Iredell Health System (IHS) and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have recently joined forces to elevate the level of emergency care available in Iredell and surrounding counties. Through a new agreement, Wake Forest Baptist emergency providers have joined the IHS medical team, delivering expert care for patients using Iredell Memorial Hospital's emergency department.
The Wake Forest Baptist providers are specially trained in emergency medicine and work alongside IHS nurses and medical staff. The new team replaced a previously contracted emergency room group in early November. It is common practice for hospitals, including Iredell Memorial, to contract with outside physician groups for emergency room staffing.
"From our past experiences with Wake Forest Baptist, we knew our patients could expect a high level of professionalism and medical expertise from these providers," said Becky Quate, Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services for Iredell Health. "We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with them in emergency medicine."
President and CEO of Iredell Health System Ed Rush emphasized that this new venture does not change the health system's ownership, and there are no plans for a merger or sale to Wake Forest Baptist or any other entity.
"We will continue to be an independent, community-owned health system," said Rush, adding that this new venture will provide patients with the same level of expertise available at larger facilities, but in our own community. The collaboration between the two organizations also embodies the Health System's mission to inspire wellbeing – together. "By partnering with a renowned health care leader like Wake Forest Baptist, we can increase access in this area to more advanced medical services from one of the region's most trusted providers."
Wake Forest Baptist and Iredell Health already have several partnerships with each other. Wake Forest Baptist physicians also work with the medical team at Iredell Memorial in vascular care and stroke response, as well as Oncology and Radiation Therapy. A specially-equipped ambulance stationed at Iredell Memorial is available for pediatric patients who need critical transport to Brenner Children's Hospital, part of Wake Forest Baptist, in Winston-Salem as well.
"This partnership will enhance the very positive relationship we already have with Iredell Health and Iredell County EMS," said Chadwick Miller, M.D., chair of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist. "We manage and staff a number of emergency departments at hospitals throughout the region and are excited to partner with Iredell Memorial to provide the best possible care to adults and children in Iredell and surrounding counties."
Iredell Memorial's Emergency Department is staffed with skilled personnel 24 hours a day to treat injuries and emergency medical needs. The Iredell medical team consists of Registered Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants and administrative assistants. Registered Nurses hold certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum, ensuring the most advanced medical care available. A large number of nursing staff also hold the national certification of Certified Emergency Nurse. The facility is Joint Commission Accredited in Chest Pain and Stroke Care, offering the most evidence based practice treatments available.