As Novant Health competed to purchase New Hanover Regional Medical Center, some members of the group tasked with finding a new owner for NHRMC said the decision to bring on UNC as a partner was a game-changer for Novant, which ultimately won out over Atrium and Duke health systems.
Now Novant is taking the partnership that won it praise in Southeastern North Carolina and expanding it to other locations across the state.
The Winston-Salem-based health care system announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine to expand medical education, research and clinical services to other locations, including Novant facilities in Mecklenburg, Forsyth and other counties.
The new partnership also will focus on finding innovative solutions to enhance care in rural areas, according to a joint news release from the three organizations.
The partnership will initially locate a UNC School of Medicine branch campus at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte.
In addition, expansion of UNC School of Medicine’s Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Program will train more students to work in rural and under-resourced communities with enhanced training for care in those communities across North Carolina, the news release said.
“I am pleased that Forsyth and Mecklenburg counties, and the surrounding communities, will benefit from a collaboration between Novant Health and UNC Health and School of Medicine,” said Carl S. Armato, Novant Health president and CEO, in the release. “Our organizations are culturally aligned and committed to delivering safe, high-quality and affordable care, while improving health equity in the communities we serve.
"This alignment allows us to expand access to medical education and clinical research across the state.”
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted in October to sell county-owned NHRMC to Novant in a $5 billion deal that, among other things, calls for an expanded presence for UNC Health and the UNC School of Medicine in Wilmington.
The Novant-NHRMC deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.