WCMF plans groundbreaking and discusses construction

 WCMF plans groundbreaking and discusses construction at annual meeting

By Daniel Brunty
The Winston County Journal

Plans for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Winston Medical Center were announced during the Winston County Medical Foundation Annual Membership Meeting held on March 29 at Lake Tiak O’Khata.

The Winston Medical Center will host its official Groundbreaking Ceremony on April 28, 2016 at 4 p.m. Governor Phil Bryant is scheduled to attend the event, as well as a number of state and local officials.

Mayor Will Hill gave the welcome, in which he gave the attending members an overview of Winston Medical Center, explaining some of the modifications and changes made since the Foundation’s previous meeting.

Executive board members prior to the newest election: Jackie Miller, Terry Woods, Laura Harris, Al Porter and Will Hill.

Executive board members prior to the newest election: Jackie Miller, Terry Woods, Laura Harris, Al Porter and Will Hill.

Hill also thanked the community and the Foundation for all their hard work during the recovery process, as well as the staff of the Winston Medical Center. Hill also thanked all the individuals and organizations that had a hand in assisting Winston County and The City of Louisville in the recovery.

Hill explained how Winston Medical Center has faced the challenges of healthcare, even before the storm, including issues regarding electronic health records, status of facilities, and healthcare reform.

Hill informed the Foundation that at the present time, the nursing home renovations at WMC are complete.

“We have just now began clinical operations for Winston Medical, which has been a long term vision for many of you in this room,” Hill stated. “It is an exiting time.”

Hill explained how they faced the challenges of having an older facility that would be costly to maintain. “But we were facing those challenges with hope and optimism,” Hill said.

Al Porter recognized for his service on the executive board.

Al Porter recognized for his service on the executive board.

Hill explained how even though the events of April 28, 2014 were tragic for the entire Winston County, now is the time to turn the tragedy into something positive.

“I want that word etched into your mind – opportunity,” Hill said. “We had to look at this as an opportunity.”

Hill also said that financing for the hospital project is “complicated”, with a number of discussions over the past months with multiple individuals and organizations over which direction to go in with it.

Another item Hill wanted to address was the concerns from residents regarding if their tax money would be used to fund the construction of Winston Medical Center. Hill explained that after conferring with legal council, no debt would be placed on residents.

“So therefore it is not a liability to Winston County,” Hill reassured the members.

Hill then explained how the Winston Medical Center is not just a hospital alone. By it being a comprehensive medical center providing medical care, it reflects all the services it offers besides the hospital, including nursing home, clinic operations in four different locations, administration, and therapy services. More services will be offered in the future as well.

Proposed new medical campus layout

Proposed new medical campus layout

With the evolution of healthcare in Winston County, there has been an expansion of the long-term goal of WMC. Hill then introduced Winston Medical Center COO Octavius Ivy to the members. Hill stated that Ivy would be a great asset for the medical center.

Hill stated that the construction would be completed in 2017. Also, the search for additional funding for the hospital project is still underway. “We are going to seek every means possible to try to lighten the debt load,” Hill said.

After the welcome, a motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the Annual Membership Meeting held on March 25, 2014. The Foundation had no old business to attend to, and proceeded to new business.

The first item of discussion was the 2015 Audit Report presented by Mr. Thomas Crowder of Watkins, Ward, and Stafford. Crowder informed the members that they had received a clean report with no issues.

Following the audit report, Anita Thomas of Watkins, Ward, and Stafford assisted Crowder in explaining the financial details of the project. The project has been consistent in acquiring New Market Tax Credits.

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program was established in 2000 as part of the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000. The goal of the program is to spur revitalization efforts of low-income and impoverished communities across the United States.

The NMTC Program provides tax credit incentives to investors for equity investments in certified Community Development Entities, which invest in low-income communities. The credit equals 39% of the investment paid out (5 percent in each of the first three years, then 6 percent in the final four years, for a total of 39 percent) over seven years (more accurately, six years and one day of the seventh year).

The New Market Tax Credits would assist with creating 10.1 million dollars in credits for WMC.

Crowder and Thomas then gave an income statement to the members. The net revenue for WMC went from 10.5 million dollars in 2014 to 14.7 million, an increase of 4.1 million dollars.

The expenses for WMC went from 15.9 million dollars in 2014 to 18.5 million dollars, an increase of 2.6 million dollars.

The unrestricted net assets from operations in 2014 occurred a loss of 5.3 million dollars. In 2015, the total was 3.8 million dollars. That was a 1.5 million dollar improvement from 2014.

For other income and expenses, WMC had a 20 million dollar income for 2015. This year, it has a 1.3 million dollar expense. “The reason for that large income is the insurance proceeds that we received for the building and equipment that was destroyed,” Crowder said. “So we incurred a gain on those disposable assets.”

There was 14.7 million dollar income in 2015, and 5.1 million dollar loss in the current year. Another change to the net assets was a $393,000 grant that was received. It was not reflected on the income statement.

The other income was a one million dollar grant that was received because of the New Market Tax Credits. The net assets show a 22.8 million dollar increase last year, and this year a 3.6 million dollar decrease.

In 2015, WMC had a decrease in net assets of 3.6 million dollars, and an increase last year of 22.9 million dollars. This year, the total amount spent on disaster related expenses was 1.9 million dollars that usually would not be the case.

WMC received 1.1 million dollars worth of Business Interruption Insurance this year. Last year WMC received 5.2 million dollars of this type of insurance. It also received a grant for capital assets.

Crowder then explained the estimated cost to construct the new facility. The facility is expected to cost 47 million dollars. “So where is this money going to come from?” Crowder asked the members.

“17.5 million dollars would derive from insurance proceeds, eight million dollars would derive from FEMA proceeds, 10.5 million from New Market Tax Credits, and 11 million dollars in loans,” Crowder stated.

Winston County CEO Paul Black also explained how in those 47 million dollars, there is $800,000 set aside in direct contingencies and some contingencies set aside in each individual contract.

The Foundation also held New Membership nominations during the meeting. After a motion and a second, the new members were approved for membership in the Winston County Medical Foundation.

The Foundation also held its Board of Directors elections during the meeting. The Nominating Committee nominated seven new members to the Board of Directors, as well as electing officers to serve for the 2015-2016 term.

Mayor Will Hill was appointed Chairman for the 2015-2016 term, with Al Porter serving as Vice Chairman for the term.

After a brief question and answer segment, the meeting was adjourned.