St. Charles Health System’s bonds get high marks from credit rating agencies

St. Charles Health System is planning to issue up to $115 million in bonds to finance upcoming projects and refinance existing debt, and this week two credit rating agencies—S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services—gave those bonds A+ and A2 ratings, respectively. 


The ratings are important, as they reflect St. Charles’ overall financial strength and its ability to pay the bonds’ principal and interest in a timely fashion.


The bonds, which the health system will issue through a quasi-governmental entity called the Deschutes County Hospital Facility Authority, will be used to finance significant capital projects that include the construction of a new patient tower on the north side of the St. Charles Bend campus. The $66 million addition will stand four stories tall, with room for inpatient and emergency psychiatric services, a short-stay unit and space for additional critical care beds.


“Getting such high ratings on our bonds from not one, but two agencies instills great confidence in our lenders,” said Jenn Welander, St. Charles’ chief financial officer. “But more importantly, it gives St. Charles access to capital that will be reinvested in projects that will serve our community for many years to come.”


S&P Global Ratings said its A+ rating reflects St. Charles’ strong enterprise and financial profiles, which are the result of the health system’s sizable array of service offerings and locations, utilization, population growth and a sound regional economy centered in Bend.


Moody’s, which also affirmed its A2 rating on St. Charles’ $44 million in outstanding bonds, cited the health system’s generally good operating performance, improved liquidity and market position in Central Oregon as credit strengths.


About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,800 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.


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