Ways to Connect

 The 2018 North Carolina health outcomes map.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Mecklenburg County was ranked the fifth healthiest county in the state. That’s according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report. The annual study looks at how long people live and how healthy their lifestyles are. But there are some less-than-pleasant details.

Carolinas HealthCare Systems, which will change its name to Atrium Health, has announced a plan to expand into Georgia.
Carolinas HealthCare Systems


One day after Carolinas HealthCare System changed its name to Atrium Health to avoid ties to a specific region, the hospital announced it is exploring an expansion into Georgia. Atrium said Navicent Health, which is based in Macon, will become part of its health care system.

Carolinas Healthcare System has a new name - Atrium Health.
Atrium Health

Carolinas HealthCare System is changing its name to Atrium Health. The healthcare system announced the change Wednesday and said the new name won’t limit it to the Carolinas.

Alex Olgin / WFAE

Blue signs in the windows of Rite Aid stores are telling shoppers they now have a Walgreens pharmacy inside. As part of a $4.3 billion deal finalized last year, nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores will transfer to Walgreens ownership across the country, including about 50 in the Charlotte area.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE

Kids going through a mental health crisis in Charlotte now have the option to go to a crisis center rather than an emergency room. A new facility in the city’s University area opened last month to treat kids and teenagers. The state health department says it’s the first of its kind to open in North Carolina.  

North Carolina Community Health Center Association

This week Congress continued funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for six more years. The program’s future had been in doubt because Congress had failed to renew funding for it before it expired last September. So states had been running on reserves and short term fixes. Dollars for community health centers expired that same day. But Congress hasn’t yet re-authorized money for those centers where many kids get care.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it plans to return control of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare to the new board of directors this weekend.

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

The recent scandal at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare angered many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities waiting for services. The state took control of Cardinal in November because the behavioral healthcare organization spent excessively on salaries, parties and severance packages. Across the state there are almost as many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities waiting to get a complete array of home and community services as are currently getting them. For families it can last years, be frustrating and feel unfair.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE

The problems that resulted in the state taking over Charlotte-based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare can be boiled down to one word: Excessive.

Excessive executive pay, excessive parties, excessive resort retreats. Some of it violated state law – and none of it looked good for a taxpayer-funded organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 20 counties.

And when it comes to services, some the families that depend on Cardinal accuse it of penny-pinching. 

North Carolina is one of 10 states that wants to add work requirements to its Medicaid program. Thursday the Trump Administration announced it's encouraging states to add these requirements for able-bodied adults.