Health Care

Eckel, Thompson Named To Novant Board

By Vicky Janowski, posted Mar 24, 2021
Jason Thompson and Brian Eckel
As part of its purchase of NHRMC, Novant Health will add two area residents to the Winston-Salem-based health system’s board.
Brian Eckel and Jason Thompson will join Novant’s board of trustees, attending their first meetings in May, Novant officials announced Wednesday.
Eckel and Thompson both have lengthy experience with NHRMC as trustees for the local hospital as well as members of the Partnership Advisory Group, which spent a year evaluating the health system’s future, weighing proposals from potential buyers and ultimately recommending the deal with Novant.
The sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center closed Feb. 1.
As Novant last year competed with other health systems interested in the county-owned NHRMC, it offered $2 billion in proceeds to New Hanover County and $3 billion in commitments for capital needs and projects for the local health system.
But in its proposal, Novant also extended other carrots, from expanding NHRMC’s charity care program to forging an agreement with UNC Health on graduate medical education to offering seats on Novant’s parent company board to local residents.
Fulfilling that part of the deal, Eckel and Thompson will serve as representatives from the Novant Health Coastal Region board of managers – the group that replaced the NHRMC Board of Trustees after the sale.
Eckel is a co-founder of Cape Fear Commercial real estate firm and a partner in the firm’s development arm, GHK Cape Fear Development. Thompson, a former New Hanover County commissioner and Wilmington City Council member, owns American Property Experts, a recycling and biomass fuel production facility.
“I’m pleased to welcome Brian and Jason to our board of trustees,” Novant Health President and CEO Carl Armato said in a statement. “With their extensive community work, expertise in strategic growth and invaluable participation with the Partnership Advisory Group, they will be instrumental in expanding Novant Health’s strategic initiatives to southeastern North Carolina.”
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