Health Care
Dec 2, 2022

Making Our Community Healthier Today and for Generations to Come

Sponsored Content provided by Novant Health - , New Hanover Regional Medical Center Novant Health

This article was contributed by Shelbourn Stevens, prior Senior VP and President of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Coastal Market.

As a member of this community, you are the reason Novant Health exists. We are here to serve you, to care for you and to make this area a better place to live. When you need us, we provide the expert care you deserve. And when you aren’t looking, we are reaching out to your friends and neighbors with new ideas on how to make our community healthier, one person at a time.

When Novant Health acquired New Hanover Regional Medical Center, we made promises to provide safe, quality care, to invest in our team members and to make healthcare more accessible.

Part of that mission cannot be accomplished simply by caring for those who come to us. Everyone needs quality healthcare, and sometimes we need to meet people where they are.

Our community engagement team, under the leadership of Sarah Arthur, finds ways to improve the health of our community, even for our neighbors who might not be coming to us for care. 

Different people in our community need different things to live their healthiest lives. 

  • For those who need access to affordable, nutritious food, we have actively supported the Northside Food Co-Op, which is working to build a permanent grocery store in the Northside community.
  • For those who don’t monitor their health closely or seek preventive medicine, our barbershop initiative brings healthcare workers to them. We meet them in a comfortable, familiar space, offer them screenings and introduce them to ways to get the care they need to stay healthy.
  • For those who haven’t learned to swim, we partner with the NSEA Swim program. This valuable program could save a life tomorrow or 10 years from now, and it could inspire members of the program to encourage others to learn to swim.
  • For our youth who have not decided on a career path, we introduce them to the wide array of rewarding careers available in the healthcare field. Our Healthcare Explorers program engages local teens, particularly minority students, teaching them about the wide array of fulfilling careers available in the healthcare field.
  • For the uninsured who don’t have access to needed vaccines, Novant Health rolls into the neighborhood with our Community Care Cruiser, a 40-foot mobile clinic. This program has been successful in Charlotte and will be extended to our region soon.
  • For those in underserved communities who need medical care but do not need to be treated at an emergency department, we are building two Michael Jordan Family Medicine Clinics. These clinics will break down barriers and ensure that Novant Health quality is available to anyone who needs treatment.

These examples show how Novant Health is reaching out to provide a brighter, healthier future for all in our communities.

Some of these initiatives will provide immediate, tangible results. For example, if a customer walks into a barbershop and our blood pressure screening shows cause for concern, we can connect them with the professionals who can provide a treatment plan. 

The impact of other initiatives, though, might take years or generations before we realize their positive outcomes. We’ll never know about the disease we prevented with a vaccine or about the person who didn’t drown because they learned to swim through the NSEA Swim. We might never learn about the young respiratory therapist who was inspired by Healthcare Explorers to pursue a degree in healthcare.

Our success, though, will be reflected in the health of our community for years to come. Because when you care about people and you give them opportunities to thrive, the rewards are immeasurable.
Shelbourn Stevens is the prior Senior VP and President of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Coastal Market. During his 30-year tenure with Novant Health, he has worked in a wide variety of departments and held numerous leadership roles, including president and chief operating officer of Brunswick Medical Center for many years. Stevens played an integral part in the transition from the original Brunswick Community Hospital to its new, state-of-the-art facility in 2011. Stevens is accountable for the region along with having other systemwide responsibilities across Novant Health.

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