Wayne UNC Health Care is positioning itself to take ownership of two medical practices following a recent Vidant Health decision to stop providing medical care in Wayne County.

Wayne UNC Health Care President Janie Jaberg confirmed the pending acquisition of Vidant ENT Sinus and Allergy and Vidant Neurosugery Thursday afternoon.

Vidant Health officials notified the staff of the local ENT practice of a decision to pull out of Wayne County Wednesday.

The pending acquisition would result in the medical practices becoming part of the UNC Physicians Network.

"We are aware of the situation," Jaberg said. "We are planning on moving forward with both Vidant practices, which would be the neurosurgery practice and the ENT practice.

"We are working through all of the details with them now because we think it is really important, and you hear this every time you hear me talk that we have got to continue to serve Wayne County, and we have to come together to do that and care for our community."

Vidant's decision to pull out of the practices is so recent that details of the acquisitions are still being discussed, she said.

"We just think it is really, really important that we maintain these great physicians and great staffs in our community," Jaberg said. "We are excited about it. But we still have some details to work through."

Dr. Michael Johnson, with Vidant ENT Sinus and Allergy, said that Vidant representatives notified office staff of the decision Wednesday.

"We were notified that Vidant is leaving Wayne County," Johnson said. "I think that they are trying to consolidate their operations. We had some pre-knowledge that this may have occurred in the future."

Vidant Health became the owner of the ENT practice about two years ago, Johnson said. Prior to the acquisition, the medical practice operated for decades as an independent business primarily serving Wayne County residents. The office, located at 2707 Medical Office Place, has a staff of 25 employees, including three doctors.

"The practice has been here a long time and will be in the future," Johnson said.

Details of the acquisition by UNC Health Care are being negotiated, but the transition is not expected to have an affect on patients. The plan to become part of the UNC Health Care network is expected to benefit the practice, as well as patients, of all ages, throughout Wayne County, Johnson said.

"From the doctors and staff standpoint, we're excited about it," Johnson said. "I actually feel the transfer will be a benefit. The most benefit will be for the patients.

"If you get all the doctors under Wayne UNC, we'll be working under the same system. It's more seamless for patient care. Now, it gives us access to all their resources."

The medical office provides a variety of care and services to people of all ages, with surgeries taking place at Wayne UNC Health Care.

Representatives from Vidant Health were not available to comment on the decision. Vidant Health owns hospitals and medical facilities in 29 counties, including its flagship hospital, Vidant Medical Center, in Greenville.

The UNC Physicians Network is the umbrella organization for more than 50 practices and more than 250 physicians in 13 counties in the state, including Wayne UNC Health Care practices.

The hospital, a 316-bed community not-for-profit institution, has served residents of Wayne and surrounding areas for more than 120 years. It is now operating under a Management Services Agreement with UNC Health Care.