Message from John: County to Consider What's Next for NHRMC

July 23, 2019
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Today, I want to let you know about an upcoming decision that will help determine the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the impact we can have on the health and well-being of this region.

For more than 50 years, NHRMC has served our community as a county-owned healthcare system, providing high-quality care to all in need of our services. During this time, we have grown from a single hospital to the leading provider of healthcare for southeastern North Carolina. We have added services, hospitals, outpatient centers, EMS and physician practices to create a powerful network of caring individuals.

This growth has happened because dedicated staff and providers have seized opportunities to improve care for the people we serve.

As we look to the future, our eyes are set on an ambitious vision:

  • We want to lead our community to outstanding health and build a thriving community that serves as a national model for health and wellness.
  • We want to ensure our team is empowered to innovate to provide exceptional care wherever it’s needed.
  • We want care to be accessible, affordable and equitable – and delivered in a way that is personalized to each individual.
  • And we want to be a part of a community that finds ways to minimize and eliminate some of the biggest threats to wellness: including lack of education, drug abuse, poverty and violence.

To achieve our vision for the future, we need additional resources to invest in new technology, buildings, services and people, while continuing to support the work being done today in our units, emergency departments, surgical suites and outpatient settings.

As a county-owned health system, we have always relied on the strength of our own people and operations. We don’t receive any tax support, and have been clinically, financially and operationally strong. Yet, to prepare for inevitable changes and disruptions in the healthcare industry, NHRMC and the county need to consider new ways to support the investments that can make a significant difference in the health of our community.

New Hanover County Commissioners understand this and are equally committed to the health and well-being of our community. Recently, in discussions with Commissioners, the question was raised: Would New Hanover Regional Medical Center be able to do more supported by a larger healthcare system than it could do if it were to continue to be county-owned?  And so, at its September 3 meeting, the Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to accept proposals from health systems interested in purchasing NHRMC.

By considering whether a different ownership structure with a like-minded partner would better serve this community, the County Commission is being proactive in evaluating the best way to secure our future. If the County Commissioners vote to solicit bids for our system, then we can expect there will be a lot of interest.

Our strength puts us in a great position to go through the evaluative process on our terms now, instead of working in a time of crisis. We will be able to consider who would have the commitment and resources to help us advance our strategic priorities that include:

  • Improving access to care and wellness through more consumer-centric options.
  • Advancing the value of the care we provide through higher quality and lower costs, effectively managing the health of our region to not only treat the sick but keep them well.
  • Achieving health equity through community partnerships and activities that remove barriers to care, enabling our residents to achieve their own optimal health.
  • Supporting our staff and the culture that has made NHRMC one of the top places to work in the country.
  • Partnering with providers to make southeastern North Carolina an excellent place to practice medicine so we can continue to attract talented and compassionate providers to care for our growing population.
  • Driving quality care throughout the continuum and helping facilitate transitions with other providers to deliver more seamless and coordinated care models.
  • Growing the level and scope of care already in place for all, regardless of ability to pay.
  • Investing to ensure the long-term financial security and future of our health system.

Please know that any potential partner we would seriously consider will recognize the value of our people. How an organization supports the growth, retention and well-being of this team will be a primary consideration for us if the Commissioners move forward.

As we think back over the 50+ year history of our organization and reflect on some of the tough decisions that were met with controversy at the time - the original bond to build the hospital, expanding the 17th Street tower, adding EMS, acquiring Cape Fear Hospital and partnering with Pender Memorial Hospital - these key changes all seem like no-brainers today. Like these significant decisions that have shaped who we are today, we now face another one that has the potential to position us for the future.

Ultimately, it’s the Commissioners’ decision. We are working closely with them, as well as an expert national healthcare advisory firm, through the process to ensure our mission and vision remain the guiding principles upon which any decision will be made.

Throughout this process, we will be doing all we can to share information with you. Beginning today and over the coming weeks and months, we will be providing updates and offering forums to give everyone a chance to listen and share what’s most important to them.  

 

I ask you to be inspired; be open to considering new opportunities; and, most importantly, be there for our patients and each other. At this time, we don’t know what the best course forward will be; however, whichever path we take, we’ll take it together. 

 

Thank you for all you do.

 Gizdic_JohnSignatureBlack

John H. Gizdic
NHRMC President and CEO

Get More Information:

  • Visit NHRMCFuture.org to learn more and get answers to Frequently Asked Questions. 
  • NHRMC CEO & President John Gizdic has scheduled 11 forums for employees and providers over the next 8 days. See the entire schedule here.