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Atrium And Wake Forest Officially Merge

Wake Forest School of Medicine Rendering
Courtesy Atrium Health
A rendering of the new Wake Forest School of Medicine at Atrium Health. A location has not yet been announced.

Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, including Wake Forest School of Medicine, announced Friday that they are officially merging, paving the way for a medical school in Charlotte.

The planned partnership was first announced last year and Atrium CEO Eugene Woods shared renderings of the future medical school building in August. He did not specify where in Charlotte the new school would be located.

The Charlotte area is the largest metro area in the country without a medical school. North Carolina currently has five medical schools: in Chapel Hill, Durham, Greenville, Winston-Salem and a school of osteopathic medicine at Campbell University in Harnett County.

The medical school is expected to work with 3,500 students in more than 100 specialized programs. Woods said in August that the consulting firm Tripp Umbach estimated the new school will bring 20,000 jobs to Charlotte and have a $2.5 billion impact.

Woods was named president and CEO of the new combined hospital system, which now encompasses 42 hospitals and more than 1,500 care locations across North and South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, will be the chief academic officer for Atrium Health.