It is vital to get the Williamsburg Regional Hospital (WRH) on even financial ground in order to continue expansion of its services. And to do that the WRH Board of Trustees has been working with Williamsburg County to issuing bonds that will clean the slate and allow for growth.
The process has been a long one with bumps scattered along the way. The most recent obstacle was hurricane Sandy that stalled the decision regarding the bond's rating. However, the weather has improved and the winds of change are in the hospital’s favor.
On November 8, attorney Billy Jenkinson who represents the hospital delivered the good news to hospital CEO Sharon Poston, who expressed her gratitude for the hard work of so many. "We, at Williamsburg Regional Hospital, are elated about the positive rating of the bond by Standard and Poor and the prospect for a sale within the next two weeks," said Poston. "Many “thank yous” to our board of trustees, our CFO David Kline, and the tireless work of Billy Jenkinson, the bond attorneys and CPAs. This bond has been “worked on” for the past two years, I understand."
The $7.5 million bond was assigned a rating of BBB, which means it’s a very sellable bond. The rating was based solely on the county's credit strength said Poston. Annual appropriations provided by the county since 2002 will be assigned to service the debt on the bonds.
The bonds will be used to pay off the mortgage, existing debt to Medicare, as well as payoff the majority of trade vendors as well as contribute to additional working capital for hospital operations. A Capital Equipment Project Fund will also be established in addition to other addressing other needs. "The revenue from the bond will enable us to provide modern, up-to-date equipment for the care of our patients and an opportunity to recruit more physicians to our community," said Poston. "We have a vision for the long-term success of our hospital and invite everyone to share in our excitement over this huge success."
The news came two days after the board of trustees held their monthly meeting. During the meeting, they heard from CFO David Kline who gave a rundown of finances.
Kline's report showing increases in the patient census, or count over the past several years reflects a forward trend and backs his own projections. "We're already achieving that and beyond," said Kline. "We were conservative on that census number and we're doing far better than that." Dr. Troy Gamble expressed his delight with the direction the hospital is heading. "We're going to survive," said Gamble. "There are a lot of things to be positive about."