Carolinas HealthCare System rebrands as it pursues merger with UNC Health Care

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Carolinas HealthCare System is renaming itself Atrium Health, a rebranding the 40-hospital system said reflects it growth from a Charlotte-centric provider to a regional powerhouse.

“It's quite remarkable to think back to our humble beginnings in 1940, when a group of ambitious, young clinicians answered the call to serve everyone and opened our doors as Charlotte Memorial Hospital,” Atrium Health president and CEO Gene Woods said in a statement. “Now, nearly 80 years later, our doors remain open, and we've helped our community thrive. As we have maintained our mission to serve all, we have also evolved. Our new name reflects our organization today and where we are going in the future to make a greater impact for the people we will serve.”

The system said it applied for a trademark on the new name Jan. 25, and the change was announced to the more than 65,000 Carolinas employees Feb. 7. Its current “Tree of Life” icon and teal color scheme will be carried over to the new Atrium Health brand.

“While we continue to evolve as an organization, we will always hold true to our roots,” Woods said. "Our Tree of Life is strong and our mission to provide care for all will not change.”

The move comes as the new system seeks approval for its proposed merger with University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care, which was first announced in September 2017. The deal has been under review by the state and has run into some roadblocks over allegations the UNC Board of Governors wasn’t kept apprised of the deal.

The merger has also run into opposition from the state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which argued the combined system’s market share will lead to increased costs for consumers. The insurer had previously accused Carolinas of illegally keeping patients from lower-priced facilities in the Charlotte area with steering restrictions in their contracts with commercial health plans.

Atrium Health is already among the largest integrated health systems in the U.S. by number of facilities. If the merger with UNC is approved, it will control more than 50 hospitals and employ more than 90,000 people.