In order to elevate health for North Carolinians, UNC HealthCare and Carolinas HealthCare System announced Thursday their plan to create one of the leading non-profit healthcare systems in the nation, by blending the best of a high-performing comprehensive healthcare system with a renowned academically-based enterprise.
Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to merge their clinical, medical education and research resources. The two organizations have agreed to start a period of exclusive negotiations, with the goal of entering into final agreements by the end of the year. The new organization would create a comprehensive network of primary, specialty and on-demand care in the Southeast.
“Together with UNC Health Care, we believe that the opportunities to be a national model and to elevate health in North Carolina are nearly limitless,” said Gene Woods, current president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, and future CEO of the new entity. “For example, since our organizations already serve almost 50 percent of all patients who visit rural hospitals in our state, we are perfectly positioned to participate in the reinvention of rural healthcare in partnership with others.”
The goal of the partnership should improve access to care in underserved and rural geographies, jointly addressing behavioral health needs, designing new models of care and further developing virtual care platforms. The joint organization also will work to expand medical education, serving as the platform for training future healthcare providers. The new organization also will further the development of clinical care destination centers and centers of excellence as well as differentiated care in pediatrics, cancer, transplant services, among others.
“By integrating our organizations, we are combining the strengths of two great health systems, providing greater access to a full range of services and leading-edge treatments for patients, enabling better coordination of care and advancing research,” said Dr. William Roper, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, CEO of UNC Health Care, and future executive chair of the new organization.
Among its many services, the new company will:
- Provide both urban and rural populations with close-to-home options for world-class care.
- Offer nearly 1,400 active clinical trials that can quickly help uncover solutions and deliver treatments.
- Serve as the cornerstone for Medicaid coverage in North Carolina.
- Strengthen collaboration with other healthcare providers to improve patient experience and bring affordable care to the region.
- House seven nationally-ranked adult clinical service lines and nine nationally-ranked pediatric clinical service lines.
- Drive research opportunities that advance discovery and innovation to find new cures and change the way care is delivered.
- Educate the next generation of physician leaders at the nationally ranked UNC School of Medicine, through more than 100 residency programs in its enhanced network of teaching hospitals across the state, and through lifelong learning for providers.
- Train, support and retain the healthcare professionals needed to serve North Carolina and beyond.
About UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care is an integrated health care system comprised of UNC Hospitalsand its provider network, UNC Faculty Physicians, UNC Physicians Network, the clinical patient care programs of the UNC School of Medicine and nine other hospitals and hospital systems across the state. Additional hospital entities includeUNC Rex Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, Pardee Hospital, High Point Regional Health, Caldwell Memorial, Nash Health Care, Wayne Memorialand UNC Lenoir Health Care.
About Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation’s leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.