PAG members pleasantly surprised by Novant update

NHRMC PAG meeting

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Members of the Partnership Advisory Group for NHRMC say they were pleasantly surprised by Novant Health and UNC’s announcement of an update to the partnership proposal Novant originally submitted.

County commissioners approved the PAG’s recommendation to focus on proposals from three organizations: Novant Health, Duke University and Atrium Health.

Both Duke University and Atrium Health included components of graduate medical education in their initial proposals.

“We had hoped that this would happen, that the proposals would continue to evolve and we’re also hopeful and receptive to any other proposals continuing to evolve because we want to get to the best proposal that will help us get to the best recommendation that we can,” said PAG Co-Chair Spence Broadhurst. “For Novant and UNC to take this step, it really fills that void because Duke Health and Atrium Health had already addressed graduate medical programs, so this kind of, on that one issue, which is just one of many issues we’re looking at, by the way, it just puts them out on the same plane with the other two.”

The Partnership Advisory Group went into closed session shortly after opening tonight’s virtual meeting at 5:30 p.m.

After 2.5 hours, of what we’re told was a good discussion of core components being included in letters of intent to each group, they adjourned.

They say those components will be consistent with objectives maintained since the start of this process, including:

-assurance that there will remain a local board governance of NHRMC

-plans to support high quality and affordable care

-and protections for staff employment.

Those considerations also include graduate medical education which all three groups are now offering.

So what's next?

Virtual site visits are underway as PAG members sit in on presentations by Atrium, Duke and Novant and have the opportunity to ask questions.

“We really have five options right now," said Co-Chair Barb Biehner. "We’ve got the three partnership proposals, we have status quo and we have restructuring and so we’re not just looking to take it from three to one we’re taking it from five to one and we’ll have more of the conversations about status quo and restructuring in the next couple of meetings. Those are really important before we get to a finalized number, a recommendation.”

A public hearing is scheduled for June 22.

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