Local hospitals share effects of partnering with the UNC system

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Lenoir Memorial Hospital is getting a serious facelift.

Tuesday, the board decided to partner up with UNC Healthcare. Members said it will enhance patient services and satisfaction.

9 On Your Side is taking a deeper look into how this could affect the Kinston community.

Certain hospitals in the area are experiencing the impact the UNC system can have first-hand. Wayne Memorial Hospital and Nash General Hospital have experienced the transition. They both said partnering with UNC Healthcare is a step in the right direction for both healthcare and the community.

Barbara Laroque, a marketing coordinator at Lenoir Memorial Hospital, said patient satisfaction and greater efficiencies are some of the things Lenoir Memorial Hospital is looking forward to, now that it’s the latest medical facility to join the UNC Health System.

As for the two aforementioned hospitals above that are already a part of the UNC system, administrators have nothing but positive things to say.

“It provides a way for us to be able to survive in the future with the way we’re going to get paid for care,” said Robert Enders of Wayne County Memorial Hospital.

Nash General Hospital joined the UNC system in July of 2014. Larry Chewning, president and CEO, said the partnership has allowed the hospital to expand numerous services, “Cardiology patients, we’re keeping more patients here than we have ever kept here before.” .

The biggest impact this partnership has had is the number of changes and additions to the Nash General Hospital’s heart center.

“The UNC cardiologist has brought the expertise of UNC right here to Rocky Mount, North Carolina,” Sarah Heenan, of the Heart Center, said.

Nash General Hospital now has multiple in-house cardiologists. This allows the people of Rocky Mount to receive care where they live and work, instead of getting transferred to another county.

“The patients come in. They’re very, very sick. You know obviously the families are very, very worried and the UNC cardiologist will come down and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to take care of you,” Heenan added.

Wayne Memorial Hospital partnered with UNC earlier this year and its developments are still in the beginning stages.

Lenoir Memorial’s announcement makes them the 10th hospital to join the UNC health care system.

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