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ECU, Vidant advance plan to create new academic health system brand

East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health — both in Greenville, N.C. — advanced their plan Nov. 12 to create a new health system brand in eastern North Carolina.

The ECU board approved the joint operating agreement Nov. 12. It still needs approval from the Vidant Health Board of Directors, Vidant Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

Under the joint operating agreement, the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health will stay separate legal entities but will function collaboratively as ECU Health. Vidant Health's locations, Vidant Medical Group and ECU Physicians will rebrand to ECU Health. No changes to the employment status will occur as a result of the joint operating agreement, according to the news release.

The new branded academic health system would launch Jan. 1, 2022. 

The goal of the partnership is to create a national academic model for advancing rural healthcare and more effectively addressing health disparities. 

"This agreement represents an important milestone in the long-standing affiliation between two entities bound by the same mission as we work toward the creation of ECU Health," ECU Chancellor Philip Rogers said. "It signals the point where we can begin to move forward together on our journey to launch a clinically integrated academic health system and deliver on the commitment to provide quality health care for all eastern North Carolinians."

The two organizations announced their intent to create a new academic health system brand in June. 

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