Caldwell Memorial Hospital to join UNC Health Care System

On Friday, Nov. 9, the Board of Directors of Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, NC, announced their unanimous decision to move forward with exclusive negotiations to join the UNC Health Care System.

Caldwell Memorial Hospital released the following announcement at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, 2012:

LENOIR, N.C. — The Board of Directors of Caldwell Memorial Hospital today announced their unanimous decision to move forward with exclusive negotiations to join the UNC Health Care System.

“UNC Health Care is the right partner to bring our hospital forward for generations to come,” said Laura Easton, chief executive officer of Caldwell Memorial Hospital. “We’re joining a strong and growing system whose influence is felt throughout the state, and whose clinical services offer unquestioned quality. Caldwell has enjoyed remarkable growth and success over the years, but looking forward, the reality is that it will be harder than ever for independent community hospitals like ours to thrive while going at it alone.”

The agreement follows many months of careful consideration by the Caldwell Memorial board on how to strengthen its position as a healthcare provider while responding to the changing healthcare environment.

“We have explored solutions for our community that will advance local healthcare, build upon our legacy of service in Caldwell County and preserve our mission of providing high-quality, cost-effective care,” said Boyd Wilson, chair of the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Board of Directors. “After evaluating numerous options, it became clear that UNC Health Care will share and protect our vision to grow and strengthen our hospital for the long term.”

Caldwell invited UNC Health Care to submit a proposal because of its management resources and successful track record in improving community hospitals. Other compelling attributes include UNC Health Care’s cultural understanding of the state and region, experience in building stronger physician relationships, and its ability to connect patients to highly sub-specialized care including clinical research and trials.

Under the terms of the agreement, UNC Health Care will:

  • Become the sole member of Caldwell Memorial Hospital, and provide at least $35 million for capital improvements at Caldwell Memorial over a five-year period;
  • Maintain the current management of Caldwell Memorial and local governance through local representation on the Board of Directors;
  • Maintain the employment status of Caldwell Memorial Hospital’s employees under their current compensation and benefit plans for at least one year; and
  • Maintain Caldwell Memorial Hospital as a private, not-for-profit organization and as a full-service, acute care hospital.
  • Contribute at least $4 million to the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation.

During the exclusive negotiations between the two organizations, Caldwell Memorial and UNC Health Care will finalize negotiations, conduct due diligence and obtain any necessary regulatory approvals. Final transaction documents and closing are expected in the first half of 2013.

Caldwell Memorial Hospital is the private, not-for-profit community hospital located in Lenoir, North Carolina. Since opening in January of 1951, it has continued to grow and change in order to meet the healthcare needs of its community. Anchored by a high-quality 110-bed acute care hospital and a provider network of more than fifty primary and specialty care physicians and advanced practice professionals, the mission of Caldwell Memorial Hospital is to provide safe, effective, compassionate care and to promote healthy lifestyles to its community.


The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, NC; Chatham Hospital in Siler City, NC; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County.

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