This week, Cone Health announced that it would appeal a decision by the State of North Carolina to approve a Certificate of Need for Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s plan to build a hospital facility in northwest Greensboro on Horse Pen Creek Road.

As the battle over the proposed $246 million 36-bed facility rages on, Cone is not only making its case to state health officials but also to county residents and area elected leaders.

One part of the attempted charm offensive is emphasizing to the public and to local leaders how Cone has expanded its services in recent years as well as pointing out the projects the health care system is planning for the future.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said this week that he’d been on a tour of Cone’s new MedCenter Greensboro at Drawbridge Parkway and Battleground Avenue and that he’d been told by Cone officials about upcoming projects as well.

Alston added that, though the county might not have direct say over whether the proposed hospital within the Greensboro city limits gets built, the Board of Commissioners certainly can have some say in the matter.

“The county can help negotiate with the General Assembly,” Alston said, adding that the Board of Commissioners hasn’t taken a side in the debate.

One of Alston’s priorities is getting more medical facilities into the financially challenged parts of the city and the county.

“There are gaps that need to be filled,” Alston said.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan has stated publicly several times that she wished Atrium had chosen another section of the city for a new hospital. She said there was concern among some that Atrium was “cherry picking” the Horse Pen Creek location because it has a high percentage of nearby residents with medical insurance.

Vaughan said she would prefer to see more medical services put in the parts of the city where there is a  greater need than in the proposed location, which is near MedCenter Greensboro that Cone just opened up.

Cone Health points out that the health care system plans to invest more than $500 million in new facilities this decade.

Some of the latest new and expanded offerings are the following:

  • Cone Health Women’s and Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital, which opened in February 2020
  • Cone Health MedCenter for Women, which opened in May 2021
  • Guilford County Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center, which opened in May of last year in partnership with Guilford County
  • Cone Health MedCenter on Drawbridge Parkway near the proposed location of the Atrium facilty, which also opened in May of last year.

In addition, Cone officials point out, the health care system recently broke ground on a new cardiovascular services tower at Moses Cone Hospital. That new facility is set to open in 2025.

Cone will also open a cardiovascular services addition to Alamance Regional Medical Center by the end of this summer and has plans to open the Cone Health Cancer Center Asheboro in fall 2024.