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Press Release


UNC System, East Carolina University, Pitt County Government and Vidant Health reach agreement 

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The UNC System, East Carolina University, Pitt County Government and Vidant Health have reached an agreement to resolve a pending lawsuit concerning the affiliation between the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center. The UNC System and ECU filed the lawsuit in May after Vidant and Pitt County eliminated the authority of the UNC System’s Board of Governors to appoint nine of the 20 members of the Vidant Medical Center Board of Trustees.

The parties worked collaboratively over the past few months to reach an agreement on the University’s appointments to the Vidant Medical Center board and to establish a framework for future cooperation between the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center.

“We are pleased that this agreement honors the long-standing partnership between Vidant, Pitt County and East Carolina University. ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center play an important and vital role in ensuring quality health care for eastern North Carolina and future generations of medical professionals for all of North Carolina,” said Randy Ramsey, chair of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System.

Details of the agreement related to the Vidant Medical Center Board of Trustees:

  • The Dean of the Brody School of Medicine and the Chancellor of East Carolina University will fill two of nine seats appointed by UNC Board of Governors;
  • Trustees for the remaining seven seats will be nominated by a Vidant Medical Center Board of Trustees nominating committee for approval by the Board of Governors;
  • The Chief Executive Officer for Vidant Health will serve as an official, designated liaison to the East Carolina University Board of Trustees Health Sciences Committee; and
  • The Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center will jointly engage a financial consultant to assess the current financial relationship between the entities.

“I am pleased that we have been able to achieve a resolution that strengthens the relationship between Vidant and the ECU Brody School of Medicine,” said Beth Ward, chair, Pitt County Board of Commissioners. “I look forward to the continued success of the partnership between Pitt County, Vidant and ECU that has provided quality health care to serve the residents throughout eastern North Carolina.”

The agreement strengthens the relationships among the institutions and creates a fair process to ensure the right leadership is in place to best serve the East. The Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at East Carolina University, currently the Dean of the School of Medicine, will continue to serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Vidant Health board.

Dr. Mark Stacy, vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the Brody School of Medicine, said, “We are pleased that the structural alignment decisions have been completed, so we can focus on our shared mission of becoming a national model for rural health and wellness.”

“There is nothing more important than the people we collectively serve throughout eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Mike Waldrum, chief executive officer, Vidant Health. “Everyone involved understands the unique challenges facing our rural communities. A strong partnership is vital as we work together to support and train the next generations of medical professionals and to deliver high quality care close to home.”

About The University of North Carolina System

The University of North Carolina System enrolls more than 240,000 students at 17 institutions including all 16 of the state’s public universities, as well as the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students, N.C. School of Science and Mathematics. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the nation, with over $1.5 billion in research expenditures, a wide array of HBCUs, liberal art institutions, comprehensive universities and R-1 research institutions. Its institutions support two medical schools and a teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, five schools of engineering and a renowned arts conservatory. The North Carolina Arboretum, UNC Press, and UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina, with its 12-station broadcast network, are also all UNC System affiliate organizations.

About The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine is consistently recognized for delivering on its legislatively mandated, three-fold mission to increase the supply of primary care physicians serving North Carolina, to improve the health status of eastern North Carolina’s citizens and to enhance access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education. Brody is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report in Family Medicine (#13) and Primary Care (#31) – and consistently ranks in the top 10% of U.S. medical schools for graduating physicians who practice in-state, who practice primary care and who practice in rural and underserved areas. Currently, 1,723 Brody medical and residency graduates practice in 86 North Carolina counties – and 42% of those practice in underserved counties in the East.

About Pitt County Government

Pitt County is a rapidly growing, diversified employment and services hub for eastern North Carolina. As one of the fastest growing regions in the state, Pitt County Government strives to enhance the health, safety, and well-being of our community by advocating for and providing quality services in a friendly, efficient and cost-effective manner.  Proudly serving the residents of this great region since 1760, Pitt County works to build on its rich history, while eagerly striving towards the future advancement of all its municipalities. For more information, visit www.PittCountyNC.gov.

About Vidant Health
Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,708-bed health system that annually serves a region of more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of more than 14,000 team members, nine hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 500 providers in more than 100 practice sites in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit VidantHealth.com.