UNC's Ross Cool to WakeMed Offer for Rex

May 12, 2011

A proposal from WakeMed to buy Rex Healthcare from UNC is getting a chilly response. UNC president Thomas Ross said in a statement selling Rex Healthcare would be damaging to its core mission and not in the best interest of the people of North Carolina. He went on to say UNC Health Care's board of directors will discuss the proposal on Monday. WakeMed President and CEO Bill Atkinson says there are number of uncertainties over health care in Wake County.

Bill Atkinson: "One of those is about Rex Healthcare and where it fits as a governmental entity and an extention of UNC Healthcare. And we just think it's an important time to put on the table the question of whether there's a better way to do this. And just because we have the idea doesn't mean we have the right idea. But I do think it's one that deserves a response and we think it makes sense, and so we asked."

WakeMed contends the $750 million offer would provide a helpful cash infusion into the university system. But UNC's Ross says the university needs to be thinking long-term.