Southeastern Health, the main health care provider for Robeson County and its surrounding area, is looking for a partner to maintain its financial stability and better meet the region’s needs, according to The Robesonian newspaper.
Southeastern is one of North Carolina’s few remaining independent hospitals. It employs 2,600 people in the southeastern N.C. county known for its diverse demographic makeup of Lumbee, African-American and Caucasian citizens.
Board Chairman Kenneth Rust told the newspaper that the hospital is healthy and enters a search from “a position of strength.” In a statement, Rust said, “Since our inception 65 years ago, Southeastern Health has grown to best serve the needs of this community, and we believe now is the time to explore growth again to ensure we’re best positioned to care for our neighbors for the next 65 years and beyond.”
Southeastern already has a collaboration with Durham-based Duke Health, which manages the Southeastern Health Heart and Vascular program. It partners with Charlotte-based Atrium Health to maximize purchasing power for supplies and pharmaceuticals at lower costs. In 2013, Southeastern Health partnered with Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine to develop “community-minded physicians,” according to the Robesonian.
The not-for-profit system is licensed for 452 beds, employs 146 physicians and advanced-practice providers, and contracts with another 230 independent providers.
In recent years, Chapel Hill-based UNC Health Care has signed management agreements to operate four hospitals in eastern North Carolina. The region’s major system is Greenville-based Vidant Health, which operates across 29 counties. Lumberton is about 30 miles from Fayetteville, where Cape Fear Valley Health is the state’s eighth-largest system, according to its website.