WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh, N.C., and Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital, Dunn, N.C., agreed to form a not-for-profit system managed by WakeMed in Harnett County, N.C. The city of Dunn, which owns Betsy Johnson, and Harnett County are also parties to the agreement. County commissioners unanimously endorsed the memorandum of understanding Thursday. City officials and WakeMed are scheduled to approve the deal next week. In addition to operating Betsy Johnson, Harnett Health System will apply for state permission to build a 50-bed hospital in Lillington, N.C. The state health plan already recognizes a need for the new hospital, said Bill Atkinson, president and chief executive officer at WakeMed. Atkinson said WakeMed does not intend to take an equity stake in the new system but would underwrite the bonds needed for the new hospital. He extended an invitation to join the system to the only other hospital in Harnett County, Good Hope Hospital in Erwin. Good Hope had a deal with Triad Hospitals to build a replacement hospital in Lillington, but the state denied a certificate-of-need request, and the hospital lost an appeal. -- by Vince Galloro
WakeMed, N.C. county hospital plan new system
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