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It's in with the Old (Well) at Pardee

Pardee Hospital adds UNC Health Care to its logo. Pardee Hospital adds UNC Health Care to its logo.

Pardee Hospital on Wednesday rolled out its new UNC partnership branding campaign, adding the university's iconic Old Well insignia beside the county hospital's name.

Below the larger type for Pardee is "UNC Health Care" and below that is the new hospital website, "WeArePardee.org."

"For six decades Pardee Hospital has been providing high-quality health care to our region," Pardee Board of Trustees chairman Bill Moyer said in a news release. "Our affiliation with UNC Health Care makes Pardee clinically and financially stronger.

"Our quality standards have already attracted some of the best doctors to this area. By joining the UNC Heath Care family of hospitals, we gain the expertise, knowledge and resources that come with partnering with one of the highest-rated health care networks in the United States."

The new logo adds one more visible change to a local health care landscape that has become filled with change and sometimes rocked by conflict.

"We are extremely proud of our parthership with UNC Health Care Systems and this logo is reflective of our partnership and alignment of these two organizations," said Jay Kirby, CEO of Pardee Hospital. The UNC system under contract approved by Pardee board of trustees and the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, has a 10-year management agreement with Pardee under which it hires the CEO and oversees management of the hospital.

Pardee's partnership with UNC Health Care has brought cost savings and other benefits.

"There are tremendous benefits" in the partnership, Kirby said. "We have benefits under group purchasing, we have benefits in managed care negotiations, with major payer groups" including large health insurance companies. "We have medical expertise to augment our already qualified medical staff."

Some have viewed Pardee's partnership with UNC as a threat to the independence of the county-owned hosptial.

"Certainly it should not be perceived as a threat in any way, shape or form," he said. The management agreement, he pointed out, was unanimously approved by the trustees and the County Board of Commissioners, which appoints the trustees.

While Pardee supporters see the UNC management agreement as beneficial to the local hospital for financial and patient care reasons, they also view the partnership with one of the state's most powerful health care providers as a firewall against other possible suitors who might attempt to buy the county-owned hospital.

"UNC Health Care and Pardee Hospital have parallel missions that support the communities we serve," said Gary L. Park, president of UNC Hospitals. "Our organizations have also been recognized for providing excellent care and service to our patients. The partnership and commitment between UNC Health Care and Pardee is a milestone for both organizations. We are proud to have Pardee Hospital in the UNC Health Care network."

Pardee Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital founded in 1953 and is managed by UNC Health Care. It is the first and only hospital in North Carolina to be accredited with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001:2008) for quality health care standards. The hospital is licensed for 222 acute care beds and is the second largest employer in Henderson County. The hospital has several locations separate from the main campus, including a comprehensive physician practice network. For more information or to find a physician, call 1-866-790-WELL (9355) or visit www.pardeehospital.org.