UNC Health Care reaches agreement with WakeMed

Please read the following message from Dr. Roper about the agreement between UNC Health Care and WakeMed that was facilitated by N.C. House and Senate Leaders.

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to announce that UNC Health Care has reached an agreement with WakeMed Health & Hospitals to resolve our current disputes amicably in support of an ongoing relationship. In addition, WakeMed has withdrawn its offer to purchase Rex Healthcare.

Under this agreement, UNC Health Care and WakeMed will focus our full attention on improving health care for all North Carolinians and Wake County residents while working together to develop collaborative partnerships and compete fairly.

Here are some details of the agreement:

  • Education
    The UNC School of Medicine has a 40-year history of working together with WakeMed to educate the next generation of physicians. UNC Health Care, the UNC School of Medicine, and WakeMed have entered into a new five-year contract (automatically renewed for a second five years unless terminated) to provide education and training, as well as much needed care to the underserved. UNC residents and medical students will continue their rotations at WakeMed. UNC will support WakeMed’s application for the Council of Teaching Hospitals.
  • Transparency of Operations
    As part of our mission to operate in an open and transparent manner, UNC Health Care will voluntarily file IRS Form 990s for each of our private, nonprofit health care entities, including Rex Healthcare, Rex Hospital and Chatham Hospital. We also will file 990s for the Triangle Physicians Network (when 501(c)(3) status is granted) and any future 501(c)(3) health care entities owned or controlled by UNC Health Care.

    In addition, we agreed to alter the structure of the UNC Health Care System Board of Directors to strengthen our ties with the Board of Governors and the state. As we move forward, our 24-member board will include 12 members appointed by the Board of Governors, eight ex-officio members, and four voted on by the Board’s membership. This increased participation from the Board of Governors will allow us to work more closely with our partners at the University of North Carolina System.
  • Constructive Collaboration
    Following more than 18 months of debate, UNC Health Care and WakeMed officials have agreed to end public disagreements. While we will continue to compete fairly with WakeMed, and collaborate in other instances, we will maintain a respectful relationship in all matters. Together UNC Health Care and WakeMed will push each other to become even better health care providers, researchers and teachers.
  • Behavioral Health
    In order to meet the need for inpatient behavioral health services, especially following the closing of Dorothea Dix hospital, UNC Health Care and WakeMed will work collaboratively to plan for the development of future services in care of these patients Wake County. UNC Health Care will initiate new projects to reduce the burden on emergency departments in Wake County. A major part of this effort will include an investment by UNC Health Care of $30 million to develop and operate a 28-bed, inpatient psychiatric facility in Wake County to help address crisis and emergency demand.

    UNC Health Care also will commit a total of $10 million over five years to support additional mental health services.
  • Rex Healthcare
    Rex Healthcare will remain a private, nonprofit subsidiary of UNC Health Care. WakeMed has withdrawn its offer to purchase Rex. Additionally, UNC has agreed not to solicit WakeMed for purchase. Both organizations have dropped all outstanding public records requests.


This agreement addresses many of the legislative concerns brought forward in the House Select Committee on the Sale of State-Owned Assets. It is the hope and belief of WakeMed and UNC Health Care that, in light of this agreement, legislation is not needed. But the final decision lies with the legislature.

WakeMed is one of the many partners we have across North Carolina that help ensure we provide the best experience for our patients, students, and researchers. North Carolina's health care challenges are growing, and a collaborative relationship with WakeMed is essential to meeting the needs of all North Carolinians.

This is an important occasion for UNC Health Care - we owe thanks to our leadership team for their hard work developing and negotiating this agreement. Also, we owe thanks to UNC System President Thomas Ross and North Carolina General Assembly members including Speaker Thom Tillis, Representative Harold Brubaker, Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Senator Tom Apodoca, for their help and leadership in reaching an agreement with WakeMed.

Thank you for your continued service to our patients and colleagues at UNC Health Care.

Sincerely,

William L. Roper
CEO, UNC Health Care System
Dean, UNC School of Medicine

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