Moving Health Care Forward for the State and Rural Communities in 2020

By on January 6, 2020

Op-Ed column by Vidant CEO Dr. Mike Waldrum

As we start a New Year in North Carolina, it is important to concentrate on the health of our communities. It is time for those having the power to influence health care in the state to work together. We must collaborate and develop thoughtful solutions designed to improve access to high quality care. This is important everywhere in our state, especially in our rural communities.

Delivering health care in the rural parts of North Carolina is a challenge for many reasons; a high burden of disease, an underserved population, and a growing number of patients relying on Medicare and Medicaid. Despite these challenges, Vidant Health is delivering quality care in the East, but we need the right policies to ensure those in our communities are supported and have access to the professionals they rely on for care.

In 2019, the state watched as labor and delivery services closed in neighboring rural communities. This is tragic. No mother should have to worry about how she is going to get care or where she will deliver her baby. We see hospitals in rural parts of the country continuing to close their doors and North Carolina is not immune. This continues to be a crisis and we must do better.

For eastern North Carolina, expanding Medicaid, designing a reasonable solution to resolve State Health Plan liabilities and funding a new Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University must be a priority for the state.

Expanding Medicaid will improve access to care, something we desperately need not only in the East, but also throughout the state. North Carolinians are subsidizing care in 37 other states that have expanded Medicaid while too many North Carolinians struggle.

A willingness by the Treasurer and State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) to work together with care providers across our state is vital to finding the right solutions for the State Health Plan. This collaboration will not only resolve liabilities, but also protect, not hurt, access to quality care for millions. We must invest in solutions such as value-based care to keep people from getting sick and to keep them out of hospitals, ultimately reducing costs.

Prioritizing the funding for the Brody School of Medicine will ensure we have future generations of providers trained to meet the challenges of providing care in rural communities. The state needs more (not fewer) providers committed to meeting our health care needs and no one does it better than Brody.

It is time to look deep inside of ourselves and put aside partisanship, personal petty attacks and uncompromising attitudes in order to do what is right for all North Carolinians. At the end of the day, it is about how we treat each other and our desire to come together to do what is right for those we all serve. In 2020, we must commit to greater collaboration with a focus on creating a health care system for the state we can all be proud to say we built together.

Mike Waldrum, MD, MSc, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Vidant Health


Dare County Animal Shelter

Sealed bids for completion of the Dare County Animal Shelter will be received on February 11, 2020, in the Dare County Administration Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC, for 01-Fencing, 03- Concrete, 04-Masonry, 05-Metals/ Steel, 06-Casework, 07-Roofing, 07-Caulking, 08-Glass and Glazing, 08-Doors, Frames and Hardware, 08-Overhead Doors, 09-Drywall, 09-Flooring, 09-Painting, 10- Specialties, 12-Furnishings, 21-Fire Protection, 23-Mechanical & Plumbing, 26-Electrical, 31-Sitework and 32-Landscaping.

This project will be bid and awarded in accordance with North Carolina law. Sealed proposals from Contractors will be received until 1:00 p.m. All bidders must submit for prequalification by 2:00pm on 2/3/2020. Bids submitted by non-prequalified bidders will not be considered. All bids will be opened and read aloud starting at 2:00 p.m. of the bid day. Bids must be delivered in person and on the supplied Bid Form and include a bid deposit worth 5% of the total bid value. Electronic and faxed bids will NOT be accepted or reviewed. All times are local prevailing times.

Information requests concerning the project shall be submitted in writing to: Alex Palagyi of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company via email (

Bidding material, prequalification material, and complete plans and specifications may be obtained from the Whiting-Turner Building Connected site and will be available until the bid due date. All subcontractors are responsible for emailing Alex Palagyi ( for access to the Building Connected site.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Dare County reserve the right to reject any and all bids, waive informalities and irregularities in bidding, and to accept bids which are considered to be in the best interest of the County. The Whiting Turner Contracting Company and Dare County also reserve the right to require any bidder to submit information needed to determine if said bidder is responsible within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-129.

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