Randolph accepts loan application for hospital funds
ASHEBORO – The Randolph County Board of Commissioners took the next step to maintain Randolph Health and Randolph County healthcare on Tuesday evening.
At the end of the public hearing at the historic Asheboro Courthouse, the board of directors unanimously approved a pair of resolutions that authorized the county to apply for the $ 20 million loan from the Stabilization Fund. rural health care to the General Assembly. Loan funds will be managed by UNC Healthcare and approval will come from the North Carolina Local Government Commission. These approvals followed Randolph Health’s morning announcement that they had agreed to sell the hospital’s assets to the Dava Foundation and Java Medical Group to take over the operation of the new system.
The deal in place, pending completion and approval of bankruptcy, will in fact replace an original proposal from last November in which the hospital would use the loan funds to cover operating losses during a transition period. three years during which a successor hospital would take over. , apparently, with a new installation.
Now the Dava Foundation is expected to bid on the purchase of the current facilities that it will take in the purchase, including the current hospital, and then Java will assume management control. During Tuesday night’s meeting, Java CEO Bappa Mukherji addressed the Commissioners and provided an overview of their group’s vision and mission and their intentions for the hospital.
“If you look at how this hospital operated for years (previously), it was used as a rural referral center,” Murkherji said, adding that they consider the hospital to be one of the largest rural hospitals in the country. with a huge volume for a rural hospital.
“What is important to us is that we do not want to sacrifice any of the service lines currently offered at the hospital.”
During those comments to the board, he said they would extend a job offer to all medical staff currently working in the system.
The public comment portion of the meeting lasted less than an hour, and of the 10 who spoke, only one cited an inconvenience related to other money the county has already spent that could have been better spent on health care and the burden of many middle class residents. are usually put in place when funding like this comes their way.
Proceeds from the loan, if granted, will now be used to cover equipment costs and facility upgrades, etc. for the hospital itself and not for operation or recovery. The cost of servicing the debt, as board chairman Darrell Frye explained during the meeting with other members, would actually be less than the costs the county would have to charge if it did not apply and that the hospital was closing.
Commissioner David Allen recalled the previous public hearing when he said it was then an easy decision (to get the loan) for the board, anticipating many more difficult challenges to come. He went on to say that he thought Tuesday night’s decision was just as easy to make.
“It’s not just Asheboro,” he said. “It’s about the whole county.”
Although the board of directors approved the loan request, no action regarding this loan or the repayment schedule was decided or executed that night. For now, the community and medical staff at Randolph Health can rejoice that the news is good for the health of the hospital and the health care left behind in the community.
“So far, the council of commissioners has done its job,” Frye said. “That’s all we can do, until someone else does their job (starting the loan approval process).”
In a time of COVID-19 and economic instability, taking the first step is what many hope will be the first of a growing number of good news days to come.