During a specially called meeting, the Pender County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to finalize an agreement with Novant Health that includes a $50 million commitment to improve the Pender Medical Center in Burgaw, North Carolina, and increase access to healthcare services across Pender County.
This agreement is designed to improve healthcare across Pender County because Novant Health plans to bring quality care to more people, thereby reducing health disparities across the region.
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. A priority goal within that timeframe is for Novant Health to further develop Pender Medical Center into a community general hospital.
Details on the negotiations are confidential under state law but support five key goals agreed upon between Novant Health and Pender County. In addition to developing Pender Medical Center into a community general hospital within five years, the goals include: maintaining Pender Medical Center’s status as a critical access hospital, improving access to primary and specialty care in Pender County, recruiting specialty care physicians to offer services in Pender County, and maintaining and improving acute and ambulatory facilities in Pender County.
Novant Health has been operating Pender Medical Center since 2021 under an operating agreement that was related to Novant Health’s purchase of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The investment commitments announced are part of the transaction that will make Novant Health the owner of Pender Medical Center.
The County, in addition to its professional staff, was represented by Ascendient Healthcare Advisors and the K&L Gates law firm who assisted in the negotiations.