The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 15 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Snipes Academy of Arts & Design, located at 2150 Chestnut Street in Wilmington. The public can come at any time during the hearing to sign up and be heard; arrival at the beginning of the hearing is not required.
The purpose of the public hearing is to receive comments related to the September 16 adoption by the Board of Commissioners of a resolution that will allow the county and New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) to accept proposals from other health systems and get more information to determine how best to secure the future of healthcare in the region. All comments made will be part of the public record, and New Hanover County will broadcast the public hearing live on the county’s Facebook page for anyone unable to attend.
The focus of the public hearing will be on the community’s healthcare priorities. Opinions shared will be considered by County Commissioners, as well as members of the Partnership Advisory Group, which is a group that Commissioners authorized to help lead the community’s efforts to explore options for the future. The Advisory Group is being established currently, and – once formed – they will develop a request for proposals (RFP) based on the community’s priorities and evaluate the options going forward. Throughout the process, the group will report back to the public and the County Commissioners about their findings and recommendations.
The RFP will, among other things, explain NHRMC’s needs and current limitations in serving the community and allow for responses to meet those needs. It will reflect the county’s desire to explore any and all options, including different forms of partnerships and ownership structures. It will also clearly outline the community and hospital’s criteria for selection of a preferred path forward.
NHRMC and the county have put together an initial list of priorities for the Partnership Advisory Group to consider and the community to discuss during the public hearing. Residents are asked to reflect on what is most important when considering healthcare services, what is most important to improving the overall health and wellness of the community, and what are the most important factors to take into consideration when evaluating the future of NHRMC.
The October 15 public hearing is the first of a series of hearings that will be held before any final decision is made. After proposals are submitted and initially reviewed, they will all be made public for the community’s review. Another public hearing will take place at that time to discuss the proposals received and more hearings will be held if it is decided to move forward with any of them. The process is expected to take a year or more.
Learn more at http://www.nhrmcfuture.org/.