New Hanover Regional Medical Center's board of trustees voted Thursday evening to support the county-owned hospital system’s purchase by Winston-Salem-based Novant Health.
The vote was 16-1, with board member John Andrew the sole “no” vote.
The board’s decision to support the resolution to enter into a binding sales agreement with Novant followed a unanimous decision earlier in the week by the Partnership Advisory Group to recommend a “yes” vote to both the hospital trustees and the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
John Gizdic, president and CEO of NHRMC, told the trustees that voting to execute the sales agreement would “transform the health of our region for generations to come.”
Andrew called Novant Health “a monopoly” that would eventually sell the NHRMC operation to a third party down the road. “I feel like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness here,” he said.
But Andrew was overwhelmed by a boisterous voice vote that now places the proposed sale into the hands of county commissioners, who are scheduled to meet on Monday afternoon to vote on the proposed deal. At last count, only one commissioner, Rob Zapple, was on record as opposing the sale.
In addition to deciding whether or not to back the Asset Purchase Agreement, the commissioners will also discuss the use of net proceeds from the proposed sale, bylaws for a $1.25 billion community endowment to be created, and the termination of the lease between the county and NHRMC at closing, as properties and facilities being leased would be sold by the county.