Case Studies

Bo Sellers – Cape Fear Valley Health System 

Improving patient access & the patient experience

As populations grow, so does the need for more healthcare options in more places. That is especially true in North Carolina, where Cape Fear Valley Health System is underway with several projects designed to bring more healthcare to more people across the Tar Heel State.  

Bo Sellers, the organization’s design and construction management director, leads those efforts. He joined Cape Fear Valley Health in 2016 and has more than three decades of experience in healthcare construction and architecture. With the organization continuing to grow its internal and external footprint, it means busy days for Sellers—which is how he likes it. 

“My personal goal is to leave Cape Fear Valley Health with better facilities than when I started, and I want my teams to always go beyond what other people expect of us,” Sellers tells Blueprint on a mid-December morning.  

The Cape Fear Valley Health System includes nearly 1,000 beds and eight hospitals in Eastern North Carolina, with a main campus, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, and is the eighth-largest hospital system in the state. It treats over a million patients annually and has over 7,500 employees and over 1,000 doctors. 

Fayetteville is the home of Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg), one of the largest military installations in the world by population. While service people receive healthcare on base, the Cape Fear Valley Health System finds opportunities to collaborate with the U.S. Army—other collaborations with Methodist University and Campbell University also increase the system’s reach, Sellers says.  

Better care for all  

Recently, the organization broke ground on a new 66,000-square-foot medical office building for new physicians, including an 18,000-square-foot cancer center in Harnett County. The cancer center was a driver of the project due to the goal of delivering better patient outcomes and population growth in the surrounding communities.  

 

This three-story building will house specialty doctors and provide a space for a retail pharmacy and the residency program, covering an area of 4,000 square feet. The design of the cancer center includes a direct entrance separate from the main hospital population, ensuring a more personalized and comfortable experience for cancer patients. The project also includes multiple clinics, a large waiting room, and exam rooms designed for growth and flexibility. 

“We recognize the importance of providing comprehensive medical care that is easily accessible to the community. In a rural area known as the Farm Belt of North Carolina, many people would previously have traveled outside the market to see a specialist,” Sellers says.   

In Cumberland County, the organization’s new construction projects aim to create a one-stop-shop environment where patients can receive quality care closer to home. With the growing population in areas like Harnett and Raleigh, the health system is strategically positioned to cater to the needs of these expanding communities. 

The organization is also undertaking a major parking project to upgrade existing parking spaces for staff and accommodate the influx of students and faculty expected with the introduction of the new medical school. This project includes reorienting the parking arrangement, creating entrances and loading docks, and adding thousands of surface-level parking spaces to support the hospital’s future growth. It also creates closer staff parking and includes new entrance enhancements. 

“We’re also expanding our daycare, so it has room for more students,” Sellers says. “Everything we do is to accommodate staff, student and physician growth.  

Lastly, Cape Fear Valley Health is adding new helipads on the roof of its main building—one sized for an air ambulance helicopter and the other sized for Blackhawk helicopters, which are much heavier and noisier.  

“The ICU is directly under the helipads, so mitigating the noise will be crucial if a Blackhawk from Fort Liberty lands on that pad,” Sellers notes. 

Collaboration and community  

Fort Liberty does not provide maternity services, so pregnant women from the base often turn to CFVMC for delivery, highlighting the regional significance of the healthcare system. The collaboration extends beyond maternity services, Sellers says.  

“Our system hosts medical residents from Fort Liberty who undergo training alongside doctors and emergency room staff at our facility,” he says.  

These residency programs are crucial to meeting staffing needs because between 40 percent and 50 percent of residents tend to stay in their area for full-time employment. This is a significant advantage for the health system as it provides an opportunity to attract talented healthcare professionals who are already familiar with the organization and the community it serves. 

Also, Cape Fear Valley Health is in the process of developing a new MD program for its new school of medicine, which will be operated in conjunction with Methodist University. The partnership with the school to grant medical degrees positions Cape Fear Valley Health as a significant player in medical education in North Carolina, Sellers explains.  

The Methodist University Cape Fear Valley Health School of Medicine’s first class of students should begin studying in June 2026. There will be about 120 new medical students in each class, and it will be the sixth medical school in North Carolina when it opens.  

Additionally, Cape Fear Valley Health continues to partner with nearby Campbell University, and the organization’s new cancer center in Harnett County will benefit from this partnership, too, Sellers says.  

Carolina on his mind 

Sellers grew up in the South and has always felt a deep connection to the Carolinas. Growing up, he wanted to be an astronaut, fighter pilot or architect.  

He studied architecture in college and earned a master’s degree in the field from Clemson University. When he graduated in 1980, healthcare was the only industry with a big need for architects.  

“I have a master’s degree in architecture in healthcare facility planning and design,” Sellers recalls. “And the idea of helping people and making a difference always appealed to me.” 

After many years as a healthcare architect for several firms, Sellers spent 17. Years as a director of facility planning of Carolinas Healthcare System. He joined Cape Fear Valley Health in July 2016 and hasn’t looked back. 

He says he came to the organization because of its growth potential, and because of his experience, he hit the ground running when he arrived in Fayetteville. So far, he’s enjoyed building relationships, meeting people and seeing his work’s impact on patients and the community.  

“Our team and our work directly affect the patients when you work in a health care system like Cape Fear I see things we’ve done to improve patient care delivery and our local communities,” Sellers says. “It is a more meaningful experience.”  

 

 

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