Sonoma Valley Hospital has sold the first chunk of bond financing approved by voters last November, and officials expect to receive about $12 million this week.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. purchased the certificates earlier this month after the company offered the lowest interest rate of about 5.81 percent. About $4 million of the new funds will be used for renegotiating existing debt obligations, which is expected to save the hospital about $1 million annually in interest.
Hospital planners will use another $2 million to perform site evaluations and develop a master plan for future state-required seismic retrofitting. The financing will also be used to make the campus wireless and transfer records to electronic format.
The most expensive retrofitting project, a $20 million central utility plant, is expected to break ground sometime in 2011 after the remaining bonds are sold.
In related news, the hospital also recently cemented a partnership with Vineyard Workers Services to provide state-required health assessments for laborers that work with pesticides and other chemicals.
The service will provide the facility with additional state financing and is an expansion of an existing partnership with the group that helps grape industry laborers find housing and other essential needs.
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Retired hospital executive Thomas Hayes stepped up as interim vice president of operations last week at Petaluma Valley Hospital after former lead Jim Suver left the county for another position in Southern California.
Mr. Hayes retired from permanent administrative work in 2007 after 17 years as president and chief executive officer of the Fremont-Rideout Health Group in Yuba City, where he oversaw more than 2,000 employees at three acute-care hospitals. In January, the Truckee resident completed an interim position at the John Muir Medical Center in Concord.
He officially assumed the new Sonoma County role Feb. 17.
Also in a new role in Petaluma, Marilyn Segal was chosen to lead the Community Health Care Foundation of Greater Petaluma as executive director, according to an announcement.
Ms. Segal has served as an executive director to three different agencies as well as a management consultant to nonprofits throughout the Bay Area. This year, the group will be responsible for distributing about $125,000 in grants to support the hospital, Petaluma Peoples Services and other community organizations.
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Planners for the new, Willits-based Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital & Healthcare Campus said they are about two months away from finalizing funding options for construction of the campus.
In September, the foundation that is raising funds for the project received an estimate for the new 74,000-square-foot hospital that was about $19 million more than expected, and developers said they would need to find a way to reign in the price.
Since that bid, Frank R. Howard Foundation officials consulted with contractors and a financing agency and said they expect to resolve cost issues by April and send the project out to bid again this summer.
The group decided to rebuild the hospital after it was apparent retrofitting the existing facility operated by Adventist Health would be just as costly as starting from scratch. Plans call for a two-story, LEED-certified hospital with a neighboring 20,000-square-foot medical office building.