Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, including the Wake Forest School of Medicine, have officially combined to form a single enterprise, Atrium Health.
The new Atrium Health combines clinical expertise with research, innovation and the educational capabilities to revolutionize the ways people become and stay healthy. More than 7 million people across the region now have access to care from the combined organization. The enterprise has more than 70,000 employees providing personalized care for each of the 15 million patient interactions it has each year.
The Wake Forest School of Medicine will become the academic core of Atrium, and a second campus for the School of Medicine will be built in Charlotte.
Artist depictions of a second Wake Forest School of Medicine campus in Charlotte, N.C.
“As the health care field goes through the most transformative period in our lifetime, in addition to a new medical school, our vision is to build a ‘Silicon Valley’ for health care innovation spanning from Winston-Salem to Charlotte,” said Eugene A. Woods, MBA, MHA, FACHE, president and CEO of the new Atrium Health. “We are creating a nationally leading environment for clinicians, scientists, investors and visionaries to collaborate on breakthrough technologies and cures. Everything we do will be focused on life-changing care, for all, in urban and rural communities alike. And we will create jobs that provide inclusive opportunities to enhance the economic vitality of our entire region.”
Based on an independent economic analysis, the immediate direct and indirect annual economic and employment impact from the combined enterprise exceeds $32 billion and 180,000 jobs.
“The impact of the strategic combination will be far-reaching, elevating North Carolina as a clear destination of choice to receive medical care for people all across the nation,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of the School of Medicine. “Through our combined, nationally recognized clinical centers of excellence in multiple specialties, we will be able to expand our research in signature areas, such as cancer, cardiovascular, regenerative medicine and aging, and target bringing research breakthroughs to the community in less than half the time of the national average.”
Freischlag takes on the additional role of chief academic officer for the Atrium Health enterprise, leading experiential medical education and training for its academic mission and re-imagining the future of basic science and translational research.