Group to hold rally against vote to explore selling New Hanover Regional Medical Center

New Hanover Regional Medical Center. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Commission will take an important vote Monday afternoon that could set the future course of New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) and an group that opposes the idea plan to hold a rally.

After owning NHRMC for 25 years, New Hanover County leaders are exploring the idea of selling the hospital.

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NHRMC is the largest independent hospital in North Carolina and the third largest in the entire country according to New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet.

One reason for the potential sale is the growing population and the investment that will need to be made in facilities across the region to keep up with the growing needs of the community. Commissioners will consider a resolution to explore new ownership opportunities during its meeting at 4 p.m.

A group plans to hold a “Rally to Save Our Hospital” prior to the meeting since public comments will not be allowed during the meeting.

“The people have spoken that this is our hospital,” said Dr. Kyle Horton who is one of the organizers for the rally. “We are incredibly proud of the success of NHRMC and want to retain local control if at all possible.”

Commissioners were originally scheduled to vote on the matter Tuesday, Sept. 3, but it was delayed due to storm preparations in advance of Hurricane Dorian.

Speakers at this afternoon’s rally are expected to discuss concerns from personal and professional experiences with healthcare mergers and acquisitions. The group is calling on commissioners to vote no on the resolution at this time as drafted, according to a press release sent to WWAY.

“We are gathering to collectively ask that our New Hanover County Commissioners respect the will of the people, and much of the medical community, that this process be delayed, deliberate, accountable, and transparent,” Horton said.

The “Rally to Save Our Hospital” will be held this afternoon at 3 p.m. at the New Hanover County Government Center located on Government Center Drive in Wilmington.