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Why can’t New Hanover school workers use the hospital’s fitness center?

Ashley Morris
StarNews
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Employee Fitness Center offers a complete workout experience. StarNews file photo

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Employee Fitness Center offers a complete workout experience. StarNews file photo

Q. Why are New Hanover County Schools employees not allowed to use the huge fitness facility on Shipyard Boulevard that our tax dollars are being spent on? This fitness facility is only allowed to be used by the employees of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. They are being advised to stay healthy; but educators/NHCS staff are not given that same opportunity. We have not had a raise in five years and we have the same high stress level and need for an inexpensive fitness facility.

A. Carolyn Fisher, marketing and public relations manager for New Hanover Regional Hospital said the reason the hospital’s fitness facility does not open membership to all county employees is based on employee benefit parameters.

“The NHRMC Employee Fitness Center is a benefit for NHRMC, NHRMC Physician Group and Pender Memorial Hospital employees and their eligible dependents,” Fisher said. “Because it is treated as a benefit, enrollment must comply with tax law. If NHRMC were to open enrollment beyond employees and their eligible dependents, IRS rules would call for NHRMC to tax employee-members on the difference between what they’re paying for membership and the fair market value of that membership. NHRMC’s employee wellness program is centered on removing barriers to improving health. A low-cost fitness center is part of that commitment.”

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How does New Hanover Regional Medical Center plan to use 2 properties on Glen Meade Road?

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One Response to “ Why can’t New Hanover school workers use the hospital’s fitness center?”

  1. On March 24, 2015 at 10:25 pm sthrnboy1970 wrote:

    It should also be made clear that tax dollars were not used to create or maintain the NHRMC Employee Fitness Center. The county also does not financially support the operations of NHRMC, so asking why county schools’ employees can’t use their facility would be the same as asking why UNCW employees can’t use GE or Corning’s facilities.



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