Novant offers UNC School of Medicine in proposed NHRMC partnership


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Novant Health is bringing more to the table in its bid for New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

According to a news release, Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine have signed a letter of intent to enhance medical education and clinical services at NHRMC, in the event Novant is chosen to partner with or outright buy the hospital.

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Novant is one of six health systems that submitted proposals to the Partnership Advisory Group for NHRMC. Novant, Duke Health and Atrium Health are the top three in the running. 

“I am pleased to ensure that the medical education that exists at NHRMC with the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health can continue if Novant Health is selected to partner with NHRMC,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO for Novant Health. “Maintaining and expanding medical education at NHRMC will allow Novant Health to best serve the Wilmington community while continuing to build the pipeline of physician talent for North Carolina,” Armato added.

“We are pleased to form a partnership with Novant Health that would enhance our educational presence and allow us to train the next generation of physicians and promote economic development for the entire Wilmington region,” said Wesley Burks, M.D. , CEO of UNC Health and Dean of UNC School of Medicine. “Together, we will combine the best of teaching, research and clinical care to optimally serve the residents of southeastern North Carolina for decades to come.”

The PAG will make their recommendation to county commissioners who will ultimately make the final decision about the future of the hospital. County commissioners and the NHRMC Board of Trustees agreed with the PAG to focus on Atrium, Duke and Novant as the top contenders.

If the PAG sticks to 6-8 week timeline, the public could have an answer about the fate of NHRMC in July, one year after the process began.

The next Partnership Advisory Group meeting will take place virtually on Thursday night.