From Hospital-centric to Health-centric – The Big Shift at NHRMC

A new perspective can change everything.

Sponsored by NHRMC.

In January of 2017, something big happened at New Hanover County Regional Medical Center. While philanthropy, community involvement and health-conscious partnerships have always been a priority, the hospital system shifted their perspective entirely. They built giving into their mission statement.

“Leading Our Community to Outstanding Health”

Under the new leadership of CEO John Gizdic, NHRMC developed a strategic plan that focuses on health and wellness outside of the hospital. The plan is based on three pillars – access, value, and health equity – and is designed to eliminate disparities in health in the counties it serves.

“While we’ve always taken our public hospital mission very seriously,” says Scott Whisnant, NHRMC’s Community Relations Administrator, “we have come to realize that the future of health care is outside the walls of the hospital and in communities. We recognize that the factors that are determining poor health have more to do with the conditions and challenges our community faces in the everyday world where they are. So, that’s where we need to be.”

And, now, they are. In a big way.

The Three Pillars in Action

Employees of NHRMC collected 8,000 books for at-risk youth during their recent book drive, and raised $12,000 worth of food during their Summer Food Drive. Free screenings are now available at various locations to people in need. And, partnerships with Uber and the NHC Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels Program are being developed to bolster successful discharge and recovery for those lacking transportation and food at home.

And, the list goes on…and on. But, the most recent shining star has yet to be mentioned.

MarKIDS and Nourish NC

Knowing that 1 in 4 children in the Youth Enrichment Zone go hungry afterschool and during the summer, the hospital chose to sponsor their first MarKIDS event, a Nourish NC initiative, held at DREAMS of Wilmington this year.

Children are given “nourish bucks” upon arrival and can buy fruits and vegetables with the bucks they are given. Educational materials are on display through the market. Over 200 children attended this year, exceeding expectations by a lot.


Yingling and “the gang” at the MarKIDS event at DREAMS of Wilmington.


“I feel so fortunate that my employer allows me the space and time to go out in the community to help people outside of the office,” said Corey Yingling, Lean Project Leader and recently-elected Nourish NC liaison. “It feels like an added benefit or a special bonus.”

And, she says, lots of employees feel that way. “It’s hard to find time to give back to the community outside of work and family,” Yingling said. She’s a single mother of two boys and a full-time employee of NHRMC.

“There’s a sense of pride and self-worth that comes with helping your community,” says Yingling. “And, now, I don’t have to miss out on that.”

Yingling, her children, and 20 other volunteers will attend their second MarKIDS event at the Yam Jam festival at Portia Hines Park at 400 N. 10th Street in downtown Wilmington October 28th from 1-3pm.

“It’s awe-inspiring to see how we can impact the community,” said Yingling. “I feel really lucky that my kids and I get to be a part of all of this.”

And, says Whisnant, this is just the beginning.


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