Johnston Health selects UNC Health Care as strategic partner

On Monday, April 1, the Johnston Health Board of Commissioners announced that it is entering into exclusive negotiations for a partnership with UNC Health Care.

"Health care is changing rapidly across the nation," said Gary L. Park, president of UNC Hospitals. "We believe that partnerships are a key way to address those changes while providing our patients with the best care possible. That is why we look forward to working with Johnston Health, a strong community hospital in a growing part of our state."

You can view the full statement distributed by Johnston Health below.

Johnston Health selects UNC Health Care as strategic partner

Johnston Health has announced that it is entering into exclusive negotiations for a partnership with UNC Health Care. The announcement comes after a 17-month-long search by the Johnston Health Board of Commissioners.

“Health care is rapidly changing and health care systems like ours must be forward-looking to continue to provide care close to our patients’ homes in the most efficient way possible,” said Johnston Health CEO Chuck Elliott. “We believe partnerships will play an important role in our ability to do so.”

Ralph Stewart, chairman of the Johnston Health Board, said commissioners had discussions with three outstanding potential partners before voting unanimously in favor of UNC Health Care.

“UNC Health Care shares our vision to grow and strengthen our hospital in the long term,” he said. “Specifically, UNC Health Care’s expertise and track record in improving community hospitals, building stronger physician relationships and high employee and patient satisfaction, as well as its connections to sub-specialized care, clinical research and trials and innovative, collaborative culture made it the clear choice for our employees and patients.”

More details about the partnership will be determined during a due diligence period, with a final agreement expected to be completed this summer.

“We are proud and pleased to have been selected by Johnston Health,” said David Strong, Chief Operating Officer of System Affiliations at UNC Health Care. “We are committed to maintaining Johnston Health’s community identity by empowering the local board, preserving the hospital culture and keeping patient care in the community. We look forward to using our managerial expertise and sub-specialty excellence to enhance Johnston Health’s capabilities while providing additional access to the specialized care, research and teaching we focus on each day.”

About Johnston Health

Johnston Health is Johnston County's health care system. It includes Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield, an acute care hospital licensed for 199 beds, and Johnston Medical Center-Clayton, an outpatient campus providing same-day surgery, diagnostic imaging and lab services, and a freestanding emergency department. Johnston Health also has primary care practices in Clayton and Kenly and an urgent care in Smithfield. Learn more at

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