Valleywise Health has received some of the highest ratings awarded by Moody’s Investment Services and Fitch, two national credit rating agencies, for its 2021 bond sale.
Moody’s assigned an “Aa3” rating and Fitch a “AA-“ rating to the healthcare district’s general obligation bonds that were overwhelmingly approved by Maricopa County voters in 2014. Both agencies added a stable outlook to their ratings of the bonds.
The approximately $304 million of bond proceeds from the sale will be used to complete construction of Valleywise Health’s Mesa Specialty Center, Community Health Center – West Maryvale, the Valleywise Health Medical Center and to build the Support Services building on the Roosevelt campus.
The high-quality bond ratings help ensure that future Valleywise Health (Maricopa County Special Health Care District) debt will be issued at the lowest possible interest expense and lowest cost to taxpayers.
“At a time when many safety net hospitals face pandemic-related economic uncertainties, these high ratings show the rating agencies are confident in Valleywise Health’s response to the pandemic and our recovery,” said Steve Purves, President and CEO. “They recognize the strong commitment by our Board, our physician partners and our employees to ensure we continue our historic mission of serving the entire community.”
Mary Rose Wilcox, Chairman of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors, said the strong ratings and current low interest rate environment translate to savings for taxpayers.
“These high ratings are a reflection of the quality care and high commitment of our staff to our patients and community,” she said. “As chairman of the board, I am very proud of our organization.”
The Board voted to issue the final sale of its voter-authorized bonds at its March meeting, the last tranche of Proposition 480 funds to transform the state’s only public teaching hospital and safety net system of care.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CREDIT RATING REPORTS
- The district’s adequate financial position is expected to be maintained at current levels due to a strong management team.
- Valleywise had consistent operating performance through fiscal 2020 and YTD, despite the disruption and higher expenses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- The stable outlooks reflect an expectation of continued growth in the Special Health Care District’s tax base given solid and improving economic metrics.
- The Special Health Care District’s taxable value growth has been strong and is expected to continue given population trends and economic growth