Smithfield, N.C. — UNC Health Care is poised to gain a foothold in the growing Johnston County market on Monday by teaming up with Johnston Health.
Johnston Health, which operates a 199-bed hospital in Smithfield, an outpatient campus in Clayton and primary care and urgent care centers across the county, said Monday that it was working on a partnership deal with UNC.
“Health care is rapidly changing, and health care systems like ours must be forward-looking to continue to provide care close to our patients’ homes in the most efficient way possible,” Johnston Health Chief Executive Chuck Elliott said in a statement. “We believe partnerships will play an important role in our ability to do so.”
Ralph Stewart, chairman of the Johnston Health Board of Commissioners, said the board talked with three potential partners for the hospital system in recent months before voting unanimously in favor of UNC Health Care. He cited the Chapel Hill-based system's track record with community hospitals, strength with physician groups and access to specialized care and clinical research.
"UNC Health Care shares our vision to grow and strengthen our hospital in the long term,” Stewart said in a statement.
A final agreement is expected to be signed this summer.
"We look forward to using our managerial expertise and sub-specialty excellence to enhance Johnston Health’s capabilities while providing additional access to the specialized care, research and teaching we focus on each day," David Strong, chief operating officer of system affiliations at UNC Health Care, said in a statement.