Novant Health to own Pender Medical Center, commits $50 million to improvements

Pender County Commissioners approve agreement with Novant Health with $50 million commitment
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT
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BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - The Pender County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to finalize an agreement with Novant Health during a special called meeting on Friday, June 16.

The agreement included a $50 million commitment from Novant Health to make Pender Medical Center in Burgaw into a community general hospital and increase access to health care throughout the county, according to a joint Novant and Pender County announcement. The commitments mentioned in the announcement are part of the transaction that will make Novant Health the owner of Pender Medical Center, which is currently owned by the county.

“In an outline of the proposal, Novant Health has committed to spending $50 million within the next 10 years in specific areas that include proposed building and facility improvements, new permanent medical equipment, and recruitment of new health care professionals to expand services,” the announcement states.

Other goals include improving access to primary and specialty care, recruiting specialty care physicians, and maintaining and improving acute and ambulatory facilities in the county. Novant Health plans to work on these by investing in programmatic expansion, support of faculty

The announcement notes that details on the negotiations are confidential under state law.

“Novant Health’s commitment puts Pender Medical Center on a path to becoming a true community general hospital within 5 years, something we do not have today and something we desperately need in Pender County,” said Board Chair Jackie Newton. “The Board of Commissioners is united around the goal of securing the best possible future for our hospital and all our citizens. We have a framework of a deal with Novant Health that achieves that goal.”

This follows after two years of Novant Health running Pender Medical Center as part of an operating agreement in connection to the sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health.

The county and Novant Health are working to finalize legal documents in September and close the transaction in six months.

“The investment commitments Novant Health made will secure a better health care future for our community and gives us the certainty that we need to move forward on more detailed plans,” said Wendy Fletcher-Hardee, Pender County Commissioner and a county representative appointed to the Pender Medical Center Board of Trustees.