans to drive positive change in communities across the Southeast. That includes expanding the CMC board of trustees to 21 members, with six representing Novant Health.

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