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Prince William Health System and Novant Health Agree on Partnership to Expand Quality Healthcare in Northern Virginia

MANASSAS, Va. and WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prince William Health System (PWHS) of Manassas, Va. and North Carolina-based Novant Health, both regional not-for-profit health systems, announced today they have signed a letter of intent to merge. The partnership will provide the resources essential to expand quality healthcare services to western Prince William County.

"We chose to affiliate with Novant because of our shared vision and commitment to high quality community-based healthcare delivery," said Michael J. Schwartz, President and CEO of Prince William Health System. "Under this exciting partnership, Prince William Health System will be able to take our tradition of clinical excellence to the next level -- by offering additional sophisticated services, expanding the number of physicians and staff in the organization and creating greater job security for our valued employees."

As part of the agreement, Novant has pledged more than $200 million to help PWHS meet the growing demands in western Prince William County, the population of which is projected to grow more than 20 percent in the next two years. The PWHS Board of Trustees studied 20 potential partners using a thorough process that culminated in the decision to join Novant. PWHS and Novant will participate in a comprehensive mutual review process during the next several months to complete the structure and details of the partnership, as well as any necessary regulatory approvals. The process should be completed by Fall of 2009.

"It has been clear to Novant from the start of this process that Prince William has a very strong commitment to serving its community with the highest quality of care for patients," said Paul Wiles, President and CEO of Novant Health. "We are thrilled to be partnering with an organization which shares our values for improving health of its residents, including those most in need during such trying economic times."

The realities of being a single hospital system in today's economy have made it increasingly difficult for community-based provider systems like PWHS to expand to meet local healthcare needs. The PWHS vision is to enhance the range and quality of its services including: increasing the number of private rooms on the Manassas campus, updating the critical care unit and developing a cardiac catheterization lab. PWHS also plans to build a new 60-bed hospital in the fast-growing Haymarket, Va. area, to provide residents with access to inpatient hospital care closer to home. In addition, PWHS aims to expand its medical staff by over 50 additional physician specialists.

"Serving the needs of the community has always been our top priority and that will not change with the new partnership," stated Michael Dailey, Chairman, Prince William Health System Board of Trustees. "Prince William Health System will continue to have a board made up of local leaders with deep ties to the community and local residents can be assured that all donations to the PWHS Foundation will stay in the community."

About Prince William Health System

Prince William Hospital was built in 1964 to serve the Manassas, Virginia area. Based in a region that is rapidly changing and growing, today Prince William Health System includes a 170-bed, nonprofit hospital in Manassas, and new and expanded facilities such as the Heathcote Health Center, Marblestone Health Center, Lake Manassas Cancer Center, and Caton Merchant House, an assisted living facility. PWHS has received numerous recognitions for clinical excellence and performance including the Virginia Senate Productivity and Quality Award for two consecutive years.

About Novant Health

Novant Health is a not-for-profit integrated group of hospitals and physician practices, caring for patients and communities in North and South Carolina. The Novant Medical Group consists of 1,060 physicians in 361 practice locations. Hospital affiliates include Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital Matthews and Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville in the Charlotte area; Forsyth Medical Center and Medical Park Hospital in Winston-Salem; Thomasville Medical Center in Thomasville; Brunswick Community Hospital in Supply; and Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. Other Novant facilities and programs include nursing homes, outpatient surgery centers, medical plazas, rehabilitation programs, community health outreach programs and the national MedQuest organization with 92 imaging centers in 13 states. Novant Health is ranked 12th nationally among the 2009 Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks, according to an analysis by the SDI health informatics company.

SOURCE Prince William Health System
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