Atrium plans to spend $1 billion around Charlotte. Here's why it needs to do that.

This rendering shows a new, multistory building to be built at Atrium Health's flagship campus in Dilworth.
This rendering shows a new, multistory building to be built at Atrium Health's flagship campus in Dilworth.

Atrium Health announced Tuesday a plan to spend more than $1 billion across the hospital system's facilities in the Charlotte area and beyond, a project the system said represents the largest capital investment in its history.

Hospital officials gave few details about the plans, noting that specifics are being finalized. But CEO Gene Woods said the initiative involves investments in technology and state-of-the-art facilities to reposition the system for the next 50 years.

"That's really a significant investment in ourselves and in the Charlotte market," said Woods, who took over the system in 2016. "We've had a really successful run for decades. Now how do we position ourselves for the new future?"

One rendering shown at Atrium's quarterly board meeting, where the plans were revealed, depicted a multistory building to be built at Atrium's flagship campus in Dilworth. Atrium said it might be used as a specialty and subspecialty building housing heart and vascular, trauma and neurological services, as well as possibly a new rehabilitation hospital.

In discussing the initiative, Woods spoke of the need for Atrium to make sure it has capacity to serve patients in a growing region.

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In Pineville, for example, the system is considering adding a new tower to accommodate patient growth. The Dilworth hospital will be at capacity within the next three to five years, he said.

"Right now, the ability to continue to accept more patients is constrained by our capacity," Woods said. "As we plan for the future, we clearly have to address that in a number of ways."

Other plans under the initiative include projects to improve access inside facilities built decades ago, as well as using technology to improve efficiencies, Woods said.

Projects will be rolled out over about seven years, Chief Operating Officer Ken Haynes said. The majority of the $1 billion will be spent in the Charlotte metropolitan area, he said.

Funding will come mostly from Atrium revenue, although some come could from philanthropic sources, Haynes said.

More detailed plans are expected to be presented to Atrium's board in December for approval, executives said.

Atrium, a public nonprofit, is the largest hospital system in the Carolinas. Its second-biggest competitor in Charlotte is Winston-Salem-based Novant.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts