The law firm of Sidley Austin LLP selected as bond counsel
The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego's East County region, has retained the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP to serve as legal counsel in connection with a future issuance of $247 million in general obligation bonds.
The bond issuance was approved by East County voters by more than 77 percent, well above the two-thirds approval required, in the June 2006 election. Bond proceeds will finance a number of capital infrastructure construction projects at Grossmont Hospital, including completing the hospital's emergency and critical care center and upgrading and expanding rapid-response cardiac care capabilities.
As one of the world's largest law firms, with more
than 1,600 lawyers and
15 offices in North America, Europe and Asia, San Francisco-based Sidley Austin LLP has an extensive capital markets practice with specialties in public finance and securities transactional disciplines.
Robyn Helmlinger, a partner in the firm, has been assigned to serve the District. A graduate of the Willamette University College of Law, Helmlinger's background includes representing non-profit healthcare entities in the issuance of tax-exempt securities. Previous clients have included issuers, borrowers and underwriters in tax-exempt securities offerings in California and nationwide.
According to Dr. John Hardebeck, GHD 2006 Board President, Helmlinger will advise the District on disclosure and other legal matters relating to the bond process, which he said will help ensure continued access to emergency and hospital care services for District residents.
"We have a responsibility to be accountable to District voters who demonstrated at the ballot box their agreement in our long-term plan to ensure quality, life-saving emergency and medical care to the community by upgrading and expanding Grossmont Hospital," Hardebeck said.
Early next year, construction is expected to be completed on the hospital's emergency and critical care center, as specified in the hospital's facilities master site plan.
Other improvements at the hospital that voters approved with the bond measure will include 90 new patient beds to support a growing population, compliance with earthquake standards and upgrading the 50-year-old hospital's electrical, plumbing, along with other building systems infrastructure to support state-of-the-art medical technology.
The bonds are planned to be sold through Goldman Sachs, a current consultant to the District and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Dates for the bond sales have not yet been finalized and could be influenced by market factors.
The Grossmont Healthcare District, formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, serves as landlord of the hospital, including ownership of the property and buildings on behalf of local taxpayers. In 1991, the District leased the hospital's operation to Sharp HealthCare under a 30-year lease that runs through the year 2021. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent nearly 500,000 people residing within the District's 750 square miles in San Diego's East County. For more information about GHD, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.
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