Published on December 02, 2020

UNC REX and Johnston Health Finalize Agreement to Expand Partnership

Joint Operating Agreement will improve care and access for Johnston and Wake county patients

– Dec. 1, 2020 – UNC REX Healthcare and Johnston Health have agreed to expand their partnership and work more closely together to enhance care, improve outcomes and increase access for patients in Johnston and Wake counties. The two organizations will combine operations via a Joint Operating Agreement that will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

“Strengthening our collaboration will lead to many benefits for our patients and our hospitals,” said Ernie Bovio, president of UNC REX. “We can grow better together, and add new services and new facilities that will help serve our fast-growing communities.”

As one of the first steps of the new agreement, the two organizations will review and assess the community’s health needs to determine what their priorities should be in coming years. UNC REX has committed $125 million over the next 5 years to expand services and facilities in Johnston County.

“This is the evolution of a partnership that will benefit both organizations, our co-workers and our communities,” said Tom Williams, president of Johnston Health. “Through the years, we’ve worked together in areas such as radiation oncology, heart and vascular, gastroenterology and general surgery, as well as physician coverage that includes hospitalists and specialists such as neonatologists. We’ve collaborated on best practices and, most recently, prepared together for COVID-19.”

In early 2014, Johnston Health formed a joint venture with UNC Health, 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.

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. 


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 7,400 co-workers, UNC REX is a private, not-for-profit health care system and is a member of UNC Health. 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

UNC Health 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 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