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The Board of Directors of Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, NC, has unanimously voted to pursue exclusive negotiations to create a management services agreement with UNC Health Care, hospital officials announced Wednesday, March 23.

Discussions regarding an affiliation began between the Lenoir Memorial board and UNC Health Care leadership earlier this year. The board recognized the extraordinary opportunity to partner with a flagship health care leader in the state—defined by excellence in research, clinical advancements and quality of care—was one not to be missed. It became clear that an agreement with UNC Health Care will best position Lenoir Memorial to create a stronger hospital for the Kinston community for generations to come.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to expand high-quality healthcare—and a deeply respected brand—to our part of the state. We are confident this partnership will preserve the Lenoir Memorial legacy of local healthcare for future generations,” said Gary Black, president and CEO of Lenoir Memorial Hospital. “Adding access to UNC’s groundbreaking research and focus on advancing clinical care and our commitment to the patients we serve enhances what we can deliver together, close to home.”

The Lenoir Memorial Board now enters discussions with UNC Health Care to complete details of the agreement, which the board hopes to finalize in April.

Both parties agree that when a contract between Lenoir Memorial and UNC Health Care is finalized, it will not involve any sale or exchange of assets and will allow the board to maintain local governance of the hospital. Lenoir Memorial employees will keep their current positions and will remain employees of Lenoir Memorial, a private, not-for-profit hospital.

“We are pleased to affiliate with Lenoir Memorial Hospital and welcome them into our system,” said William L. Roper, MD, CEO of UNC Health Care and Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. “This partnership combines the successful healthcare delivery at Lenoir Memorial Hospital with the managerial experience and capabilities of our system. Lenoir Memorial Hospital will help advance our system’s mission of providing excellent care, training the next generation of North Carolina’s physicians, and conducting groundbreaking research.”

This affiliation will allow Lenoir Memorial to provide a broader scope of resources and experience to benefit its patients. Some of the primary benefits include:

  • Expansion of locally available hospital and community-based patient care services to enhance patient care
  • Improved patient experience and satisfaction
  • Enhanced operational efficiency
  • Recruitment of additional highly-trained and skilled physicians
  • Access to cutting-edge research and treatments at UNC Health Care

Similarly, UNC Health Care entered into a management services agreement with Wayne Memorial Hospital in nearby Goldsboro, NC, in December 2015.

About Lenoir Memorial Hospital

Lenoir Memorial, licensed for 261 beds, is a not-for-profit hospital dedicated to the community it serves by offering quality inpatient, outpatient and preventive healthcare services that are close to home. In addition to general medical, surgical, and obstetrical and gynecological care, Lenoir Memorial offers specialized services including cardiology, pulmonology, oncology, radiology and urology. With a medical staff of over 100 physicians, Lenoir Memorial offers a range of specialty services and technology one would only expect to find at hospitals in larger cities. Learn more at

About UNC Health Care

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; Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; High Point Regional Health System in High Point; Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield; Wayne Health in Goldsboro; Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir; Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount; UNC REX Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County; and the UNC Physicians Network.

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