Southeastern Health officially becomes part of UNC Health, changes name to UNC Health Southeastern

Health-care system joins UNC Health, changes its name

LUMBERTON — Southeastern Health leaders announced Thursday the hospital’s entry into the UNC Health system during a ceremony livestreamed over social media.

Southeastern Health leaders have signed a comprehensive, 10-year Management Services Agreement and the Lumberton-based health-care system is now a part of UNC Health, North Carolina’s leading public academic health system. Southeastern Health now will be known as UNC Health Southeastern

“It’s my pleasure to be here this morning to commemorate this momentous occasion. Two great organizations are coming together to continue their legacy,” said Joann Anderson, who was president and CEO of Southeastern Health and maintained those titles with UNC Health Southeastern.

The new name and logo were displayed during a ceremony that lasted less than 10 minutes and took place in a Southeastern Regional Medical Center parking lot.

The hospital will transition its daily operations to align with policies and practices set forth by other hospitals in the UNC Health Care network, Anderson said.

High clinical standards established by UNC Health and used throughout the health system also will be adopted, along with the ONE UNC Health System Values to guide the cultural integration, according to information from UNC Health Southeastern.

“I am confident today that the direction we are headed in is the right direction,” Anderson said.

The search for a system with similar values and a mission aligning with Southeastern Health began more than a year ago, said Kenneth Rust, chairman of the board of trustees at Southeastern Health and now UNC Health Southeastern.

“Through our conversations with UNC Health it became clear that UNC was the right organization to move Southeastern forward,” he said.

“As we shared last month, this partnership is all about our shared commitment to expand access to high-quality, cost-effective care here in Robeson County and the surrounding region,” he said in a statement released by UNC Health Southeastern.

Rust said the former Southeastern Health is eager to begin integrating into the UNC Health System.

“This really is a win-win for UNC Health, Robeson County and Southeastern Health,” said Chris Ellington, president of UNC Health Care Network Hospitals.

The UNC system expects to take some practices from the hospital and apply them to the other hospitals in the network as the hospital adopts its practices, he said. Representatives of UNC Health will begin working soon with doctors and physicians to improve care and begin integration into the system.

“We strive to keep care local,” Ellington said.

“We’re just excited to be here and look forward to what the future has to hold for both entities,” he added.

Anderson thanked the community, board of trustees and hospital leaders for their patience during the process.

“Aligning with UNC Health will allow UNC Health Southeastern to become an even stronger regional health-care leader,” Anderson said in a written statement.

“Through this relationship, we’ll be able to leverage enhanced opportunities to recruit and retain highly skilled physicians and caregivers to the area and maintain and grow the services we offer today — all while keeping care local. This is a great move that will positively impact the health and well-being of the community we serve,” her statement reads in part.

Thursday’s ceremony can be watched on the Southeastern Health Facebook page.