This article was contributed by Shelbourn Stevens, prior Senior VP and President of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Coastal Market.
The state projects more than 33,000 additional people could call New Hanover County home by the end of this decade. Brunswick County is forecast to grow even faster, adding more than 52,000 residents, and Pender County is expected to add more than 14,000. That’s 100,000 people in 10 years in our three communities in southeastern North Carolina – not counting the expanded tourism we could see.
Novant Health’s mission is to improve the health of our communities, one person at a time. What does that look like in our growing coastal area? When we are making decisions on expansion projects to serve the area, we must consider not only our current population, but our future residents and their needs.
A good example of that planning in action is the future Scotts Hill Medical Center, planned for the growing U.S. 17 corridor linking Wilmington and coastal Pender County. The state granted us permission in April 2021 to build the hospital.
Since that time, we have been carefully evaluating the plans and considering what services we can grow and bring to this campus, which will include a new medical office building. Growing outpatient care options will include creating a new hub for Novant Health Cancer Institute to save residents travel time when they need cancer treatment, including radiation therapy.
Carefully and strategically planning a major campus like this allows us to prepare for the future – not just the needs of today. No one wants to open any needed community service project – a highway, a school or a hospital – that is over capacity by the time construction is complete.
So as part of our careful consideration, we continue to explore growing the size of Scotts Hill.
While this is our largest pending local project, we recently celebrated the completion of another significant project for our region – the 108-bed Novant Health Neurosciences Institute. This significant investment allows patients to receive the latest in comprehensive stroke, brain, spine and neurological care.
Meanwhile, we continue to keep an eye on growth and the future with these projects:
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