WakeMed has started a short advertising campaign to bolster support for its $750 million offer to buy rival hospital Rex Healthcare.
The print and radio ads, which will run for a week or so, are designed to answer some questions about why WakeMed made the offer, said spokeswoman Debbie Laughery.
"One way for us to get our side of the story out there is to put it in ads," she added. "We received questions and there are some misunderstandings."
The ads contend that combining Rex with WakeMed won't disrupt health care or limit choice, and will create a stronger, unified health system that's better able to focus on adding new services rather than duplicating existing care.
The UNC Health Care System has owned Rex since 2000. UNC officials have said they aren't interested in a sale, but on Monday, the UNC Health board announced it has formed a committee to review WakeMed's offer over the next several weeks.
WakeMed leaders last week sent a letter to UNC president Tom Ross, providing more information about how it plans to pay for the Rex purchase and other details.
WakeMed executives decided to run the ads now because they knew the issue would heat up after their response to Ross, Laughery said. The ads also could increase pressure on the UNC Health board to consider WakeMed's offer seriously, she added.
WakeMed recently hired an outside firm to conduct telephone surveys on the public's perception of the proposed Rex acquisition. Laughery declined to discuss the survey results, but said that they did help frame the ads' message.
WakeMed has posted two ads on a blog created to tell its side of the story in the Rex saga here.
Listen to one of the radio ads below: