Published on September 27, 2019

UNC REX and Johnston Health Approve Plan to Expand Partnership

Non-binding agreement aims to improve care and access for Johnston and Wake county patients

UNC REX Healthcare (“UNC REX”) and Johnston Health have approved a non-binding Letter of Intent to combine operations via a Joint Operating Agreement. This proposed partnership will expand the organizations’ long history of collaboration to enhance care, improve outcomes and increase access for patients in Johnston and Wake counties.

“It’s no secret that the health care landscape is constantly changing, and expanding our relationship with Johnston Health offers us an opportunity to better serve patients,” said Steve Burriss, president of UNC REX. “We look forward to further discussions with our colleagues at Johnston Health as we work out details of our proposed partnership.”

The boards of Johnston Health and UNC REX have approved a non-binding Letter of Intent to combine operations via a Joint Operating Agreement. A more formal partnership is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

“Recognizing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, Johnston Health, UNC REX and UNC Health Care have been working together during the past year to identify ways that we can ensure our organizations will be poised to continue to provide quality care for our patients, secure employment opportunities for our co-workers and contribute to the economic growth in our communities,” said Chuck Elliott, CEO of Johnston Health.

In early 2014, Johnston Health formed a joint venture with UNC Health Care, a partnership that has improved the health and wellness of residents of Johnston County and surrounding areas. That included opening a 50-bed community hospital on Johnston Health’s Clayton campus in 2015, and recruiting new physicians and other providers.

The new agreement will expand that relationship to create new opportunities for adding specialized medical care and services closer to home for Johnston and Wake county patients. The tentative agreement calls for a long-term commitment to opening new medical facilities in Johnston County, expanding clinical services offered and more.


About Johnston Health

Johnston Health has been Johnston County’s primary health care system since 1951. Based in Smithfield, with a second location in Clayton, the hospital is an integral part of the county’s growth and development. Johnston Health is committed to its community, focused on top-notch health care, and invested in well-being. Its core purpose is to provide quality, expert care to every patient who walks through its doors. As part of the UNC Health Care system, Johnston Health holds itself to the highest standards of quality and excellence, and is committed to bringing expert care close to home for its community. For more information, please visit

About UNC REX Healthcare

For 125 years, UNC REX Healthcare has provided expert care for the Wake County community and surrounding areas. With more than 7,000 co-workers, UNC REX is a private, not-for-profit health care system and is a member of UNC Health Care. UNC REX provides various health care services throughout Wake County with facilities in Apex, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Wakefield and downtown Raleigh. To learn more, click here.

About UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care is an integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care.

UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield; UNC Lenoir Health Care in Kinston; Wayne UNC Health Care in Goldsboro; Caldwell UNC Health Care in Lenoir; Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount; UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, UNC REX Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County; and the UNC Physicians Network.

For more information, please visit

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