Greenville, N.C. – ECU Health, the premier academic health system serving eastern North Carolina, experienced a transformational year highlighted by Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, breaking ground on a new behavioral health hospital slated to open in 2025, receiving various accreditations that affirm high-quality care and recognition of multiple team members on the state and national levels, all of which represent the shared commitment of the 14,000-plus team members who live the mission to improve the health and well-being of the region.
“As we reflect on the historic year that was and celebrate our achievements, I am deeply appreciative of the dedicated team members at ECU Health who play an instrumental role in solidifying our identity as a leading rural academic health system committed to serving the vibrant communities of eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, ECU Health CEO and dean of the Brody School of Medicine. “Looking ahead, I know 2024 will be another important year for our health system and medical school as we work to transform rural health care. I am proud of our collective efforts in 2023 which position us to become the national academic model for rural health care delivery. I am confident that our ongoing efforts will continue making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.”
The following highlights are only a few of the many achievements across ECU Health in 2023. For a more comprehensive review of the year, please visit: ECUHealth.org/YearinReview2023.
Improving access to care through key behavioral health partnerships and Medicaid expansion
Improving access to behavioral health care has long been a priority for ECU Health. The organization made important strides in that work over the past year by hosting a mental health town hall with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Kody Kinsley in February and breaking ground on a new behavioral health hospital with Acadia Healthcare that will open in 2025.
After more than six years of advocacy, Medicaid expansion is now a reality and could benefit more than 600,000 people in the state, including more than 100,000 people here in eastern North Carolina. ECU Health is passionate about Medicaid expansion because it witnesses first-hand the challenges uninsured and underinsured patients face. With expanded coverage, more patients can receive the care they need to keep them well.
Highlighting collective accomplishments
ECU Health accomplished much in 2023, including:
- Receiving significant funding for ECU and ECU Health in the state budget to help us realize the mission through:
- Brody class size expansion
- the NC Care initiative
- establishment of a new regional medical examiner’s office
- Rebranding the ECU Health Foundation
- Hosting U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means members for a roundtable discussion focused on supporting rural health care
- Celebrating 75 years of service at Roanoke-Chowan and 10 years of services at Maynard Children’s Hospital addition
- Honoring 13 nurses named to the North Carolina Great 100 Nurses list
- Graduating 77 medical students from the Brody School of Medicine