New Hanover County Commissioners Approve Agreement with Novant Health, Establish Community Endowment

October 05, 2020
Novant NHRMC Vote Celebrate

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted, 4-1, at Monday evening’s meeting to execute the Asset Purchase Agreement approving the sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) to Novant Health, a North Carolina not-for-profit health system. The vote also establishes the use of net proceeds from the sale, including the creation of the New Hanover Community Endowment, and terminates the county’s lease with NHRMC upon closing.

Last week, the 21-member Partnership Advisory Group unanimously recommended that Commissioners approve the agreement with Novant Health after a year of thorough research and evaluation; and the NHRMC Board of Trustees also voted to approve the Asset Purchase Agreement and recommend Commissioners approve the same agreement.

The Commissioners’ adopted resolution, which approves the agreement and accompanying transactions, can be viewed here.

“Today’s vote is about securing quality healthcare that every single person needs and deserves,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “By joining our hospital with Novant – we are securing healthcare for generations to come. We are promising a better quality of life, more access to healthcare, greater innovation and technology, enhanced academic experiences, and less health disparities. We are ensuring safe, high-quality, cost-effective care for every person.”

Through the executed agreement, Novant Health will purchase NHRMC from New Hanover County for $1.5 billion, invest more than $3 billion in growing and advancing NHRMC’s services in the area, and expand the hospital’s relationship with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine – which will enhance medical education already in place, expand a children’s clinical service-line partnership with UNC Children’s Hospital, and develop research clinical trials and population health studies programs.

The net proceeds from this purchase, which include $1.5 billion from the sale and around $440 million in the hospital’s current net assets, will go to benefit the community – with the majority of proceeds, an estimated $1.25 billion, invested in the New Hanover Community Endowment.

“The New Hanover Community Endowment will truly change lives,” said Olson-Boseman. “And the way it is being structured keeps politics out of it, and will allow for the best investments to ensure our community can benefit from millions of dollars more each year. This endowment will help our most vulnerable and underserved, bring resources and support to local organizations, and truly assist our residents – and our community will be better for it.”

The community endowment will be overseen by an 11-member board made up of New Hanover County residents, with five members appointed by Commissioners and six appointed by the community members on the hospital’s new Local Board. The Commissioners’ first five appointments were named in the adopted resolution and the remaining six appointments by the Local Board will be made in the coming weeks, in order for the endowment’s board to be established and ready to assume the sale proceeds designated to it at closing.

Novant Health, as the parent organization, will not be part of the Local Board’s appointments to the community endowment; those will be made at the local level to represent local people.

The community endowment’s bylaws can be viewed here.

Next Steps

Now that an agreement has been executed, New Hanover County, NHRMC and Novant Health will begin the closing process which includes presenting the approved, final executed agreement to the Attorney General’s Office for review. The closing process is expected to take several months, with a closing expected in the first half of 2021.