Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is an academic medical center located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina which is part of Charlotte-based Atrium Health. It is the largest employer in Forsyth County with more than 13,440 employees and a total of 198 buildings on 428 acres. The entity includes:

  • Wake Forest Baptist Health, its clinical enterprise
  • Wake Forest School of Medicine, its teaching and research arm
  • Wake Forest Innovations, an operating division that drives innovation through partnerships, education, licensing and start-ups.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
LocationWinston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Affiliated universityWake Forest University
Emergency departmentLevel I
Beds885 licensed beds
Helipad(FAA LID: 5NC7)
Opened1902 as Bowman Gray School of Medicine
1923 as North Carolina Baptist Hospital
1997 as Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
ListsHospitals in North Carolina
Main campus in Winston-Salem

The medical center is ranked for 2015-16 by U.S. News & World Report as among the nation's best hospitals in seven areas: Cancer, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Pulmonology and Urology. It is ranked as high performing in five additional adult specialties: Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Gynecology and Orthopedics. Brenner Children's Hospital, a 144-bed "hospital within a hospital" at the medical center, is nationally ranked in Orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report.[1] Wake Forest provides a variety of medical services. It affiliates with multiple local medical centers for children and adults.


Wake Forest College Medical School was founded as a two-year medical school on the campus of Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, N.C., in 1902.[2] North Carolina Baptist Hospital was established in 1923 as an 88-bed community hospital in Winston-Salem. The will of a president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. gave about $750,000 to move the medical school to Winston-Salem and make it a four-year institution. Named after its benefactor, Bowman Gray School of Medicine opened in Winston-Salem in 1941, affiliating with N.C. Baptist Hospital to create "the Miracle on Hawthorne Hill."

Brenner Children's Hospital, a 144-bed "hospital within a hospital," opened in 1986. In 1997, the institutions realigned as Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. In 2011, as part of the institution's move to become a unified structure, the corporate entity was rebranded as Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Clinical operations throughout a 24-county service area in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia now fall under the umbrella of Wake Forest Baptist Health, and the academic component is now known as Wake Forest School of Medicine.[3]

In 2002, Wake Forest Baptist began operating the Davie County Hospital in Mocksville, which was built in 1956 and expanded in 1965 and 1974.[4] Davie Medical Center in Bermuda Run opened Medical Plaza 1in August 2013, and Medical Plaza 2 in October 2013.[5] The second plaza added an emergency department and operating room, among other things.[6] A $47 million, 78,220-square-foot 50-bed expansion opened April 3, 2017. Inpatient services were moved from the Mocksville location.[7]

As of October 1, 2008, Lexington Memorial Hospital affiliated with Wake Forest Baptist.[8] Since then, the two institutions have helped each other with research and patient care.

In July 2017, Wake Forest Baptist began a 30-year lease with Wilkes Medical Center after an agreement with North Wilkesboro.[9] WFB and WMC had already been working together for nearly a decade, and decided to expand their services together.

On October 25, 2017, Wake Forest Baptist and High Point Regional Health System announced that Wake Forest Baptist would take over High Point Regional, a part of UNC Health Care since 2013, by Summer 2018.[10] This change was intended to encourage the growth of High Point Regional and expand its ability to care for patients.

On April 10, 2019, Wake Forest Baptist and Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina signed a memorandum of understanding as the first step toward a partnership. On October 31 the companies said an agreement had been reached and, pending regulatory approval, the partnership would be completed March 31, 2020. A medical school in Charlotte could be built by 2021 or 2022.[11] On October 9, 2020, the companies announced they would become one with the name Atrium Health.[12]


The hospital is a Level I trauma center serving the entire Piedmont region of North Carolina. It also houses one of three Level I Pediatric Trauma Centers in North Carolina. It also offers a pediatric Emergency Department, and pediatric and neonatal intensive-care units.[13] It is also home to AirCare, the hospital's critical care transport service that operates both ground ambulances and three helicopters at the critical care level.[14]

AirCare helicopter

Wake Forest School of Medicine closely aligns its academic and research missions with clinical work, providing patients with leading-edge technology and clinical trials.

The Wake Forest Innovations division operates Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a mixed-use center in downtown Winston-Salem that is a hub for some of the world's foremost biotechnology, materials science and information technology research. Key tenants in the park are the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), which is working to engineer replacement tissues and organs and develop healing cell therapies for more than 40 different areas of the body, and Inmar, an information technology company that employs 900 people.

