WILKESBORO, N.C. – Aug. 3, 2016 – Last night, the Board of
Commissioners of the Town of North Wilkesboro, the Board of WRMC Hospital
Operating Corporation, and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center entered into a non-binding,
letter of intent (LOI) toward a long-term lease of Wilkes Regional Medical
the second major milestone in the process that is expected to last several
the terms of its proposal, Wake Forest Baptist will invest $238 million in
support of WRMC, the Town of North Wilkesboro, the Wilkes community, and
patients in the region it serves during the initial 30-year term of the lease.
parties signed the LOI during the Town Board meeting. The commencement of the
activities outlined in the LOI is important as WRMC, the Town of North
Wilkesboro and Wake Forest Baptist continue working toward the partnership
between the two organizations.
Town of North Wilkesboro officials said it was important to take the
appropriate time needed to get to Tuesday’s signing.
announced our intentions to move forward with Wake Forest Baptist back in
April, and the time spent during these more than three months on reaching this
agreement reassures us we have the best partner to navigate WRMC through the
growing health care needs of the North Wilkesboro community going forward,” said
North Wilkesboro Town Commissioner Debbie Ferguson.
outlined in the LOI, Wake Forest Baptist will transition WRMC and its affiliate,
Wilkes Physician Network (WPN), to its electronic medical record system as soon
transition period we are entering is a key step in the evolution of our
partnership with Wake Forest Baptist,” said Eric Cramer, board chairman, WRMC
Hospital Operating Corporation. “However, in no way will any of the transition
activities disrupt WRMC or WPN operations, patient care or safety of our health
system. Carolinas HealthCare System will continue to provide management and
operational support under the terms of its agreement until its agreement with
WRMC ends, and they have been a great partner for the past nine years in
helping us become a very strong hospital positioned for a bright future.”
Over the next several months other due diligence and
information technology (IT) transition activities outlined in the LOI will also
be undertaken. Wake Forest Baptist will deploy and utilize an appropriate suite
of advanced IT tools to support population health efforts in Wilkes
“Wilkes Regional does a tremendous job in serving
its community,” said Wake Forest Baptist CEO John D. McConnell,
M.D. “We see a great opportunity to grow clinical programs and continue
effective recruitment and engagement of physicians that will ensure excellent
care for Wilkes County citizens and benefit the Wilkes region.”
agreement is expected to close by July 1, 2017.