A Two-Decade Strong Partnership for Pender County
Novant Health Pender Medical Center offers the residents of Pender County and surrounding communities a convenient and friendly place to receive care and treatment.
At Pender Medical Center, rural communities across the region have access to an emergency department, surgery and endoscopy services, an infusion clinic, a skilled nursing facility, short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, and imaging services. Those health care services are strengthened by a more than 20-year partnership with New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington and enhanced by Pender Medical Center’s inclusion into the Novant Health network in 2021.
Community engagement and affordability
Novant Health believes strongly in investing in the communities we serve. That’s why Pender County residents have access to Novant Health’s financial assistance program available at every other Novant Health facility. Our financial assistance program is one of the most generous in North Carolina and provides free or reduced care to uninsured patients who have a household income of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. This financial assistance program is a cornerstone of Novant Health’s culture and is an essential element in allowing us to provide remarkable healthcare to all members of our communities, regardless of their ability to pay.
Through Pender Medical Center, Pender County has a high-quality hospital ready to serve those throughout the region. A well-run hospital supports a stable economy and plays an important role in retaining existing businesses and attracting new employers to Pender County.
Partnerships, technology and rural healthcare
Healthcare in rural areas is becoming increasingly challenging. As the cost of providing care rises, hospital closures and reductions in services can force rural patients to travel hours for care – or forego it entirely.
Novant Health and Pender Medical Center have maintained services and made investments in care over the last year to ensure equal levels of care.
Because of the partnership with Novant Health, Pender County patients now have access to cutting-edge life-saving medical technology like Viz.ai stroke detection, which uses advanced technology and artificial intelligence to detect a stroke in minutes. Rural areas and much of North Carolina are a part of the region unofficially known as the “Stroke Belt,” where the risk for stroke is as much as 34 percent than the general population.
Through Pender Medical Center, patients and the community benefit from being treated by the next generation of doctors and specialists in the state. Novant Health’s partnership with UNC School of Medicine includes rural medicine training and rural resident positions, among others.
This partnership includes a new rural residency program in partnership with Black River Family Medicine, which is on-track to open in 2024. These programs provide a crucial pipeline of talented physicians and specialists in areas impacted by fewer health care professionals.
The future of healthcare in Pender County
Novant Health has a strong history of investing in the communities it serves including infrastructure upgrades, new facilities, pay parity, and more to serve the health care needs of the community.
Since Novant Health took over the management of Pender Medical Center, it has invested $2 million in bonuses and salary increases for our clinicians and team members to ensure benefits are competitive both locally and statewide.
Novant Health is currently considering how best to support the expansion of health care facilities and services in Pender County. Expansions would bring more jobs, better health outcomes, and positive economic impact for the county.