Novant Heath, UNC Health and the UNC School of Medicine have been given the green light on their proposed clinical and research affiliation that involves New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Last year, Wilmington, N.C.-based New Hanover Regional put out a request seeking a health system partner with access to capital and additional resources. The potential partners were Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant, Atrium Health in Charlotte, N.C. and Durham, N.C.-based Duke Health.
In a 4-1 vote on Monday, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved Novant as the partner for New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
As part of its proposal, Novant and UNC will expand the Wilmington branch of the UNC School of Medicine, boost faculty development, expand its pipeline for students who want to work in rural North Carolina and establish a new UNC Health Sciences campus, executives have said. They also pledged to develop a pediatric clinical partnership with UNC Children's at Novant-affiliated sites in the New Hanover area, create outreach clinics and telehealth services from Chapel Hill, as well as develop research, clinical trials and population health studies
"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."
New Hanover will have two seats on the Novant Health Board, which has committed "significant funding for capital investment, the facilitating of joint regional planning, and the preservation of local influence and oversight."
Among the touted benefits are; increasing its charity care program to provide financial assistance to patients at 300% of the federal poverty level from 200%.
With approval from the boards, the Partnership Advisory Group, a 21-member group of hospital board of trustee members, physicians and New Hanover residents will vote on conditions for a definitive agreement and take the list to the NHRMC board of trustees and New Hanover County Commissioners. The public will be able to weigh in on the proposed agreement.