BY MIKE FUHRMAN

Davis Regional Medical Center will cease operations as a full-service hospital by the end of the year.

The 146-bed hospital, which has served Statesville and Iredell County for more than 100 years, will become a “specialty hospital providing inpatient behavioral health services,” DRMC officials announced in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

“The need for behavioral health services in North Carolina and across the country is at an all-time high, and Davis will support access for the people who need this specialized care,” according to the news release.

Davis Regional Medical Center was acquired by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems (CHS) from Health Management Associates in 2019 as part of a deal for 71 hospitals in 15 states. Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville is also owned by CHS.

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center will continue providing acute inpatient, emergency room, cardiac cath, obstetrics, and surgical services.

“The hospitals share a commitment to serve Iredell County and the greater surrounding area,” CEO Clyde Wood said in the news release. “This realignment builds on the services where each hospital excels. We have an outstanding medical staff and compassionate employees across the two facilities and we appreciate their commitment to deliver quality care for patients each day.”

Wood, who recently announced he was leaving to become CEO at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., said the company will work to “reconfigure resources between Lake Norman and Davis to retain employees and deliver care to the community.”

Davis Regional employees were notified about the upcoming changes in an email from Wood on Tuesday morning. The email message, which was titled “Planning for the Future,” made no mention of when layoffs would happen or whether the company planned to offer severance packages. Wood promised that “updates will be provided as the process moves forward.”

The HR team was on site Tuesday to answer employee questions, and the company plans to host job fairs to share opportunities with existing employees.

“The goal is to retain and realign the workforce to better serve the community,” Leigh Whitfield, director of public relations for Davis Regional and Lake Norman Regional,” replied in response to a specific question about potential layoffs. “We want all employees to consider opportunities within the two hospitals and affiliated clinics to support delivery of services and patient care.”

The transition will begin immediately and will take some time as the hospital works with the state and other licensing agencies, Davis Regional officials said. The goal is to complete the transition later this year.

The elimination of most patient services at Davis Regional will undoubtedly have an impact on the demand for services at Iredell Memorial Hospital. 

John Green, president & CEO of Iredell Health System, said the nonprofit provider would work to make sure those needs are met.

“It is our goal to continue to provide excellent care to our community and respond to preventive, urgent, and emergent needs that arise 365 days per year, 24 hours a day,” Green said. “We recognize that these needs will now most likely increase and will work to enhance and broaden our services to support local healthcare so patients will not have to travel to get the care they need and deserve.”

32 thoughts on “Davis Regional Medical Center to eliminate most patient services by end of 2022, shift focus to inpatient behavioral health care

  1. Jane Trivette says:

    What a shame for an institution that is more than 100 years old. Many wonderful Nurses were trained at Davis Hospital. Many fine Physicians have worked there too. My heart breaks for the Community.

    • Jocie Wasson says:

      Davis has been there longer than Lake Norman. Why both could not continue is beyond me.

  2. Carolyn McLelland says:

    I think this is a wonderful move for Davis Hospital and Iredell County both. Mental health facilities have dwindled over the past few decades and it is such an important and very needed service. I’m looking forward to watching this transition happen. I worked in mental health services for many years in Rutherford/Polk Counties as well as Iredell County as the funding sources declined as well as great programs. This is great news!

  3. This is a huge bummer. We went out of our way to get out of Charlotte to this hospital so we could have our second child and were looking forward to having more here.

  4. It is heartbreaking to see the hospital not provide regular medical services, because I always go to Davis. However, as an RN I know firsthand that mental health issues are certainly on the rise and NC needs more access to these services. With such a big hospital, they will be able to help a large amount of people.

  5. Beverly Rodkeeitz says:

    Why Davis? They should have left Davis alone and shut down Lake Norman. Maybe they should go out into the community and ask what residents want.

      • Are you aware of what is going on outside of your door?? Do you watch TV or read newspapers?

    • I agree because Lake Norman is not a good hospital. They make to many mistakes and are too expensive. I take my mom to Huntersville. Mooresville got another hospital off 77 right behind Walgreens all the hospitals are so slow. Be in ER for hours.

  6. Angela L. Wampler says:

    I did my first travel assignment here last year. The people were so kind. It’s a shame to see them closing. A lot of good people work there; I hope they can settle in somewhere else. Oh, and to the kitchen ladies, best food I’ve ever had in a hospital. Thank you.

  7. Yes, when they release the mentally ill people from the hospital they will have nowhere to go so they will be roaming the streets of Statesville.

