NHRMC Trustees vote to support county exploring options for selling hospital

NHRMC Trustees vote to support county exploring options for selling hospital

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution Tuesday night supporting county commissioners voting to explore the possible sale of the public hospital. Dr. Robert Cortina was the only member of the board to abstain from voting.

New Hanover County Commissioners are scheduled to vote September 3rd whether “to explore new ownership opportunities” regarding the healthcare facility. Two recent public hearings on the issue were standing room only, with the vocal majority opposed to selling the public hospital to a private company. Yet a majority of county commissioners still appear inclined to move forward with exploring options, and the resolution passed by the hospital trustees echoes that sentiment.

The resolution cites several “priorities” the board encourages commissioners to consider during the exploration process, including “improving access, value and quality of care; committing to charity care; and, ensuring the long-term financial security of our health system while partnering with providers and maintaining a staff and culture that has contributed to the great success of our system”.

Board members said the selling of the hospital is up to the county commissioners, and all they want to do is be sure they have explore all options with an open mind. Those options include selling, adding a partner, or keeping the hospital as it is. Board Chairman Bobby Greer said this is all part of the process.

“We feel like its wise to just ask the question to see what’s available, what we should do, what we shouldn’t do," said Greer. "Nothing has been decided so we have to go through this process.”

“We support the proactive evaluation of the best way to secure the future healthcare needs of our region,” Bobby Greer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said in a news release announcing the resolution. “This resolution documents the board’s endorsement to ask the question and seek proposals – it does not take a position on the future ownership structure of the hospital.”

The following is the complete text of the resolution passed by the trustees:

Now Therefore, Be It Resolved that the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees supports the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners efforts to explore new ownership or partnership opportunities for NHRMC. The Board of Trustees further encourages the County Commissioners to consider key priorities such as improving access, value and quality of care; increasing the level and scope of care; committing to charity care; and, ensuring the long-term financial security of our health system while partnering with providers and maintaining a staff and culture that has contributed to the great success of our system. We believe it is our fiduciary responsibility to be prudent and proactive by supporting the evaluation of the best way to secure the future of healthcare in our region.

Be It Further Resolved that the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees also feels strongly that the County Commissioners need to consider the views of the Medical Staff of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and other key stakeholders in our community in this matter.

And, Finally, Be Resolved that these resolutions are not intended to reflect an endorsement to sell NHRMC but, rather, to document the Board’s endorsement to ask the question and seek proposals.

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