Nothing has been signed but documents have been drawn up to use CarolinaEast professionals to fill in gaps in Onslow Memorial Hospital’s services, according to Onslow Memorial Hospital attorney Fred Carmichael.

“The two hospitals are looking at areas where CarolinaEast can benefit Onslow Memorial,” Carmichael said, adding that there is “definitely no partnership” or “merger.”

In this clinical integration, Carmichael said that the hospital is trying to fill the need with CarolinaEast, but no money will pass between the two organizations.

“Nobody pays one another,” he said simply.

“We’re trying to keep the care in Jacksonville, instead of send them elsewhere. CarolinaEast (will provide) in areas Jacksonville is deficient in,” he added, providing examples like the cardiology and urology departments.

The discussion of the hospital collaborating with CarolinaEast is ongoing, said Amy Sousa, Onslow Memorial Hospital vice president of public relations and marketing.

“Much of these discussions have centered around the need for more strategic population health initiatives,” Sousa said in an email to The Daily News. “Dr. Penney Burlingame Deal spoke about the partnership this week during employee forums. There are no specific details to share with the media at this time as these conversations are ongoing and evolving.”

Megan McGarvey, director of Public Relations for the CarolinaEast Health System, agreed there was not an established partnership at this time.

“Discussions continue as to how we can work together to support expansion of clinical services in the Onslow area not provided today and enhance the health of the families in the service areas of both CarolinaEast and Onslow Memorial,” McGarvey said in an email to The Daily News. “Conversations continue regarding collaboration – we definitely recognize that working together will benefit both organizations and, most importantly, those we serve.”