Two independent rating agencies have given strong ratings to the most recent bond issues from Saint Francis Healthcare System. Fitch Ratings assigned a rating of AA- with a stable outlook and Standard & Poor’s assigned a rating of A+ with stable outlook to the $176.4 million bond issuance for the Building on Excellence renovation, expansion and construction project and to refinance existing debt.
“The AA- rating is supported by Saint Francis Healthcare System’s strong operating profitability, solid liquidity, manageable debt burden and solid market position,” according to Fitch Ratings. This rating came in spite of the 2013 sector outlook from Fitch reporting difficult operating environments for hospitals and other healthcare industries.
“Investors see the bright future of Saint Francis Medical Center with the Building on Excellence project,” said Steven C. Bjelich, FACHE-D, Saint Francis President and Chief Executive Officer. “This expansion of facility and services will help us be better equipped to serve the needs of our community.”
Orders for the fixed-rate and variable-rate bonds were placed within four hours of posting on April 11.
The multi-phased construction and renovation plan includes erecting a five-story patient tower with dedicated areas for orthopedics, neurosciences, rehabilitation, surgical and medical services with a new entrance on the facility’s south side. Renovation of the Medical Center’s northeast side will include a new Women and Children’s Pavilion and dedicated entrance. The project will add more than 217,000 square feet to the Medical Center, bringing the facility to 1.6 million square feet.
These construction projects, with significant design input from Saint Francis physicians, nurses and staff, will create more specialized care and offer countless benefits to area patients. Key features of this renovation and expansion plan include:
- All private rooms to help control infection and create more comfort, which will fully complete the Medical Center’s transition to all private rooms (currently 59 percent private and 41 percent non-private rooms, including NICU beds)
- Dedicated areas and staff for orthopedics, neurosciences, rehabilitation, surgical and medical patients, and women and children’s services
- Family BirthPlace expansion, including more post-operative gynecological beds for outpatients and short-stay patients and LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum) beds with an isolated triage area
- Dedicated, updated patient elevators and “patient-only” corridors
- Additional NICU beds and private NICU rooms, supporting best practices in neonatology
- A stronger “front” presence on the south and a north atrium lobby distinguished as the Women and Children’s Center
- Expanded pain and wound care clinics
- Relocation of Cape Care for Women to improve efficiency