Print
Health Care

County Commissioners Vote To Explore Hospital Sale

By Vicky Janowski, posted Sep 16, 2019
New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet and NHRMC President and CEO John Gizdic address county commissioners Monday. (Photo by Vicky Janowski)
New Hanover County commissioners on Monday voted to explore potential new ownership of the county-owned hospital.
 
Commissioners Woody White, Julia Olson-Boseman and Pat Kusek voted for the resolution, with commissioners Jonathan Barfield Jr. and Rob Zapple voting against.
 
“I’m a proponent of studying all the options, and I have not made a decision about whether this hospital should be sold or not. I don’t have enough information to make that happen,” Kusek said. “It’s about increasing the level of health care in our community regardless of who owns that hospital.
 
“If we don’t learn now what other entities might provide for our community we might wish we had done so 10 years down the road,” she said at the meeting, which was standing-room only at the government center and included a mix of residents holding signs calling for a vote delay as well as representatives from area business groups. A rally against the vote took place before the meeting at the county building.
 
Approval of the resolution, required by state law, means a request for proposals can now be crafted for outside health care systems to make their offers to buy or manage NHRMC, which is county owned.
 
Commissioner Rob Zapple offered an amendment that would have set a one-year minimum from now before any final vote on a sale could take place.
 
“This process is being rushed unnecessarily. It is not transparent, and important stakeholders in this decision are being ignored,” Zapple said, who asked questions about why the issue didn’t come up to the hospital trustees first and why it had to be handled first through an RFP that comes with contractually binding offer quotes instead of a request for information. “Rushing this resolution could very well lock the hospital into a wrong approach.”
 
The amendment failed, however, with only the additional backing of Barfield, who explained why he did not support the overall measure to kick-start the RFP process.
 
“What I’ve heard resounding in this community is this is not the time to move this forward,” said Barfield, who has remained publicly quiet on his position since the proposal was first announced.
 
County Manager Chris Coudriet and NHRMC President and CEO John Gizdic in late July announced that the county-owned health care system would be looking at exploring a new ownership model.
 
At that announcement, and at public forums held since then, they have emphasized that Monday’s vote does not commit the county to sell but seeing what offers would be made for NHRMC, the third-largest county-owned hospital remaining in the U.S.
 
“It is our recommendation that you proceed in a very deliberate, fact-based manner that complies with the state statute and ensures additional valuable input,” Coudriet said to commissioners before they voted.

"The approved resolution and direction of the board begins a research phase to understand what options exist for NHRMC, including a potential sale, other partnerships, and an evaluation of options for NHRMC to remain county owned," a news released sent out after the vote stated. "The resolution does not direct or confirm a sale of NHRMC."

The resolution also authorized forming a Partnership Advisory Group to help develop priorities for the RFP, evaluate the proposals received and provide a recommendation on next steps to the county commissioners and hospital trustees.

"The group would include county, hospital physician, nonprofit and community leaders, and it would be reflective of the communities, diverse individuals and interests," Coudriet said, adding that it will meet at least twice before an RFP goes out.

 

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Lyleheadshot2017 1251720228

Housing is the Best Medicine

JC Lyle - Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry
Lynnwhitesellheadshot

Culture is Foundational to Organizational Success

Lynn Whitesell - Harris Whitesell Consulting
Carolinemontgomery4

Up-to-Date and Accurate Books

Caroline Montgomery - Adam Shay CPA, PLLC

Trending News

Vacating Wilmington Business Leaves Large Industrial Space For Lease

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 15, 2019

Here's Who's In Advisory Group On Potential NHRMC Deal

Cece Nunn - Oct 14, 2019

City Staff Recommends Moving Forward With $90M Proposal

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 14, 2019

How A $90M Gateway Project Could Impact The City

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 16, 2019

South College Sandwich & Deli Ranks On BuzzFeed List

Jessica Maurer - Oct 16, 2019

In The Current Issue

Local Resources Target Global Business

Some resources have recently become available to help local firms navigate dealings in global trade....


Keeping Track With Rail Realignment

It's Aubrey Parsley's job to tackle the task of moving commercial railroad tracks out of the middle of the city of Wilmington....


5-year Regional Job Numbers Released

North Carolina’s Southeast has helped spur more than 1,600 jobs in the past five years for the Wilmington area, according to a report....

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
WILMA's Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`