The Partnership Advisory Group hears the final presentation from a potential NHRMC partner

Atrium health presentation to PAG

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Representatives from Atrium Health made a presentation Thursday night on their vision of a partnership with New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

The presentation was led by Eugene Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health, to members of the Partnership Advisory Group, which is charged with helping to chart the future of the public hospital.

The Atrium presentation included plans to elevate services at NHRMC’s current facilities, including the Zimmer Cancer Center, the Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital.

The partnership would also look to bring a state-of-the-art behavioral health facility to NHRMC and bring more specialty care like pediatrics to southeastern North Carolina.

Another element to the presentation included potential benefits from a relationship Atrium is building with Wake Forest Baptist Hospital and the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Terry Hales, the Executive Vice Dean for Wake Forest School of Medicine, said a partnership with NHRMC could build the next generation school of medicine, focusing research in areas including cancer, neurosciences, aging and regenerative medicine, creating the ‘largest educational platform in North Carolina’.

The reps from Atrium said the offer for the long-term partnership with NHRMC is not “a patient acquisition strategy for Charlotte". Woods stressed several times they want to keep care local, treating people where they live.

Here is the outline of Atrium’s proposal submitted earlier this year in response to RFP’s sent out by the Partnership Advisory Group:

Atrium Health

  • Proposed Structure: Long-term lease of 40 years
  • Finances: $2.17 billion in committed capital investments with $1.154 billion in first 10 years; $50 million cash to New Hanover County; $150 million for a community foundation; $791.8 million in lease payments to county
  • Employees: “Will maintain the current NHRMC employment base”
  • Health Equity: Plans to offer co-branded insurance plans
  • Other points: Would maintain relationship with Pender Memorial Hospital; plans to offer access to 1,000+ clinical trials; wants to expand educational opportunities to Wake Forest; AA- bond rating and ability for debt sharing

Atrium’s offer would maintain a NHRMC board with at least six of the proposed nine members being from the local community. The board “would develop and recommend strategic priorities" and two NHRMC directors would be given a place on the Atrium board. Atrium also already has a presence in North Carolina, as well as an existing relationship with NHRMC through a services agreement.

The Partnership Advisory Group heard proposals from two other finalists, Novant Health and Duke University Health, earlier in the week.

The group will make a recommendation to county commissioners later this year for the future direction of New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

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