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Sep 1, 2011
12:02 AM
The Daily Scoop

Pardee and UNC Health Care Make it Official

UNC Hospitals President Gary Park, Henderson County Board of  Commissioners Chairman Michael Edney and Pardee Board Chair Bill Lapsley listen to new Pardee CEO James Kirby (right) discuss the management agreement signed Wednesday.

UNC Hospitals President Gary Park, Henderson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Michael Edney and Pardee Board Chair Bill Lapsley listen to new Pardee CEO James Kirby (right) discuss the management agreement signed Wednesday.

Hendersonville Scoop

WHAT HAPPENED? After months of negotiations, Pardee and UNC Health Care officially signed their 10-year management agreement which allows the non-profit physician network decision making abilities at the county-owned hospital.

WHY DO YOU CARE? While Henderson County owns the property and is ultimately responsible to the citizen’s for running it effectively, Pardee’s Board of Directors has approved the management agreement that will no doubt make the Hendersonville hospital even more of a player in the competitive WNC health care business than ever before.

HOW DID IT GO DOWN? In April, representatives of the Chapel Hill-based organization told both Pardee Hospital’s Board of Directors and the Henderson County Board of Commissioners about what they could bring to a proposed management agreement between their organization and the Hendersonville health care facility.

For a management fee of $180,000 each year for the next decade, UNC Health Systems promised to improve Pardee’s offerings in the fields of comprehensive cancer care (through the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the NC Cancer Hospital), spine and orthopedic care (through the work of the UNC Imaging and Spine Center) and the positive aging program (through the UNC Center for Aging and Health). Pardee could also incur added cost savings and efficiencies through the relationship.

In July, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, who have had their share of squabbles both public and private with the hospital’s board of directors, largely agreed the UNC affiliation was a good thing.

Wednesday, Pardee's new CEO Jay Kirby heartily endorsed the deal during a signing ceremony at the hospital.

"It represents what can happen when a community works together to address challenges and uncertainties in health care today," Kirby said. "It marks a new chapter in our proud history and I look forward to act upon our shared vision to have a world class health care system right here in Henderson County."

Pardee Boad of Directors Chairman Bill Lapsley agreed.

"The agreement we have signed provides all of us in Henderson County with direct access to health care services provided throughout the great state of North Carolina," he said, adding that the aim of the management agreement is to expand services at the hospital without increasing the cost paid to patients. "This affiliation will strengthen our position in relation to those goals."

Henderson County Commissioner Michael Edney was even more glowing in his remarks.

"This can open new doors and new possibilities," Edney said. "Together, we can make Pardee and Henderson County even stronger."

UNC Hospitals President Gary Park was also optimistic and reassuring in terms of his organization's new role in Western North Carolina.

"We are honored to be part of your community and look forward to being part of Henderson County," Park said. "Pardee has been making great decisions for 58 years and we won't interrupt that process. While we will be here, decisions will be made locally, not in Chapel Hill."

WHAT’S NEXT?  New CEO Kirby, an employee of UNC Health Systems, just completed his first 30 days on the job. With a new management system and chief executive officer at the helm, only time will tell what that means for Henderson County's second largest employer and the 261 physicians representing 39 different medical specialties.

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