New Hanover County to Consider What’s Next for NHRMC

July 23, 2019
Exploring the Future for blog 600w

In a proactive step to evaluate how New Hanover Regional Medical Center can best serve area residents well into the future, New Hanover County and New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) announced today that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution to explore new ownership opportunities for NHRMC at its September 3 meeting. 

"New Hanover Regional Medical Center is a true asset to our region,” said Chris Coudriet, New Hanover County Manager. “It has grown in scope, capabilities, quality and service and is a top employer and community partner. New Hanover County values that and recognizes the importance of ensuring access to quality health care, at a lower cost, as well as health equity for every person well into the future."

NHRMC is a county-owned health system founded in 1967. To date, it has been self-sustaining, receiving no county tax dollars for its operations.

If the “Resolution of Intent to Sell” is approved on September 3, county and hospital leaders would explore whether a larger healthcare system could support NHRMC in adapting to changes in the industry while advancing health and wellness for area residents through increased investment in services and community initiatives. 

"When we look to the future, we envision being part of a thriving community that is a model for health and wellness,” said John Gizdic, President and CEO of NHRMC.

“We want to empower our staff and providers to provide exceptional care wherever it’s needed and work with our communities to minimize and eliminate some of the biggest threats to wellness. This is our mission and the vision that motivates us to explore every possible path toward achieving it."

The decision on whether to consider new ownership comes as changes in the healthcare industry are leading more health systems to explore creative solutions. 

"We’re clinically, financially and operationally strong today, but we recognize that to prepare for an uncertain future, we need to consider new ways to support investments in the people, technology and services that can make a significant difference in the health of our community," said Gizdic.

Key Areas of Focus

If the majority of Commissioners vote in favor of soliciting bids from potential partners, they will work with NHRMC leaders to evaluate whether another organization could advance NHRMC 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 NHRMC 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.

“Our County Commissioners are committed to the health and well-being of the community,” said Coudriet.

"NHRMC and New Hanover County will work together to chart the best path forward, whether that’s with a new partner or maintaining the current county ownership."

What's Ahead

NHRMC and New Hanover County leaders will host forums for the community to share their thoughts about what is most important to the future of health and wellness in the region. The comments shared will help set priorities and define the vision of what the community would like to achieve. Two community forums will be held prior to the vote on September 3:

  • August 19, 6-7:30 pm, Northeast Regional Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington
  • August 20, 8:30-10:00 am, Senior Resource Center, 2222 South College Road, Wilmington

At the September 3 County Commission meeting, the Commissioners will discuss and decide whether to move forward with exploring alternative owners to achieve that vision.

If the resolution is approved by a majority of Commissioners, the county, in cooperation with NHRMC leadership, will develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) based on community priorities that will be distributed nationwide.

Once the proposals are returned for review, potential partners will be evaluated on their ability to invest in, and accelerate, the work NHRMC employees, providers, and community agencies are doing to improve care and wellness throughout the region.

Additional employee, provider and community forums will be held to share information after RFPs are received, and prior to another vote of the New Hanover County Commissioners.

If approved, the selection of a new owner and execution of an agreement could take more than a year. Hospital system services, providers, and employees will continue daily operations without interruption while these discussions occur, and there will be no change in how residents access care.

The community can stay informed throughout the process and find additional information at www.NHRMCfuture.org, a website created by New Hanover County and NHRMC.