The joint operating agreement between East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health is now officially underway, enabling the organizations to create ECU Health and work together to improve health care delivery to the 1.4 million residents of eastern North Carolina.
Under the joint operating agreement, the Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Health will remain separate legal entities, but will integrate under a new, shared brand known as ECU Health.
The ECU Health logo will be revealed in the spring and the rebranding process for most Vidant entities and ECU Physicians practices will begin shortly after. Rebranding is expected to take months to complete.
“The new year marks an important and exciting chapter for health care in eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO of Vidant Health and dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “(The new year) will be a year of transformation for Vidant and Brody as we create ECU Health and position ourselves as the national academic model for providing rural health care. Together as one, ECU Health will have profoundly positive impacts on the health and well-being of those we serve.”
The two organizations are working together to:
Evaluate and modify existing practices to improve quality and coordination of care.
Integrate certain management structures and strategic planning efforts.
Develop a plan for shared services to support the integrated entity.
Leverage the capabilities of each organization to advance the collective research and education infrastructure.
Coordinate philanthropic initiatives.
The joint operating agreement received board approvals in November and became official on Saturday.
The agreement provides a structure that allows the two organizations to more effectively and efficiently address current issues facing the region – such as health disparities and care delivery obstacles – while also better anticipating future health care and educational needs.
“The close partnership between Brody and Vidant created a strong foundation upon which to build ECU Health,” said Dr. Jason Higginson, executive dean of Brody. “The ability to combine academic excellence with high-quality, state-of-the-art health care delivery will elevate care, research and education opportunities available to the people of eastern North Carolina. We look forward to continuing to work together and introduce ECU Health to the community later this year.”