UNC System gets restraining order to prevent Vidant board upheaval

Vidant Medical Center, a county-owned hospital in Greenville, N.C., is temporarily blocked from removing nine leaders appointed by the University of North Carolina from its board of trustees, according to The Laurinburg Exchange.

On May 24, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour granted Chapel Hill-based UNC a 10-day temporary restraining order against Vidant to halt the change. Vidant is owned by Pitt County, but UNC has operated the facility since 1975. Under that operating agreement, Vidant agreed to serve as the primary teaching hospital for East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine in Greenville.

Under an affiliation agreement, most recently renewed in 2013, Pitt County appointed 11 members to Vidant's board, and UNC appointed the other nine. However, that changed in April when Pitt County commissioners approved eliminating UNC's board appointments and giving them to Vidant.

That prompted UNC and ECU to sue Vidant and Pitt County over the change on May 20, accusing the county-owned system of violating the affiliation agreement by overhauling the board's makeup, according to The Laurinburg Exchange.  

The systems will meet in court May 29. The temporary restraining order is effective through June 3, according to the report.

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