If Johnston Health forges a partnership with a larger hospital, it will become one of many North Carolina community hospitals allied with one of the state's biggest players in healthcare. In recent years, Duke University Health System, UNC Health Care and Vidant Health in Greenville have signed agreements that give them a major stake in small-town hospitals. WakeMed has been slower to embark on such tie-ups, while Johnston's current management company, Quorum Health Resources, works with hospitals across the country. Within the next month, all five hospital companies will offer specifics for a partnership with Johnston County's healthcare system. Also, they hope the resources of a larger hospital will help with upcoming changes in the health-care industry.