NHRMC Trustees approve Novant partnership recommendation

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We are one step closer to the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. On Tuesday night, the NHRMC Board of Trustees approved the Partnership Advisory Group’s recommendation to partner with Novant Health.

In a 16 to one vote, the board passed a resolution asking county commissioners to move forward with a letter of intent.

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“The letter of intent is about a 50-page document,” said board treasurer Brian Eckel. “They would work based on that letter of intent on a definitive agreement and it would close sometime probably quarter one 2021.”

Working in closed session for more than three hours, the board laid out how some of the nearly $5 billion in proceeds from Novant could be spent in New Hanover County.

“We are recommending that we set up a $1.25 billion foundation to provide financial support to local education, health, and social equity, community development and community safety,” Eckel said.



Another $200 million will go to the NHRMC Team Investment and Resiliency Fund at the direction of county commissioners. This is aimed at easing the transition from NHRMC’s current pension plan to Novant’s retirement benefits plan, and to support staff and provider resiliency and retention.

“We appreciate the Board of Commissioners’ expressed desire to ensure proceeds from a sale are allocated in a way that support staff and providers,” Eckel said.

$50 million would be dedicated to a Mental and Behavioral Health Fund.

$300 million would be put in a Revenue Stabilization Fund to protect taxpayers from unexpected expenses like a hurricane.

The NHRMC Board of Trustees would be modified into a local board of governance under Novant, and would likely retain most members.

Happening Wednesday, New Hanover County will be holding a community Q&A session with the Partnership Advisory Group via Facebook. The session will be streamed live on the county’s Facebook page, and the community will be able to ask questions of the advisory group’s members through the Facebook comments of the live stream. It will also be streamed on NHCTV.com and on NHCTV’s cable stations: Spectrum channel 13 and Charter channel 5. It starts at 5:30 p.m.

On Monday, July 13, New Hanover County Commissioners will vote whether or not to move forward with a letter of intent. Commission chair Julia Olson-Boseman is also on the board of trustees and voted in favor of the Novant recommendation.

Click here to view the resolution.

Click here to view a news release from the county.

Click here to view Novant Health’s proposal.