PAG holds virtual meeting to discuss sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As medical staff on the front lines battle coronavirus at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the group considering a possible sale of the hospital meets once again. This time, virtually.

Most of Thursday night’s partnership advisory group meeting was in closed session. It was the first time the group had met since proposals from interested organizations were due on March 16, and a lot of the information in those proposals is confidential.

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“We’ve got six excellent proposals so we’re just kind of working through the nuts and bolts of those,” said PAG co-chair Spence Broadhurst.

Those six organizations are Atrium Health, Bon Secours Mercy Health, Duke Health, HCA Healthcare, Novant Health and UNC Health.

Broadhurst says putting things on pause during the coronavirus and canceling three meetings gave members time to look through proposals more in depth.

“We broke up into some smaller groups and kind of looked at different parts of the proposals on our own time as homework moving into tonight,” he said. “So I think it did, it really gave the group a lot of time to study.”

As this group continues to move forward, another group wants them to stop.

The non-profit Save Our Hospital is asking the county to delay the process by six months.

“I couldn’t disagree more,” Broadhurst said. “I think stopping this process, slowing down this process, would be the worst decision we could make.”

In a letter to county leaders, the Save Our Hospital group claims the coronavirus pandemic has made those six proposals obsolete.

Broadhurst disagrees.

“The pandemic and the impact it’s having on our medical center and all hospitals really just forces home the point that we really need to be talking about our future here,” he said.

The six proposals will be made public Tuesday and Broadhurst encourages the public to look them over.

The next meeting will be held May 7th, also by video conference. You can watch via Webex online, or by calling in on your phone. Click here for more information.