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Novant to buy struggling hospital, spend $50M on improvements

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health agreed to invest $50 million in Burgaw, N.C.-based Pender Medical Center and develop the facility into a community general hospital within the next five years.

Under the deal, Novant will assume operations of the facility with the goal of boosting quality care and reducing health disparities. Novant will spend $50 million over 10 years to fund building and facility improvements, purchase new medical equipment and recruit more healthcare providers.

The move also aims to keep Pender Medical Center a critical access hospital and improve acute and ambulatory facilities. The deal will strengthen both primary care and specialty services for Burgaw and the surrounding area.

Novant inked an operating agreement with Pender Medical Center in 2021 related to the system's purchase of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Pender Medical Center received $60 million from New Hanover Regional to stabilize the facility over the last two years, primarily to boost hospital operations and triple employee salaries, according to a Port City Daily report. When the most recent deal is finalized, Novant will own Pender Medical Center.

The Pender County Board of Commissioners voted to finalize the agreement June 16 and anticipates finalizing legal documents in September before closing the transaction within six months.

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