UNC lawsuit over Vidant board make-up settled

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - A lawsuit has been settled in a dispute over who sits on the board for Vidant Medical Center.

This spring, the UNC System and East Carolina University sued the hospital and Pitt County after county commissioners changed the make-up of Vidant's board.

In the settlement, the UNC System retains appointing its 9 members to Vidant's board, while the hospital trustees will nominate 7 of those members.

For years, Pitt County appointed 11 members to what used to be the county-owned hospital and the university system appointed the other nine members. UNC gained appointments to the hospital board after the Brody School of Medicine was created back in 1975.

The agreement, announced this morning will have the medical school dean and the ECU chancellor on the Vidant Board, while the remaining seven seats will be filled by nominations from Vidant trustees and approved by the UNC Board of Governors.

UNC also says the CEO for Vidant will serve as a liaison between ECU trustees health sciences committee while the med school and Vidant will jointly engage a financial consultant to assess the current financial relationship between the two.

The dispute led to state senators yanking $35 million in funding to the hospital in the stalled state budget. That funding was later restored.

“We are pleased that this agreement honors the long-standing partnership between Vidant, Pitt County and East Carolina University. ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center play an important and vital role in ensuring quality health care for eastern North Carolina and future generations of medical professionals for all of North Carolina,” said Randy Ramsey, chair of the UNC Board of Governors.

“I am pleased that we have been able to achieve a resolution that strengthens the relationship between Vidant and the ECU Brody School of Medicine,” said Beth Ward, chair of the Pitt County Board of Commissioners. “I look forward to the continued success of the partnership between Pitt County, Vidant and ECU that has provided quality health care to serve the residents throughout eastern North Carolina.”