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Rowan Regional drops bid for 50-bed hospital

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
Rowan Regional Medical Center has withdrawn its appeal to build a 50-bed hospital in southern Rowan County. But the hospital’s top executive says that doesn’t mean Rowan Regional is giving up on the proposal, or on expanding its services.
“Our decision to drop the appeal does not deter us in our efforts to provide the residents of southern Rowan County and northern Cabarrus County easier access to quality healthcare,” said Jeff Lindsay, president of Rowan Regional Medical Center.
“We remain committed to the belief that this hospital is necessary and we will continue to evaluate this option.”
In October 2007, the hospital and Novant Health submitted a Certificate of Need to the state to the state, an application which proposed providing services to Rowan residents who the healthcare providers said could not be adequately served due to their distance from the Salisbury medical center.
The state denied Rowan Regional’s application in March 2008.
Around the same time, the state approved Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast’s application to build a freestanding emergency department not far from the proposed site of Rowan Regional’s southern Rowan hospital.
Rowan appealed the state’s denial of its proposal.
The hospital had received tremendous support from the southern Rowan community for its plans. In October 2007, hospital personnel met with hundreds of southern Rowan residents for a public hearing to discuss the proposed plans.
Although Rowan Regional still believes the hospital is needed, the decision has been made to “officially withdraw the appeal to focus on alternate ways to meet the healthcare needs of southern Rowan County and northern Cabarrus County residents,” a statement said.
The hospital already has strategies in place for growth, including: expanding primary care services; establishing a sub-specialty care center offering services such as neurology, rheumatology, ear, nose and throat, and pediatric oncology; sponsoring events and health fairs and partnering with local schools to offer students health and wellness education.
Another new effort is the Community Care Cruiser, to which Rowan County residents were introduced this week. The cruiser provides free healthcare to children.

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