Negotiations continue on surgery center
September 15, 2012By Ken Little
New Hanover Regional Medical Center continues to pursue the acquisition of a partially finished outpatient surgery center on Eastwood Road owned by Novant Health.
Novant Health, which operates Brunswick Novant Medical Center in Bolivia, was looking to expand its footprint into New Hanover County when plans were made for the 40,000-square-foot medical plaza.
It was initially slated to open in 2009 and include two outpatient operating rooms, lab and imaging services as well as an area for doctor offices.
But the recession intervened, and construction stopped in 2010. Brunswick Novant officials last year said the project was on hold.
State regulators gave local health providers the required permission in July for New Hanover Regional to acquire Novant’s interests in the surgical center project.
The two hospital systems are in negotiations, said Erin Balzotti, New Hanover Regional spokeswoman.
“We are currently working through the offer process,” Balzotti said in late August.
Only an outer shell for the facility was built.
New Hanover Regional has been assertive in its bid to remain the region’s primary hospital system in recent years, acquiring medical groups, constructing new hospital buildings on its main campus and bringing in specialists in various medical disciplines. Its affiliates include Pender Memorial Hospital and medical offices in Brunswick and Pender counties.
The Eastwood Road facility, near the Autumn Hall development, is apparently another component of the plan.
“New Hanover Regional Medical Center is always looking for ways to continue to serve the region. This site is a good opportunity for further expanding our resources to bring healthcare services closer to those we serve,” Balzotti said.
With its replacement hospital in Brunswick County just over a year old, Novant apparently is pulling away from plans to cross county lines and enter the New Hanover County market.
“Novant has decided to divest all of its existing and approved projects in New Hanover County so that it can concentrate on making [Brunswick Novant Medical Center] a success,” stated the Division of Health Service Regulation ruling in July about the surgical center.
Brunswick Novant spokeswoman Amy Myers said in August the health system did not have any other projects currently in New Hanover County. She said Brunswick Novant was talking with New Hanover Regional about the surgical center.
“Those discussions are continuing. Nothing’s final,” Myers said.
NHRMC sets Cancer Survivors’ Celebration
New Hanover Regional will hold its first Cancer Survivors’ Celebration 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 at the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center.
The hospital is inviting cancer survivors, their caregivers, family and friends to the event for live music and entertainment, visits with physicians, nurses and other providers offering care at Zimmer and time to share their personal messages with other survivors.
“Whether they were recently diagnosed or they finished their treatments years ago, it is incredibly important for cancer survivors to know that they have the support of their family, friends and community,” Chad Knight, administrator of the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center, said in a news release.
Registration for the event is required and can be made by calling 815-5188 or online at www.nhrmc.org/celebrate.
Dosher opens Oak Island medical clinic
Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport recently held a grand opening for its new Oak Island clinic, Dosher Medical-Oak Island.
The Oak Island facility is at 4700 E. Oak Island Drive.
Kirk Singer, Dosher Memorial’s spokesman, said in a news release that there has been a need for Medicare and Medicaid primary care coverage in southeastern Brunswick County for several years.
“Due to the growth and aging of our area’s population and the financial need of many of the township’s residents, finding medical coverage for any patients has been difficult,” Singer said.
“With the clinic’s convenient location, hours of operation and compassionate care, Dosher Medical-Oak Island should help fill that need for residents in and around Oak Island.”
Dosher Medical-Oak Island is staffed by physician assistant Melissa Pfitzer, under the direction of Dr. G. Thomas Holland.
New technology installed at Pender Memorial
Pender Memorial Hospital has integrated new technology intended to help ensure that patients get their medications more quickly and efficiently, hospital officials said.
Two new automated medication dispensing units, named Pyxis, have been installed at Pender Memorial.
Pyxis offers computerized drug storage and dispensing, and the 24-hour accessibility make the machines much more efficient for pharmacists, nurses and patients, officials said.
“Shifting from a manual system to a more computerized system is an upgrade in technology that will help improve patient care,” Ruth Glaser, president of Pender Memorial Hospital, said in a news release.
The Pyxis machines automatically track the dispensed medication and will alert users of potential drug and allergy interactions. Through bar code scanning, the technology further ensures that patients receive medications quickly and efficiently.
“These machines enable trained nursing and pharmacy staff to log into Pyxis using a fingerprint scanner and instantly have the patient’s medications available,” Angela Livingood, Pender Memorial Hospital pharmacy manager, said in a news release.
Novant Foundation announces golf tournament
The Brunswick Novant Medical Center Foundation will host its first golf tournament at Lockwood Folly Country Club on Friday, Oct. 12. All proceeds from the golf tournament will support the BNMC Foundation’s Women and Children’s Wellness Outreach Initiative.
Following breakfast, an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start is planned for the captain’s choice tournament. The tournament will also include men and women’s categories for closest to the pin, closest to the center line, longest drive, hole-in-one contests and a putting competition.
The Foundation’s Women and Children’s Wellness Outreach Initiative will focus on providing health education to new moms in the community as well as combating childhood obesity locally.
“The Women and Children’s Wellness Outreach Initiative is a very worthy cause, and the tournament will further our goal of improving the health of our community,” Amy Myers, the foundation’s director, said in a news release.
A lunch reception will follow the tournament. Registration for individual players is $125 and $500 for teams.
To register or for more information, call 721-1460 or 721-1454.