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Wilkes Regional to rebrand after closing lease with Wake Forest Baptist

North Wilkesboro, N.C.-based Wilkes Regional Medical Center will rebrand once its lease agreement with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is finalized July 1.

The organizations signed a letter of intent to negotiate the terms of a long-term lease last month.

As part of the agreement, Wilkes Regional will rebrand as Wake Forest Baptist Health-Wilkes Medical Center. The community will see changes in signage beginning July 1.

Officials also said integration measures are ongoing. Employees reportedly began training on the organizations' shared EMR system last month, and officials are in the midst of integrating the medical centers' human resources, supply chain and other departments.

Wake Forest Baptist also agreed to invest $238 million to support health and wellness initiatives for residents and patients in the area during the 30-year lease.

"Our future is promising and excitement continues to build across both Wilkes Regional and Wake Forest Baptist," said J. Gene Faile, president and CEO of Wilkes Regional Medical Center. "Our new name will communicate to our patients that they can continue to expect the great care they are used to from their community hospital, and soon, they will have increased access — right here in Wilkes County — to the expertise of an academic medical center, including many doctors who are among the top leaders in their fields and the latest in patient care and research."

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