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Last year Mayor Tom Stevens shared his thoughts about the benefits UNC Health Care’s new Hillsborough Hospital would bring to the greater Hillsborough community. One year later he shares how the hospital has already proven to be a great asset to the community.

by Tom Stevens, Mayor of Hillsborough

How quickly a year goes by! One year ago UNC Health Care opened the doors of its new Hillsborough Hospital for patients. On that occasion a year ago I wrote a brief article listing five ways the greater Hillsborough community expected to benefit from the new hospital

So with the first year behind us, how well has the hospital lived up to our expectations? Remarkably well, I believe. Let’s look at that list again.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Adding Employment Opportunities

Last year I wrote, “The hospital is destined to become one of the town’s major employers, one that adds greater diversity to local employment opportunities in an industry that is resilient to high and low economic swings. And with the Durham Technical Community College Orange County Campus just across the street, integrating educational with employment opportunities is especially promising.”

Check. Go anywhere that Hillsborough folks hang out — for example, Cup-a-Joe or Weaver Street Market — and you’re likely to bump into someone, sometimes lots of someones, who work at the hospital. Likewise, partnership programs that include the Hillsborough Hospital and the Orange County Campus of Durham Tech are very much a reality — for example, emergency services training.

Hillsborough Hospital

Contributing to a Vibrant Local Economy

Last year I wrote, “The hospital will draw many people to visit Hillsborough to avail themselves of UNC Health Care’s services. Many of these folks will also need places to eat, hotel rooms, or other goods and services available from local vendors.”

Check again. The Hillsborough Hospital continues a tradition of purchasing locally, and indeed people who use the hospital come from all over the region.

A New and Active Corporate Citizen

Last year I noted, “UNC Health Care’s commitment to contribute to and become meaningfully involved in our local nonprofits, chamber, and other community endeavors.”

Check. From the hospital’s top leadership on down, UNC Health Care folks have been actively involved in local nonprofits and community activities: everything from sponsoring Habitat for Humanity houses to decorations for our holiday home tours to serving on nonprofit boards and providing meeting facilities for community groups. Indeed, the town Board of Commissioners was grateful to have use of a hospital conference room for our annual budget retreat last February.

A New Community Landmark

Last year I wrote, “The hospital promises to become another distinctive place that is woven into the fabric of the local community.”

Check. I’ve already mentioned how the hospital has graciously made available meeting and dining facilities for community groups. But it’s in the little things where an institution is woven into everyday life. I knew we crossed an important milestone when one day, a few months ago, my wife informed me that a couple friends had invited her to go out to lunch with them — at the hospital, because the cafeteria was having salmon that day.

Excellent Healthcare Services, Right at Our Doorstep

Speaking of my wife, on January 30 of this year, while taking a walk, she fell and suffered a serious break in her elbow. We had a first-class emergency room just down the street — nearby, easily accessible, with excellent care.

As I wrote last year, “First and foremost, the hospital provides a wide array of world-class medical care with convenient access right here in our local community.”

I know from personal experience how the Hillsborough Hospital contributes to our community: by adding jobs, enhancing our economy, being a good corporate citizen, and becoming a local landmark. It’s also from personal experience that I know the outstanding job this facility does in fulfilling its primary purpose: to attend to the healthcare needs of people our community.

Speaking for the Hillsborough community, we are grateful UNC Health Care has opened this wonderful hospital facility in our town.

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