WakeMed, already armed with veteran PR consultants with Democratic ties, has recruited some Republican firepower.
Tom Fetzer, who plans to step down as chairman of the state GOP next month, has taken WakeMed as his first consulting client. "Hopefully there will be others," he said.
Last month, WakeMed launched a PR and political fight with its Chapel Hill rival, the UNC Health Care System. WakeMed officials have accused UNC Health of using its taxpayer support to pay for "predatory" expansion and disrupt the Wake County medical market.
To assist with its UNC Health dispute, WakeMed officials previously hired Gary Pearce and Joyce Fitzpatrick, who are well-connected public relations consultants.
Adding Fetzer gives WakeMed more political muscle on the right.