Blue Ridge Hospital in Morganton, Valdese NC joins UNC Health
HILL OF THE CHAPEL
The UNC health system is expanding again, this time in the foothills of the mountains.
UNC and the Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge have signed a management agreement that makes Blue Ridge the 14th hospital in the UNC system. Blue Ridge has hospital campuses in Morganton and Valdese, just west of Hickory, as well as a wellness center, continuing care retirement community, and physician network.
The system has been renamed UNC Health Blue Ridge, with a new Carolina blue and black logo.
By joining UNC, Blue Ridge will remain a nonprofit organization with a local board of directors while drawing on the resources and expertise of a large academic health system. J. Michael Bridges, Chairman of the Board of Blue Ridge, said joining UNC Health is expected to improve the quality of health care in a rural part of the state and provide new specialist services “in a way otherwise impossible. “.
Blue Ridge is the last rural hospital in North Carolina to seek the help and support that comes with being a member of UNC. As a state-owned nonprofit, UNC considers building a network of hospitals across North Carolina as part of its duty to the public, says Jason DePlatchett, vice Chair of UNC Affiliations and System Integration.
The UNC also now has over 500 clinics across the state.
UNC Health was largely confined to Chapel Hill Medical Center until 2000 when it bought Rex Healthcare in Raleigh. Subsequent mergers brought smaller hospitals into the system, starting with Chatham Hospital in Siler City in 2008 and Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville in 2010.
With the addition of Blue Ridge, UNC hospitals are now located in 14 counties, including Caldwell, Johnston, Lenoir, Nash, Onslow, Orange and Rockingham. Two hospitals, Southeastern in Lumberton and CarolinaEast in New Bern, have joined the system in the past year.
Next month, UNC will open a new 50-bed hospital in Holly Springs, which will be considered a Rex Hospital campus. And this week, state regulators approved UNC’s proposal to build a 40-bed hospital at Research Triangle Park.