NORTH WILKESBORO — Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center welcomed Wilkes Medical Center into its family of hospitals Saturday, as the Board of Commissioners of the town of North Wilkesboro and Wake Forest Baptist leaders officially completed the due-diligence period and agreed on a long-term lease of Wilkes Medical Center by Wake Forest Baptist.
Under the terms of the initial 30-year lease agreement, Wake Forest Baptist will invest $238 million during that time in support of Wilkes Medical Center, the town of North Wilkesboro, the Wilkes community, and patients served in the region.
“We expect to positively grow the future of health care in Wilkes County through this agreement, and are very pleased the Town of North Wilkesboro and the Board of Wilkes Regional Medical Center Hospital Operating Corporation chose Wake Forest Baptist as its community partner in this long-term lease,” said Wake Forest Baptist CEO Julie A. Freischlag, M.D. “As we celebrate our integration with the launch of a new Wake Forest Baptist Health – Wilkes Medical Center brand, we want to acknowledge the contributions of Carolinas Health System. We are beginning our new partnership on the solid ground provided by their good management of Wilkes Regional Medical Center since 2007, and their collegiality during the due diligence and implementation phases of the transition.”
Wake Forest Baptist leaders announced in May that Wilkes Regional Medical Center’s name would change to Wake Forest Baptist Health – Wilkes Medical Center. The new name was decided by a survey of more than 730 Wilkes Medical Center employees. It aligns with the names of the other hospitals in the Wake Forest Baptist network.
“We are excited about the future of Wilkes Medical Center and know our town’s hospital is in good hands with Wake Forest Baptist,” said North Wilkesboro Commissioner Debbie Ferguson. “Wake Forest Baptist already has a great track record of taking care of the citizens of this community through the operation of our emergency department and most recently with the hospitalist program. We know their commitment to grow services here means the delivery of excellent health care to this region will continue.”
Wake Forest Baptist will announce more clinical services in the coming weeks.