Novant Health continues to look for someone locally to head up the system's presence in Southeastern North Carolina and New Hanover Regional Medical Center, specifically, three months after the sudden departure of the
Shelbourn Stevens left his role June 30 as president of Novant Health NHRMC and Novant's coastal region.
Jeff Lindsay, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Novant, which is based in Winston-Salem, is acting as interim president of the coastal region until a candidate is chosen for the role, according to Novant.
Stevens had been with Novant for 33 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He became president
of NHRMC -- the region's largest employer -- shortly after New Hanover County sold the hospital to Novant in 2021. The now-vacant role oversees NHRMC, Novant Health Pender Medical Center and Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.
The search for a top local leader takes place as Pender County negotiated an ownership change of its county-owned hospital.
After a Pender County board meeting Sept. 18, Novant gained approval to buy Pender Medical Center in Burgaw, according to a Novant and Pender County news release. The agreement of Novant’s purchase was announced in June
NHRMC for decades had already operated the Pender hospital under an agreement with the county, but county officials expressed interest in selling off the facility last year.
Instead of paying Pender County for the medical center, Novant pledged to invest $50 million in improvements to the hospital over the next 10 years, according to Novant.
“A strong team is already in place at Novant Health Pender Medical Center, and we look forward to building on their legacy of care in the years to come,” Lindsay said in the release.
The transaction is expected to be finalized in mid-October. Pender County will maintain a majority of representatives on the 25-bed hospital’s board of trustees, according to Novant.