New Hanover Regional Medical Center named first NC hospital to earn triple gold awards from NC Prevention Partners

May 10, 2013
WILMINGTON – New Hanover Regional Medical Center was recognized by NC Prevention Partners for providing the highest standard of excellence for comprehensive wellness programs offered to their employees in the areas of physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco-free environments. Hospitals receiving these acknowledgments are considered Gold Medal, Gold Apple, and Gold Star Standard Hospitals respectively. New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the first hospital in North Carolina to earn all three gold awards. New Hanover Regional Medical Center has also been named by NC Prevention Partners as a Center of Excellence in worksite wellness programs. Funded by the Duke Endowment, NC Prevention Partners is working to improve the health of hospital employees across the state of North Carolina by creating worksite wellness environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice. By addressing how policy, the environment, education, benefits, and incentives support healthy employees, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is meeting the highest standard of excellence in all three areas of the Healthy NC Hospitals Initiative. The Gold Medal recognizes hospitals for establishing a culture of wellness where being active is the norm by providing access and opportunity for physical activity during and after the workday. The Gold Apple is awarded to hospitals that provide delicious, affordable and healthy foods to all employees all the time. The Gold Star is presented in recognition of providing the highest standard of excellence for tobacco cessation programs offered to employees. “I am extremely proud of our employees for embracing these initiatives,” said Jack Barto, president and chief executive officer of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. “As healthcare providers, we have the opportunity to be role models of a healthy lifestyle for our patients. I think our staff has risen to that challenge. Our employees have helped develop these wellness programs and they deserve so much credit for supporting these initiatives.” Among the many highlights of their employee wellness program is 24/7 access to an employee and family members-only fitness center. For only $5 per pay period, employees have access to a wide range of fitness equipment at a center where childcare is offered in addition to multiple fitness classes and personal training. Employees are encouraged to be physically active during their breaks, and are often seen on the walking paths throughout the day. In their cafeteria, each food station offers healthy options, nutrition information, and icon labeling so that healthy choices are easily identified. By using pricing incentives, healthier options can be purchased at a lower cost than less healthy options. Unlimited nutrition consultations are provided to employees at no cost. Non tobacco users pay a lower health insurance premium, and tobacco users and their family members are offered counseling and smoking cessation medications at a reduced cost. “New Hanover Regional Medical Center has set a high bar for all North Carolina worksites in terms of their employee wellness program. They provide their employees every opportunity to be active, eat healthy, and quit tobacco if needed,” commented Anne Thornhill, Director at NC Prevention Partners. “I applaud their great effort.”About New Hanover Regional Medical Center:With a dedicated team of more than 5,000 employees, 550 physicians and 750 volunteers, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is one of the largest public, not-for-profit healthcare organizations in the Carolinas. A multi-campus healthcare system, NHRMC includes the main 17th Street campus, the NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital on Wrightsville Avenue and the management of Pender Memorial Hospital in Burgaw. With a team-based approach to healthcare, NHRMC offers a variety of healthcare services, technologies and treatments for patients of all ages.About NC Prevention Partners: NC Prevention Partners is a state and national leader in guiding schools, hospitals and workplaces to improve their culture of wellness by improving policies and environments that address tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and obesity. For more information, please visit
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 5,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly. ###