Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, including Wake Forest School of Medicine, officially have become Atrium Health, establishing collaborative goals that include transforming research around healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease and expanding virtual care capabilities.

The enterprise will provide 50% more Medicaid services than any other provider in North Carolina. In announcing the partnership, company officials said they are committed to eliminating disparities in care, including rural-urban and racial divides in care quality.

The new Atrium Health will bring clinical expertise together with the research, innovation and expanded educational capabilities, including a new medical school in Charlotte. That effort will expand existing academic research capabilities and clinical trial opportunities.

“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,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D., CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. 

Atrium has five skilled nursing facilities, whereas Baptist has a 39-bed Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a 10-bed skilled nursing unit in its Wilkes Medical Center, and transitional and home care service lines. 

The combined organization will:

  • Care for patients / residents at 42 hospitals and more than 1,500 care locations;
  • Reach more than 7 million people across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia;
  • Expand virtual care capabilities across the region, making care more accessible and affordable;
  • Coordinate efforts to advance large, multi-site, patient-centered research collaborations in high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, vascular disease and other chronic conditions; and
  • Promote research in healthy aging, mobility and Alzheimer’s disease.