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UNC Health Care To Manage Jacksonville Hospital

An air ambulance lands on the helipad at UNC Hospitals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dan Sears

UNC Health Care reached a management agreement with Onslow Memorial Hospital, making the coastal North Carolina health center the 11th UNC affiliated hospital.

The agreement means UNC Health Care will operate the Jacksonville hospital, but not acquire any of the assets. That's similar to arrangements UNC has with hospitals in Kinston, Goldsboro, Smithfield and Clayton.

"We are excited about our relationship with UNC Health Care because their clinical and operational expertise will be a tremendous asset to Onslow," said Penney Burlingame Deal, president and CEO of Onslow Memorial, in a press release. "We anticipate achieving additional cost savings and enhanced clinical services for our patients."

Rural hospitals have struggled financially, in part because North Carolina hasn't opted in to the federal expansion of Medicaid. That means the state's hospitals are subject to costly regulations and penalties from the Affordable Care Act, but don't benefit from a larger pool of paying patients.

Medicaid expansion states show larger declines in the uninsured, 2013-2017
Credit Kaiser Family Foundation
Medicaid expansion states show larger declines in the uninsured, 2013-2017

Onslow Memorial has about 1,100 employees with more than 150 medical providers on staff. It has 162 licensed acute care beds.

Jason deBruyn is WUNC's Supervising Editor for Digital News, a position he took in 2024. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016 as a reporter.
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