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A watershed moment for Weld County

Posted on 10/10/2019
A watershed moment for Weld County

It’s a new era for Weld County residents, as officials involved in a transaction involving the North Colorado Medical Center have formalized a landmark deal that means more money for health care, education and work-force development in the state’s ninth most populous county.

Weld County has ended its 115-year involvement with the hospital, which has been operated by Banner Health since 1995. The Board of Commissioners, Banner Health and NCMC Inc. worked together for several months on the deal, which by law had to be approved by Colorado’s attorney general. The parties closed on the transaction Wednesday.

“We continue to be excited about the benefits of this arrangement,” Commission Chairwoman Barbara Kirkmeyer said. “I truly believe this is a watershed moment for Weld County and our citizens.”

The sale of the hospital and related assets by the county to Banner Health will allow the parties to retire existing real estate leases and NCMC Inc. to fully retire the bond debt against the assets. NCMC Inc. will receive a portion of the sale proceeds, because it owns outright some of the land and assets Banner is buying.

Those proceeds will expand funds available to NCMC Inc. to bolster its philanthropic efforts to benefit Weld County’s most vulnerable. The new endeavor, to be called The Weld Trust, will provide grants for ongoing support of both health care and education in Weld County.

“Now that the closing with Banner has taken place the Board of Directors is looking forward to the next chapter as we transition from the NCMC, Inc Board to The Weld Trust Board,” said Tom Grant, President and Chair of The Weld Trust. “It is our firm belief that this organization will help make positive and lasting change for many lives in Weld County.”

In addition, Weld County will receive money for its Bright Futures program, which assists students in pursuing a college degree or vocational training.

Attorney General Phil Weiser gave his approval on Oct. 2, after first holding a public meeting in Greeley on Sept. 27.

“During the review my office conducted, we heard from many members of the community who are excited that a new trust established from proceeds from this transaction will allow the county to provide additional services to residents, including for the Bright Futures program,” Weiser stated in a news release.

“I applaud the Weld County Commissioners, NCMC, Banner Health, and other local elected officials and community members who made this transaction possible.”

After the sale, Banner will continue its commitment to support those who are uninsured or underinsured. In 2018, Banner provided $34.3 million in uncompensated care to people who were unable to pay.

“Banner Health is committed to supporting the communities that we serve. We look forward making health care easy so life can be better in Northern Colorado,” said Margo Karsten, CEO of Banner Health in Northern Colorado and president of the Western Division. “That has been our focus in the past and will continue as owners of NCMC.”

For questions, please contact: Weld County:
Jennifer Finch, jfinch@weldgov.com, 970-400-4232
Banner Health: Sara Quale, sara.quale@bannerhealth.com, 970-810-6133
NCMC Inc.: Tom Grant, tgrant@grantandhoffmanlaw.com, 970-356-5666