Wake Forest Baptist Health operates 16 free-standing, outpatient dialysis centers, which are located throughout the Triad and the Western Piedmont region, allowing patients to access dialysis services close to home; it is the largest academically owned and operated dialysis operation in the country. In 2012, a Joslin Diabetes Center opened at one of Wake Forest Baptist Health's locations in Winston-Salem, offering multidisciplinary care to diabetes patients; Joslin is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, an international leader in diabetes research, care and education.

Wake Forest Baptist Health also operates a network of subsidiaries and affiliate hospitals including Wake Forest Baptist Health—Lexington Medical Center, a 94-bed acute-care facility in Lexington, NC, and Wake Forest Baptist Health—Davie Medical Center, which includes a 25-bed inpatient hospital in Mocksville, NC, and an outpatient campus in Bermuda Run, N.C., featuring a 24/7 emergency department, imaging and diagnostic services, and various specialty health and medical offices.[1] Most recently Wake Forest Baptist Health affiliated with Wilkes Regional Medical Center, now called Wake Forest Baptist Health – Wilkes Medical Center, a 130-bed inpatient hospital in North Wilkesboro, NC, with a 30-year lease agreement.[15]

Childress Institute for Pediatric TraumaEdit

The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma was established in 2008 through a donation by Richard Childress and his wife, Judy.[16] The institute's mission is to lead national efforts to reduce death and disability following injury to children less than 18 years old.[17] Pediatric trauma is the No. 1 killer of children ages 1–18 in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10,000 children die each year from trauma – more than all other causes combined.[18] The Childress Institute, located at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, is focused on funding research and medical education throughout the U.S. to improve treatment, as well as raising public awareness about the magnitude of pediatric trauma.[19]

Library and archivesEdit

Wake Forest Medical Center Sign

The School of Medicine's Coy C. Carpenter Library and Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives are named after the first dean of the school, Coy Cornelius Carpenter, M.D., and his wife, Dorothy (Mitten) Carpenter. The library and archives support clinical missions, educational research, staff and patrons of the Medical Center.[2][20]


  1. ^ a b Fact Book 2014. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wake Forest University School of Medicine: The Coy C. Carpenter Library, http://www.wfubmc.edu/Library/About-the-Library.htm; and Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives, http://ewake.wfubmc.edu:88/library/archives/about.html, last updated July 26, 2010.
  3. ^ "Our History". Wake Forest Baptist Health. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  4. ^ "Mocksville hospital served community well". Davie County Enterprise Record. March 30, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  5. ^ O'Donnell, Lisa; Daniel, Fran (August 28, 2015). "Baptist announces Davie Medical Center expansion". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  6. ^ "History - Davie Medical Center". www1.wakehealth.edu. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  7. ^ Seaman, Jessica (March 28, 2017). "First Look: Inside Wake Forest Baptist's new $47M Davie Medical Center". Triad Business Journal. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "Lexington Memorial to Affiliate with Wake Forest Baptist". Wake Forest Baptist Health. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Wake Forest Baptist Welcomes Wilkes Medical Center into Its Health Care Family with a Celebration for Town Leaders and Employees". Wake Forest Baptist Health. July 21, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  10. ^ "Wake Forest Baptist plans to take over High Point Regional in summer 2018". Winston-Salem Journal. October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Craver, Richard (November 1, 2019). "Wake Forest Baptist, Atrium sign partnership agreement". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Craver, Richard (October 9, 2020). "Wake Forest Baptist, Atrium Health merge into a 'single enterprise' to be based in Charlotte". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  13. ^ "Level I Trauma Center Designation is Renewed". Wake Forest Baptist Health. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  14. ^ "About AirCare". Wake Forest Baptist Health. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  15. ^ "Town of North Wilkesboro and Wake Forest Baptist Announce Completion of Agreement to Lease Wilkes Regional Medical Center". www.wakehealth.edu. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "The Childress Commitment".
  17. ^ "Childress Institute Mission Overview".
  18. ^ "CDC statistics".
  19. ^ "About Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma".
  20. ^ The A. N. Marquis Company: Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Chicago, Ill., 1952, p. 128.

Coordinates: 36°05′25″N 80°16′11″W / 36.0904119°N 80.2697653°W / 36.0904119; -80.2697653