Published: 02/17/2011

Evangelical Receives Upgraded Bond Rating from Standard and Poor’s

2/17/2011

Standard and Poor’s, known as a worldwide leader in financial-market ratings and information, has given Evangelical Community Hospital an upgraded bond rating of “BBB+”, a step up from the Hospital’s last rating of “BBB” in 2004.

“The rating upgrade from Standard and Poor’s is a significant achievement for Evangelical Community Hospital, especially in these very challenging economic times,” President and CEO Michael N. O’Keefe noted. “Not only will this higher bond rating lower our interest rates, it is a strong affirmation of our strategic direction and excellent financial performance. It also reflects our Board of Directors’ exceptional leadership.”

In Standard and Poor’s official report on the improved rating, the group states, “It is our expectation that the Hospital’s sound business position combined with its operational improvement efforts will continue to strengthen the organization.” The group also cites the Hospital’s increasing operating income over the past four years, most notably from $3.8 million in fiscal year 2009, to $5.2 million in fiscal year 2010, as well as increased cash reserves, and a strong balance sheet.

“Evangelical will use the proceeds of the 2011 bonds to help finance the Surgical and Cardiovascular Expansion Project, which is moving along nicely, and on target for an early-2013 completion date, as well as its new biomass facility,” O’Keefe said. “Construction of the new biomass facility is planned to begin in April. It will provide the Hospital with a clean energy alternative and will save the organization nearly $600,000 each year in energy costs.”

A bond rating is a measure of the quality and safety of a bond, based on the issuer's financial condition. More specifically, it is an evaluation from a rating service indicating the likelihood that a debt issuer will be able to meet scheduled repayments. In general, a better bond rating decreases the amount of interest an organization will pay on borrowed funds.

Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.

For more information, call Community Health Education at (570) 522-2693 or visit www.evanhospital.com.

For more information on this release, please contact:
Lizz Hendricks
Public Relations
570-522-4160