Novant Health and Rowan Regional Medical Center announced Wednesday they have finalized the merger the health care network and hospital began earlier this year.
“Now we can begin our partnership and focus on the benefits to all of the patients and residents in this region,” Carl Armato, who heads Novant facilities and practices in the Southern Piedmont Region, said in a press release. “Two dynamic healthcare organizations can now fulfill our similar missions, which is to improve the health of the communities that we serve, one person at a time.”
Rowan Regional’s board of directors voted unanimously to merge with Novant Health in August.
Hospital officials had been negotiating with Novant and Carolinas HealthCare System since April, looking for an alliance that would strengthen the hospital’s financial position and help it grow. The process began two months after Concord-based NorthEast Medical Center announced it would merge with Carolinas Healthcare System.
The merger with Rowan Regional provided the link for Novant to deliver health services throughout a swath of the Piedmont extending from Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte to Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
Novant Health will invest $250 million in Rowan Regional and its facilities over the next five years to expand and improve services based on recommendations of the Rowan Regional board. Novant also has assumed the hospital’s current debt.
Under the terms of the merger, Novant will also give the Rowan Regional Medical Center Foundation a gift of $5 million and will match any future gift to the foundation that equals or exceeds $25,000.
The foundation will continue to operate under its current structure with all assets restricted to the benefit of Rowan Regional, the press release said.
“We believe that our relationship with Novant will assure that RRMC remains a strong and progressive medical center in the years ahead as we pursue our principal goal of providing excellence in healthcare in Rowan County.” Glenn Ketner, Rowan Regional’s board chairman said in the press release Wednesday.
Well before they finalized the merger, Novant and Rowan Regional submitted an application to the state to build a 50-bed, $109-million hospital in southern Rowan County. While that process is ongoing, officials say the hospital would be slated to open 18 months after it’s approved by the state.
“This project is an excellent example of how both healthcare systems can address the medical needs of North Carolina’s rapidly growing communities,” Novant President Paul Wiles said in the press release.
To celebrate the official merger, Rowan Regional planned several employee ceremonies Wednesday, including a complimentary breakfast and cake ceremony in the afternoon. Also, leaders from both organizations were to make rounds to meet and greet staff.
Now that the merger is final, the 15-member Rowan Regional board will remain in place with significant responsibility and authority, the release said. In addition, the chairman of Rowan Regional’s board will have a seat on the Novant Health board and the hospital will have two representatives on the Presbyterian Healthcare board.
Carl Armato will become a member of the Rowan Regional board. Additionally, the executive leadership of Rowan Regional will remain intact.
Rowan Regional will retain all current clinical services and will become the center of a corridor linking Presbyterian Mint Hill and Presbyterian Huntersville. Chuck Elliott, chief executive officer of Rowan Regional, will oversee the activities in that corridor and will report to the Rowan Regional board and to Armato, who also chief executive officer of Presbyterian Healthcare.