New Hanover Regional Medical Center

City of Wilmington

In New Hanover and Pender counties, almost 40% of homeowners are cost burdened, meaning they spend over a third of their income on housing. That’s not even factoring in renters, who are about half of the local population. This lack of affordable options leads to housing instability, which hits those who’ve already had a hard knock—like imprisonment and illness—especially hard. 

The Wilmington Housing Authority is poised to apply for the federal grant that would make possible the revitalization of the city’s distressed Southside neighborhood. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to release the grant application in June. And to be a contender for this thirty million-dollar award, Wilmington must demonstrate significant community buy-in. The Authority already enjoys support from the City, the police, and several area nonprofits, but their final frontier is engaging the local business community.

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center may be heightening security measures to more safely treat victims of violent gang activity. Over the weekend, Wilmington’s annual Trauma, Emergency and Acute Care Symposium touched down at the convention center. For the first time in the symposium’s 25-year history, North Carolina gang investigators were on hand to caution area medical professionals about treating gang members.

Wilmington may be among the first communities nationwide to pioneer a health care program integrating primary and behavioral care. New Hanover Regional Medical Center is working with Wilmington’s Coastal Horizons Center to develop a plan to divert those patients suffering mental health crises from the hospital ER to the nonprofit treatment center. Among other benefits, WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that this partnership could cut down on overcrowded emergency room traffic.

North Carolina Republicans are making last-minutes fixes to a bill that would reject Medicaid expansion. The expansion could provide health coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people across the state. Governor Pat McCrory is expected to sign the bill and if he approves the legislation, it could send hospitals across the state bracing for the financial impact.

The Trauma and Emergency Symposium brought together hundreds of emergency responders and other health care providers on Friday and will continue through Saturday.