WakeMed is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The public hospital was built by the county government in response to unfulfilled needs for medical care. Today the WakeMed Health and Hospital system runs two hospitals in the county and plans to break ground on a third that will focus on women. WakeMed President and CEO William Atkinson says the facility was the first in the county to provide care for individuals of all races under one roof.
William Atkinson: "We hope this platform, 50 years from now people will look back and say "not bad." That we've tried to focus on access, quality and cost. And I think that was true in the old days, it's true today and hopefully will be true in generations to come."
In 1997, WakeMed became a private, not-for-profit run hospital. Atkinson says the change enabled them to expand care and employment opportunities.