Latest News  "Community Advisory Says It's Been Largely Ignored by NHC, ask for more engagement" 

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Events

The next event is a community gathering on May 5, 2024 to introduce Heal Our People's Endowment to the public. Please join us in shelters 1 & 2 at Empie Park, 3405 Park Ave., Wilmington, NC from 3:30 PM until 5 PM!

History & Background

The genesis of Heal Our People’s Endowment traces back to the contentious sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) to Novant Health in February of 2021, and the subsequent establishment of the New Hanover County Community Endowment. The sale, which transferred our community, publicly-owned hospital to private hands, ignited intense public scrutiny and debate. During the 18 month sale process, the public and critics of the sale voiced concerns over the privatization of a vital community asset, highlighting the potential loss of public oversight and accountability. In addition, critics warned that hospital consolidations across the country almost always led to increasing costs for patients and a reduction in the quality of care. Requests for a public referendum on the sale were ignored by leaders at the County and the hospital.


The creation of the $1.25 Billion New Hanover County Community Endowment, intended to steward the public proceeds from the sale, further stirred controversy due to perceived deficiencies in transparency and community input. Public outcry centered on the lack of a meaningful referendum or formalized community engagement regarding the structure of the Endowment. Key criticisms included the absence of a detailed mission and values statement, premature board appointments, and concerns over the board's diversity and expertise.


Amidst these challenges, Heal Our Peoples Endowment emerged in March 2024 as a response to the perceived failures of the New Hanover Community Endowment, and to implore the Attorney’s General to schedule a public hearing to address these issues. With a commitment to greater accountability, transparency, and inclusivity, Heal Our Peoples Endowment seeks to ensure that future decisions regarding the New Hanover County Endowment prioritize the public's interests.

Mission & Values

Heal Our Peoples Endowment is driven by a mission to promote accountability and transparency in the NH Community Endowment’s management of public assets for the benefit of all residents of New Hanover County. Our core values center on equity, inclusivity, and responsiveness to community needs.

 

The creation of an endowment from public funds necessitates the highest standards of transparency and accountability to the very public it serves. Leadership appointments, board compositions, and funding allocations must be subject to rigorous scrutiny and open discourse, ensuring that decision-making processes remain accessible and participatory.

 

Privatizing a public entity without robust public engagement not only undermines democratic principles but also risks excluding critical voices and perspectives from shaping the institution's direction. As stewards of public assets, it is imperative that the Endowment uphold democratic ideals by fostering transparency in governance and safeguarding against opaque practices that may compromise the public's trust and welfare.

The Path Forward

Heal Our People’s Endowment is committed to guiding the New Hanover County Endowment towards a future defined by accountability, transparency, and community engagement. Recognizing the imperative for systemic change, we seek to ensure that the Endowment fulfills its mission of benefiting all residents.

 

As the government entity entrusted with oversight of charity foundations, we urge the office of the Attorney General to host a public hearing in New Hanover County to address urgent concerns and to guarantee that the Endowment functions with independence, transparency, community involvement, and charitable intent. It is essential that the public's money remains under public scrutiny, avoiding privatization with business conducted behind closed doors, to uphold democratic principles and safeguard the interests of the community.

 

Our forward-looking approach centers on cultivating enhanced accountability and transparency in the governance and operations of the Endowment. We advocate for inclusive decision-making processes that embrace the diversity of our community and prioritize the public's interests.

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