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Feature Story: Systems still approving projects, but with more scrutiny

Executives at InterFace discuss the challenges of preserving capital while still growing

By John B. Mugford

The InterFace HRE Carolinas provider panel featured (from left to right): moderator Gordon Soderlund of Flagship Healthcare Properties, Matt Stiene of Novant Health, Bruce Marshman of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat, Steve Garrett of Atrium Health and Scott Bacon of Compass Surgical Partners. (Photo courtesy of InterFace Conference Group)

The moderator of a recent panel session exploring the outlook for hospitals and health systems, including their plans for their real estate, cut right to chase.

The first question that Gordon Soderlund, executive VP of strategic relationships with Charlotte-based Flagship Healthcare Properties LLC, asked a panel of mostly health system real estate executives was: “Is there pressure from the top (the administrators of your systems) to do more with less?”

“Yes, of course,” answered Matt Stiene, SVP of construction and facility services with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health, which operates 15 hospitals and more than 600 locations.

He went on to say that Although the system is embarking on two major projects, an emergency room expansion and a new hospital near Wilmington, N.C., “we’re trying to balance growth with, you know, the cost pressures that are out there and making smart decisions. And lastly, I’d just add …

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