Blending the Best of
Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care

Providing clear solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges

What we are doing

In order to elevate health for North Carolinians, Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care have announced their plan to create a leading national non-profit healthcare system 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 join their clinical enterprises and collaborate to enhance medical education and research.

Under the LOI, 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. Our goal is to form a new organization through a joint operating company structure, that will deliver world-class care to people in North Carolina by creating the most comprehensive network of primary, specialty and on-demand care in the Southeast.

Why we are joining together

We recognized in each other a shared mission – to improve health for all we serve. By integrating our organizations, we are combining the strengths of two great health systems and providing greater access to a full range of services and leading-edge treatments for patients. This new organization will offer an unparalleled array of services, expertise and experiences for our patients and communities, enable better coordination of care, and advance research – beyond what either of us could do independently.

Who we will be as a new organization

This new organization will always do one thing: put patient needs first. Every North Carolinian deserves access to the care they need, regardless of where they live. Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care plan to work together to address behavioral health and innovate new models of care – and bring them throughout the state. We’ve both pioneered and implemented virtual care platforms – so that if one of our nearly 4,000 physicians is the right one to treat a patient, that’s who the patient can have access to.

Together, Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care will provide clear solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges by focusing on four strategic areas: increasing access and affordability, advancing clinical care expertise, growing our renowned academic enterprise and contributing to the region’s economic vibrancy.

This new organization can also bring much-needed medical talent to the state through education, training future healthcare providers and providing more residencies that help them put down roots right here.

And of course, we’ll always work to improve and enrich clinical care – building destination centers and centers of excellence, and providing differentiated care in pediatrics, cancer, and transplant services, among others.

How we will provide clear solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges

  • We will provide better access to specialty, primary and on-demand care.
  • We will offer better access for our most vulnerable populations’ specific needs.
  • We will be able to offer more affordable care.
  • We will be a destination for world-class specialty care and will be able to provide more sub-specialties.
  • We will provide innovative and multiple options for primary and on-demand care.
  • We will be a clinical research hub with access to a greater number and broader distribution of clinical trials.
  • We will be a magnet to recruit and retain academic talent due to our broad reach and large number of patients.
  • We will create a physician leader pipeline for our new organization and beyond.
  • We will provide solutions for the shortage of healthcare professionals.
  • We will strengthen our region’s economy with employees, related businesses and start-ups.
  • We will attract thought leaders in healthcare delivery, education and policy.
  • The people of North Carolina will have a North Carolina-based healthcare solution.

Additional Information

How will this impact patients in North Carolina?
Our patients are our biggest priority. Our shared mission to improve care across the state and in the region, is one of the primary reasons why we began these conversations to create a new healthcare company. We are going to continue to take terrific care of our patients. The objective is to enhance the quality of care, and the level of access, we can provide – an objective we believe we can reach only by joining one another.

Are you opening any new hospitals in rural areas?
Our goal is to expand access, and one advantage of our coming together is that we can leverage past experience optimizing rural care to help advise other hospitals in the future. While our initial plan does not include the construction of any new facilities, we are working to find the best path forward for increasing access across the state.  

When will the new company open its doors, and what would it be called?
We are estimating that the new entity will be able to open its doors in 2018. However, before we have a launch date for this new organization, we have to continue discussing details with one another and with regional leaders. We want to ensure that we are constructing a world-class organization that can best serve the state. Specifics such as the name of the new entity will come at a later date, and we will keep the public and our partners informed.

Where will it be located and who will be the CEO?
Gene Woods, current president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, will be the future CEO of the new entity. Dr. William Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care, will be the future executive chair. We are still discussing final details related to the location.

What impact will this have on the economy of North Carolina?
This new organization would have a positive economic impact on the state of North Carolina, and would employ nearly 85,000 North Carolinians. The new company answers the need for physicians and specialists through expanded residencies, and we plan to commission a study to better understand the myriad additional ways this new organization will positively impact the economy of the state.

Is this a consolidation, and will you be closing any of your hospitals?
We are coming together to create something entirely new – a non-profit organization that will increase access and affordability. We do not intend to close any hospitals or limit any services. Instead, we are working together to find new and visionary ways to ensure that more people across the Carolinas can receive a high level of care.  

Will anyone lose their job?  
This new organization is about ensuring that we’re leveraging our complementary capabilities. As with the construction of any new company, there will likely be some restructuring required to integrate operations, but we anticipate growth and development opportunities. In fact, as we combine and grow, we will seek talent and capacity to realize our aspirations.  

Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care Announce Plan to Form New Organization and Provide Solutions for Healthcare’s Most Pressing Challenges in North Carolina and Beyond

New organization will provide greater access to world-class care for North Carolinians

CHARLOTTE, N.C. & CHAPEL HILL, N.C., August 31, 2017 – In order to elevate health for North Carolinians, Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care today announced 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 join their clinical, medical education and research resources. Under the LOI, 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 will deliver world-class care to people in North Carolina by creating the most comprehensive network of primary, specialty and on-demand care in the Southeast.

Together, Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care will provide clear solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges by focusing on four strategic areas: increasing access and affordability, advancing clinical care expertise, growing their renowned academic enterprise and contributing to the region’s economic vibrancy.

"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. Ensuring there is great healthcare in rural counties is not only important to our patients’ physical wellbeing, but is also vital to the economic wellbeing of those communities as well. At the same time, we are also inspired by what our two organizations will be able to do together to transform cancer treatment. At Levine Cancer Institute, we care for over 10,000 new patients every year, and over 1,000 participate in clinical trials through a ‘care-close-to-home’ model in more than 25 locations throughout the Carolinas. Combined with UNC Health Care’s National Cancer Institute designation, with more than $70 million in joint cancer research grants for clinical trials, we will create a cancer network that is second to none in the country. In short, this partnership is an example of one of those truly ‘big ideas’ that this state is known for."

Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care will 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. “Carolinas HealthCare System is one of the most innovative healthcare organizations in the nation, particularly in combining world-class clinical care with a community care model. By combining our two extremely mission-focused organizations, we will offer an unparalleled array of services, expertise and experiences for our patients and communities – beyond what either of us could do independently.”

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.

Additional information is available at TogetherInHealthCare.org.

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.

About UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care is an integrated health care system comprised of UNC Hospitals and 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 include UNC Rex Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, Pardee Hospital, High Point Regional Health, Caldwell Memorial, Nash Health Care, Wayne Memorial and UNC Lenoir Health Care. 

UNC Health Care Contact
Phil Bridges
(919) 457-6347
Phil.Bridges@unchealth.unc.edu

Carolinas HealthCare System Contact
Chris Berger
(704) 631-0951
Chris.Berger@carolinashealthcare.org

Joining Together for Better Health

Get a glimpse of our vision to form the future of healthcare in North Carolina.

Blending the best of academics and high-quality care

Bringing world-class healthcare to every corner of North Carolina

Working together to bring patients the best care

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