  8. Bob Mahaffey says:

    Most of the mentally ill patients that they release (i.e. put out on the streets) end up at the Love’s Travel Stop. Many of them still have their wristbands on. Animals in Iredell County receive better treatment.

  9. Lake Norman is one of CHS most profitable hospitals. No way they put that at risk. This enables them to stop the cannibalization between their two hospitals and get a new revenue stream. Normally, that would not be good, but with the state of mental health in NC this will be a good resource for the region.

  10. Carolyn Templeton says:

    One of America’s ugly stories is it failure in the area of mental health. I agree with the need, but why is it not a choice to build a new facility for that need. The areas population is increasing which means a need for more general health care space.

    Will the facility still offer the physical theraphy that is currently offered? I particularly enjoy the opportunity to participate in the water arobeic classes offered to the public. Their program has an atmosphere that is more appealing to me personally than the one offered locally by the YMCA. Please keep the water arobeic classes.

  11. It all boils down to greed. Hospitals should not be run by large corporations!Dr. Davis, Ms Hill & Ms. Norkett are spinning in thier graves.

  12. We were told they couldn’t give us a timeline for when we would be laid off. They said anywhere from 2 weeks to 5 months. Not one thing was mentioned of a job fair. HR said we can stay to work with behavioral health or transfer to Lake Norman, where they said “we will try to get as many as we can over there.” Not everyone can afford to travel to LN. Such a promising hospital; what a shame.

    • I agree! That drive from our communities is horrible!! And they could have gone with existing buildings or erected another. Not just a bad move, a huge mistake for not just Iredell County but the surrounding counties that rely on this hospital — not just for the building but its physicians as well in out lying areas. It’s too far to drive to Lake Norman.

  13. Dawn Gottshalk says:

    I agree with every statement written here! Why not leave it alone as a hospital, I live right around the corner and I’ve been going here for the past 10 years. You’ve got them all in Statesville or something that you could make into a mental health facility but why close down off functional hospital when you could build or use another building? This could also open up other job opportunities, which are desperately needed right now.

  14. Sonya P Trivette says:

    That’s already happened to my mother. Somebody was sitting on my mom’s front porch after she was released from the Davis mental facility hold.

  15. Shirley Hollar Draffin says:

    We have needed mental health facilities since Broughton and other NC psychiatric hospitals were closed. I am optimistic that Davis Hospital will gain much recognition for their stepping up to fill a deep void in our society. Be proud that the parent company is willing to invest in this needed facility and that it is happening in Statesville.

    • Thank you intelligent people!! Thank you. I was worried everyone was thinking of…. Themselves…. And asylums…. And the roaming Around the Streets of Statesville disturbing all of the fine people!

  16. Did they take into consideration that Davis doesn’t only serve Iredell County residence but also the surrounding tiny communities such as Alexander County, Stony Point, etc.? No. My entire family from the youngest to my 82-year-old dad has relied on our family physicians for care for ages with physicians employed out of Davis. They are relocating them to the other side of Statesville over on Fern Drive. While I’m thankful for them remaining open that goes from a 10-minute drive to a 40-minute drive and with gas price more than double and the time to take off work, instead of being helpful to our tiny outside Iredell County resident this is a horrible problem and burden for a neighboring county that has no hospital at all. Yes, there’s still Iredell Memorial there, but not all physicians and etc. are associated or work out of Iredell Memorial. While I get that Mental health is a need, it seems to yet again money and the CEO etc. doesn’t take into consideration and the need that also exists for more than one select group. Greed has its hand in most major plays such as this. As for me and caring for my family, I can’t financially see driving that extra miles for the care I will have to ensure my family gets to Lake Norman, which already has heavy traffic. Not happening. Good luck and I hope I can find new physicians in our small town of Taylorsville, Hiddenite, Stony Point, etc., to better serve our needs. Just not going to be loyal anymore when obviously we were forgotten. Thanks a bunch CEO from Indiana, decision makers that didn’t take into the surrounding loyal patients of Iredell County. Great Job! Not!

  17. It said that they are taking a good hospital from Statesville. Not everyone likes or will go to Iredell. So that means some will have to travel for a better hospital.

  18. Barry F. Bost says:

    I agree, oh my parents worked at the old Davis Hospital. Dr. Davis, Miss Hill and Miss Norket would not be pleased.

  19. Why Davis Regional Medical Center? Why can’t they turn Iredell Memorial Hospital into a mental facility? Heck, they are slower then a turtle over there. I waited in the ER one night for five hours just to be seen. I can imagine how it’s going to be when they close Davis. We are going to die waiting to see a doctor now. SMH

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