Charlotte Talks: Improving SouthPark's Infrastructure; Ongoing Disputes Between Atrium And Doctors
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
A look at growing pains in SouthPark with infrastructure lagging rapid development. The result: traffic congestion, lack of green space and a challenge for pedestrians. But there are plans to make improvements and we’ll hear about those in the first part of the program. Then, we recap, the on-going saga at Atrium Health where two very public contract disputes have been unfolding. Two reporters following all this have all the details and join Mike Collins for an update.
Part One: Addressing SouthPark's Infrastructure Problems
Like many parts of the city, SouthPark is experiencing growing pains as a result of rapid development and lagging infrastructure upgrades. The area is plagued with traffic congestion and residents complain there's little pedestrian-friendly access, green space, and a general lack of interconnectedness throughout the sprawling web of neighborhoods, shopping centers and office towers.
The city has $10 million to invest, funding approved in previous bond votes. And with the community's input, they have developed a set of potential projects to improve the area's infrastructure and connectivity problems. They're hoping that with additional public/private investment, they can fund even more improvement projects - 45 in all. Ahead of another community meeting Tuesday, we'll hear about their proposals and how they could fit into SouthPark's ongoing evolution.
Fran West, project manager, Engineering & Property Management, City of Charlotte. She is heading the Comprehensive Neighborhood Improvement Program (CNIP) in SouthPark.
Tariq Scott Bokhari, District 6 Representative, Charlotte City Council
Hilary Larsen, Chairperson, SouthPark association of neighborhoods
Part Two: Atrium Health in Public Disputes with Providers
Atrium Health, previously known as Carolinas Healthcare, has been part of two very public contract disputes with doctors in recent weeks. First, Atrium was sued by a group of Charlotte anesthesiologists over a lost contract. It's turned into an ugly public battle with Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants launching an advertisement campaign aimed at Atrium. The health care system calls the lawsuit "frivolous" and is countersuing the anesthesiologists for defamation, claiming they are spreading misinformation.
Then, last week, 92 doctors with Mecklenburg Medical Group, Atrium's largest physician practice, sued to be released from their employment agreements. It seemed that Atrium quickly relented, agreeing to evaluate the non-compete clauses that prevent the doctors from operating independently. But now, despite public statements, the doctors say Atrium hasn't confirmed they will be allowed to split.
We'll talk about these unusually public confrontations with two reporters who have been following the developments closely.
Alex Olgin, health care reporter for WFAE
Deon Roberts, business reporter for The Charlotte Observer