The citizen-led Partnership Advisory Group considering options for the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center will resume its formal meeting and evaluation process on April 16, 2020.
The Partnership Advisory Group cancelled three scheduled meetings in March and early April to allow physician, county and NHRMC staff members more time to focus on COVID-19 preparations. With preparations and systems for managing the COVID-19 crisis well underway the Advisory Group is looking to the future and the importance of continuing the evaluation process to ensure the area’s leading healthcare provider can recover from the current crisis and serve the region’s growing healthcare needs.
“We are grateful for everything our physicians, staff, and community, are doing to rise to the occasion and combat this pandemic,” said Barb Biehner, co-chair of the Partnership Advisory Group and member of the NHRMC Board of Trustees. “COVID-19 underscores NHRMC’s financial vulnerability and the need for a robust stable of resources to ensure something like this doesn’t undermine NHRMC’s ability to meet the needs of the region. We must not lose time on positioning New Hanover Regional Medical Center for the future.”
Six organizations have submitted proposals for partnering with NHRMC to serve the region: Atrium Health, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Duke Health, HCA Healthcare, Novant Health and UNC Health.
On April 16, the NHRMC Partnership Advisory Group is scheduled to hold its first full meeting since receiving the proposals March 16. Most of this virtual meeting will need to be in closed session to allow members a chance to discuss information considered confidential per state statutes and nondisclosure agreements and review responses to clarifying questions that needed to be addressed before the proposals are shared with the public.
The meeting on Thursday, April 16 will begin at 5:30 p.m. The public can listen to the open session portions of the meeting (which are expected to occur at the beginning and end of the meeting) using the following:
- Join by Phone: call 415-655-0003 and use the meeting number 288 509 410
- Join by Webex at nhcgov.webex.com: use meeting number/access code: 288 509 410 and password PAGMeeting
“We know the community, particularly members of the NHRMC team, are very focused on COVID-19 and we don’t want to distract from the important work being done to protect each other and the community,” said Spence Broadhurst, co-chair of the Partnership Advisory Group. “We also know that we have the proposals and have made a commitment to the community to share them. We don’t want to wait any longer than necessary to make these public and begin the conversation of how we can best secure the future of our region’s health and well-being.”
The proposals will be on the www.nhrmcfuture.org website by noon on Tuesday, April 21.
The public is invited to share their comments on the proposals through the Advisory Group’s email address PAGComments@nhcgov.com. All comments are shared with the entire group, to ensure the community’s thoughts and questions are heard.
In addition, the public will have an opportunity to share their feedback on the proposals at a public hearing in the coming months. The timing and format will depend on how the situation with COVID-19 evolves, but a hearing will be held before any final decision is made.
Information about the Partnership Advisory Group, its meeting schedule, the RFP and all past presentations and articles can be found at www.nhrmcfuture.org.