GASTONIA, NC – CaroMont Health today announced plans to invest more than $300
million in capital projects and facility improvements in Gaston County
over the next five years. Projects include the addition of a critical
care tower on the main campus of CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia,
the construction and renovation of several medical office buildings, and
the construction of a second hospital in Belmont.
“CaroMont Health has provided life-changing and life-saving medical
care to the citizens of Gaston County for nearly 75 years,” said
Chris Peek, President and Chief Executive Officer at CaroMont Health.
“This investment is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to
this community and the thousands of patients who trust us to care for
The most significant financial investment in the history of the health
system comes as CaroMont Health looks to offer more convenient access
to advanced healthcare in areas where population totals are expected to climb.
“With nearly 250,000 patient encounters every year at CaroMont Regional
Medical Center, the hospital has experienced a very steady increase in
patient volume over the last several years,” said Peek. “Coupled
with the projected growth of our community and the advancing age of our
patient population, the need for hospital-based care continues to rise.
The construction of a second hospital in Belmont will extend our clinical
network to better serve communities in the eastern part of Gaston County,
and the expansion of critical care services at CaroMont Regional Medical
Center will firmly establish the main hospital as a central hub for advanced
medical and surgical care in our region.”
The allocation of healthcare services is guided by the North Carolina State
Medical Facilities Plan (SMFP), a document prepared annually at the direction
of the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services Division
of Health Service Regulation and the North Carolina State Health Coordinating
Council. The 2019 SMFP outlines the need for 33 additional hospital beds
in Gaston County, with more expected in the 2020 plan.
In the coming months, the health system will seek to obtain the Certificate
of Need (CON) required to build and open the new hospital, and will also
pursue the necessary regulatory approval to reallocate and add critical
care beds to the main campus.
Critical Care Expansion at CaroMont Regional Medical Center
The construction of a second patient tower on the campus of CaroMont Regional
Medical will expand critical care services at the hospital, an area that
already sees large patient volumes. The planned expansion, currently estimated
to open as early as 2022, will offer approximately 50 additional patient
rooms with a floor plan designed to maximize care delivery and patient
Medical offices in Cramerton, Bessemer City, Gastonia
Also included is the construction of a 22,000-square-foot family medicine
practice in Cramerton, expected to open later this year, and the opening
of a new family medicine practice in Bessemer City, expected to welcome
patients this summer. Still in development are plans for medical office
buildings on and around the main hospital campus.
CaroMont Regional Medical Center - Belmont
While services are still being planned for CaroMont Regional Medical Center-Belmont,
the facility is expected to offer an emergency department, inpatient units
for patients requiring admission or observation, a labor and delivery
unit, and a full complement of diagnostic services including laboratory
and imaging. Pending CON approval, the hospital could open as early as 2023.
CaroMont Health has selected a site near the crossing of Highway 273 and
Interstate 85 to build the new hospital. Owned by Belmont Abbey, the founder
and sponsor of Belmont Abbey College, the property lies adjacent to the
school’s campus. The health system will enter into a long-term agreement
to lease the land and plans to support Belmont Abbey College’s future
establishment of a health sciences program.
“Belmont Abbey College exemplifies the true spirit of our community
– one of progress, integrity, excellence and virtue – and
shares many of our core values,” said Peek. “Much like healthcare,
education has the unique ability to enrich and support not only the recipient,
but also all who surround them. A highly regarded institution like Belmont
Abbey, focused on the advancement of others, strengthens our community.
We are proud to be part of such a historic moment.”
Belmont Abbey College leadership echoed praise for the partnership.
“The monks of Belmont Abbey happily welcome this exciting opportunity
for Belmont Abbey College and CaroMont Health to combine our shared values
and cooperate in promoting the welfare of our Gaston County community
and its future growth and prosperity," said Abbot Placid Solari,
O.S.B., of the Belmont Abbey monastic community.
“Bringing together two remarkable and storied institutions, the partnership
between CaroMont Health, a leading healthcare provider, and Belmont Abbey
College, a leading institution of higher education, is a game changer
for the region and beyond. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate
with CaroMont Health to provide the highest levels of medical care and
academic excellence,” said Dr. Bill Thierfelder, president of Belmont
CaroMont Health Board of Directors Chairman Donnie Loftis acknowledged
the historic nature of the announcement and what it means for so many
in the community.
“As we embark upon a time of incredible expansion and growth for
CaroMont Health, we must acknowledge the visionary leadership of so many
who have come before us, those who worked tirelessly to ensure a small
hospital grew into a strong and thriving health system,” said Loftis.
“The next phase in CaroMont Health’s history is made possible
through the guidance of the Board of Directors, the expertise of our healthcare
professionals, the support of our community and the trust of our patients.”