President Nathan Hatch emailed this announcement to faculty and staff on April 10:
Dear Wake Forest faculty and staff,
Moments ago, Wake Forest Baptist Health announced preliminary plans to align efforts with Atrium Health, forming an academic health system that will care for the health and well-being of people throughout the region, as well as contribute ground-breaking research and innovation to the world. Included in the announcement are plans to build on the excellence of Wake Forest School of Medicine and develop a second state-of-the-art campus in Charlotte. Today’s announcement begins a period of exclusive negotiations with Atrium Health, with the goal of finalizing an agreement later this year.
While there is no direct impact on the Reynolda Campus, I am excited about the potential benefits to both the Charlotte and Winston-Salem communities. By strengthening and expanding medical education, we will open many doors for future health care leaders and also play a leading national role in medical research.
I anticipate many questions will follow, and I want to help you answer the three that I think are most relevant to our University community:
Does this mean that Atrium is acquiring Wake Forest Baptist Health?
We are just beginning in-depth discussions regarding the specific details of what this partnership could ultimately become. Many details must be worked out before the deal is complete, hopefully by the end of 2019.
What does this mean for individuals employed by Wake Forest Baptist Health?
The conversations are still in the very early planning stages. The rapid changes in healthcare delivery will require healthcare organizations to continue to evaluate how they can most effectively and efficiently provide high quality care and adapt operations accordingly.
Why does Charlotte need a Medical School? And why would Wake Forest want to go there?
Charlotte is one of the largest cities in the country without a top ranked Medical School. The city and surrounding area are forecasted to grow significantly in the coming decades and Wake Forest’s ability to extend its quality academic medical talents and services provides for an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen its practices.
The website www.bestcareforall.org will be a useful source of news and information as plans progress.
Nathan O. Hatch