Community Support Grows for Partnership with Novant Health, UNC Health

July 13, 2020
Imagine doctors

More members of the community are coming out in favor of a recommendation for NHRMC to join Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine in expanding healthcare services in the region.

The recommendation from the 21-member Partnership Advisory Group goes to the Board of New Hanover County Commissioners Monday, July 13. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. and will be aired on

After nine months of evaluation, at its meeting on July 2, the PAG unanimously voted in favor of a proposed partnership with Novant Health, which comes with an expanded relationship with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine. The group cited the ability of the high-quality, not-for-profit health systems to dramatically expand the depth and availability of health services for the growing region while recruiting and retaining top staff and infusing billions of dollars into programs to improve the health and wellness of the area’s population.

Since the Partnership Advisory Group’s vote, others have added their approval, including:

NHRMC Board of Trustees

Pender Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees

NHRMC Foundation Board of Directors
NHRMC Medical Executive Committee and more than 120 members of the Medical Staff

Partnership Advisory Group co-chair, Barb Biehner says the depth of support among those who have a responsibility to care for area patients and ensure the future of NHRMC and PMH reflects the strength of the recommended proposal. “The more people learn about what is possible through  this partnership, the more they understand this is the right decision for this community.”

Following their vote of support, members of NHRMC’s medical staff, which includes employed and independent providers with privileges at NHRMC, have started signing on to an open letter to the community.

“Through their proposals and presentations, we believe Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine offer an excellent opportunity for us to advance care in our region and serve all those who rely on us for their health and well-being,” the letter states, in part. “This partnership could be transformative for our region and is worth further consideration.”

To read the full letter and see the list of signatures, visit

Five members of NHRMC’s medical staff serve on the Partnership Advisory Group, including Dr. Mary Rudyk, an independent provider who serves as chief of the medical staff.

“I fully support this great opportunity for ensuring the health of our patients, our families and future generations to come,” Dr. Rudyk said.

The Partnership Advisory Group's recommendation, which also earned the support of the NHRMC Board of Trustees on July 7, 2020, will go to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on July 13. If the Commissioners approve the recommendation, NHRMC and New Hanover County will execute a letter of intent with Novant Health and move toward a definitive agreement, which would be made public for further review and comment before any final decision is made.

Proposals and meeting information are available online at