A strong future for NHRMC means a strong future for Wilmington
For more than 50 years, New Hanover Regional Medical Center has provided high-quality care to the people of Wilmington and the surrounding region. Over the decades, it has grown from a single hospital to the leading healthcare provider in Southeastern North Carolina, and it’s a point of pride for our region.
It’s also an important factor in the growth and vibrancy of our community. Having high-quality healthcare benefits each of us every day – through the care NHRMC provides our families, our friends, and our neighbors.
But having healthcare that’s specialized, high-value, and consumer-friendly benefits our community in other ways, too. It’s a prominent factor in attracting new businesses and business expansions in Wilmington and beyond.
So, when we consider the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, we’re considering more than the care provided within the four walls of the hospital. We’re considering the future of our region.
Though times are uncertain, this future looks bright. With a growing population, we know we’re an area people want to live, work, and raise their families. In fact, our population is expected to double by 2040.
Because of this, we can’t stay stagnant or accept the status quo in our long-term planning for this region and its healthcare infrastructure.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, hospitals are essential to our communities, and more vulnerable than many of us realized. Long-term strength is not guaranteed.
Prior to the pandemic, NHRMC faced the prospect of budget gaps over the next ten years and was operating at close to capacity, and these strains will be exacerbated as our community grows.
Now, COVID-19 threatens to undermine health systems nationwide. We know many businesses in Wilmington have had to temporarily close – and much of the healthcare system is similarly grinding to a halt while the specialized care for COVID-19 and other emergent patients continues. This outbreak is placing the viability of many hospitals at risk, and there are serious consequences for our community and many others if the situation continues.
We know our region will experience an economic impact as a result of COVID-19, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure a quick recovery. This includes preparing for the next chapter of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Taking steps today that ensure NHRMC remains strong through this crisis and afterwards means a future of expanded high-quality care and wellness programs, affordable care options, and specialized services available locally.
Achieving these efforts will better position both the financial stability of the hospital and the economic situation in Wilmington, making our region that much more attractive to business owners both in and outside of North Carolina.
That’s why I support NHRMC’s efforts to evaluate potential partnerships in securing the tools and resources necessary to provide more convenient, affordable, and customized care in New Hanover and the surrounding area.
The six proposals submitted in response to the county’s Request for Proposal confirm that NHRMC is something our community should be proud of today, while also showing what the future of the system could look like. As a community, we have a pressing opportunity at this moment to make NHRMC and southeastern North Carolina a hub for affordable, accessible healthcare, an even better place to start or expand a business, and a great place to raise a family.
As these proposals are considered, I implore the Partnership Advisory Group, Board of Trustees, and County Commissioners to take that forward-looking approach to our region. The health of our hospital and economy depends on it.