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UNC Health Care buys into Johnston hospital system

Posted February 4, 2014

Clayton ER for Johnston Health
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— UNC Health Care has purchased partial ownership of Johnston Health Services Corp., which operates a hospital in Smithfield and has a second one under construction in Clayton.

Johnston Health and UNC have formed a joint venture to oversee the daily operations of the two campuses, and UNC is investing $57.6 million for its stake. UNC also placed six people on Johnston Health's board of directors, which will now have 17 members.

Most of UNC's money will pay for an expansion at Johnston Medical Center in Clayton. Construction is underway on a three-story addition, which will turn the outpatient center on N.C. Highway 42 into a full-service, 50-bed hospital, set to open in January 2015.

“We sought a strategic partner who would help us adapt to a rapidly changing health care environment and to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families,” Chuck Elliott, chief executive of Johnston Health, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to begin our work with UNC Health Care and look forward to expanding the medical care available in one of the state’s fastest-growing communities.”

The partners also will work together on a strategic plan to expand the care and services available in Johnston County, with a goal of providing more access to needed services closer to home. That could include more cardiovascular, oncology, obstetric, pediatric, orthopedic and rehabilitation services.

“UNC Health Care is committed to enhancing Johnston Health’s capabilities while maintaining its community identity and culture,” David Strong, chief operating officer of system affiliations at UNC Health Care, said in a statement. “We will look for ways to share best practices with our new partner hospital, while bringing local residents more access to the specialized care, research and teaching that UNC Health Care focuses on each day.”

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