FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2019
CHAPEL HILL, NC – University of North Carolina System spokesperson Josh Ellis released the following statement:
“The successful, long-standing partnership between Vidant Medical Center and East Carolina University has served an important public interest that benefits residents of Pitt County, other counties in eastern North Carolina, and the State of North Carolina. When what is now the Brody School of Medicine was created, the state legislature invested significant funds in Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Since that time, the appointment of the Board governing what is now Vidant Medical Center has been shared between appointees of Pitt County and the UNC Board of Governors. ECU, with strong support from the University System, takes the stewardship responsibility regarding the Brody School of Medicine and its historic public mission with the utmost seriousness. Vidant’s unexpected elimination of the appointment powers vested in the UNC Board of Governors, accomplished without consultation, creates serious concerns about a relationship that has served eastern North Carolina well since its inception in 1975.
In recognition of our partnership and the importance of the Brody-Vidant affiliation agreement, the UNC System asked Vidant Medical Center’s leadership to refrain from any further action on their abrupt governance change so the entities could talk about the impact on the affiliation agreement and our public responsibilities to eastern North Carolina. Vidant reaffirmed its intention to continue serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine, but regrettably, the parties have been unable to reach an understanding.
Today’s action, filed in Orange County Superior Court, asks the court to temporarily halt further action by Vidant Medical Center, and preserve the decades-long status quo, as required by the affiliation agreement with the UNC System and the Brody School of Medicine. While we are very concerned about the impact of Vidant’s conduct on our long-standing affiliation, we are hopeful that action by the court will allow the parties to pause and evaluate what steps will be needed to preserve the partnership, as required by the academic affiliation agreement, so that all parties may better serve the people of North Carolina.”
The full complaint can viewed here.