FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Rural hospitals around the country have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic and that includes health care providers in North Carolina. Many have had to come up with ways to move forward after financial struggles.
"Coming out of COVID, many health systems especially rural health systems have gotten crushed really financially," said Harnett Health System president Cory Hess.
Hess spoke out Thursday about the hardships many local healthcare systems have faced during the pandemic and announced they will officially merge with Cape Fear Valley.
"A lot of rural systems in general are closing across the country. Statistically, we're seeing that, so really the only way to add these services that need to be added is with the help of a strategic partner and Cape Fear gives us that ability," Hess said.
Those services Hess is talking about are an extensive list of specialist physicians recruited in to reduce the need for patients to travel out of town.
Cape Fear is also committing to build of a new 40,000 square foot medical arts complex as well as a comprehensive cancer center.
"We see there is a great need in this community and we need to fill it as fast as we possibly can. There's a lot of growth going on here, so ultimately we're going to be able to move at warp speed compared to what we could have done on our own," Hess said
The president also added that with many hospitals being stretched thin during the pandemic that these resources will help give a new quality of care to an ever growing community.
"Having a partner like Cape Fear who believes what we believe in and who wants to keep care local and make sure the patients in Harnett County don't need to leave Harnett County to get high-quality care is something we are really excited to be a part of," said Hess.
The transition between the two healthcare systems is set to begin at the end of March.
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