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72% of Area Residents Surveyed See Positive Impact from Proposed NHRMC Partnership

Area residents have expressed their support for a proposed partnership between New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine. In a sentiment survey conducted by a third party on behalf of Novant Health, a majority of respondents said they feel positive or very positive about the proposal, far outnumbering those who said they feel anxious about the sale.

Of those surveyed:

  • 72% said they believe the overall impact to the local community will be positive 
  • Just 10% said they believed it would be negative

Throughout the survey, respondents showed they understand the benefits of partnership. They agreed the partnership is needed to support the population growth of the region (64% agree vs 10% disagree) and 68% acknowledged the tremendous positive impact the sale would have on the local economy.

Reflecting on the most important factors influencing their positions, they cited quality health care and the ability of everyone to get the care they need.

“We are thrilled with the results of this survey,” said Barb Biehner, co-chair of the NHRMC Partnership Advisory Group, a citizen-led panel formed to evaluate and recommend the best path forward for NHRMC and the region. “After nine months of study, the Advisory Group unanimously agreed this partnership is in the best interest of our region.  But we knew it would take more time to help our community understand why we made that recommendation, so we have dedicated ourselves to talking with as many people as possible. We are happy to see this depth of support.”

The Partnership Advisory Group began its analysis in October 2019. Through 17 public meetings and countless hours of research and study, the group determined NHRMC could best serve the needs of the growing region through a sale of NHRMC from New Hanover County to Novant Health. The relationship also brings an expanded relationship with UNC Health for pediatric specialty services and UNC School of Medicine for graduate medical education, clinical training and research.

The NHRMC Board of Trustees and the Board of New Hanover County Commissioners approved moving forward with a Letter of Intent in July, which led to the finalizing of an Asset Purchase Agreement, which is posted on the NHRMCfuture.org website for public review.

A public hearing on the agreement is scheduled for September 28.

“The public’s involvement and interest has been important to us throughout this process,” said Spence Broadhurst. “That is why members of the Partnership Advisory Group have taken every opportunity to engage, answer questions and help our community see all the potential that exists for our growing region. We are also grateful to the members of the Novant Health team who have volunteered to participate in more than a dozen forums over the last couple months. Their commitment reflects who they are and what we can expect from this relationship going forward.”

Visit NovantHealth.org/ImagineBetter for full survey results.