Innovative Capital, a banking specialist company from New York City, has analyzed the financials at Wallowa Memorial Hospital and, in the words of Wallowa Memorial Hospital CEO Larry Davy, "Felt we were one of the strongest, if not the strongest, hospitals our size interested in building a new facility."

The recommendation from Innovative Capital was for the local hospital to finance the proposed new hospital through U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) instead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which is easier to work with, but more of an avenue of last resort.

Davy quoted Innovative Capital as saying, "You guys are too strong to go through USDA."

The Wallowa County Health Care District board has authorized Davy to check into the feasibility of building a new hospital in Wallowa County. To date he has talked with project managers, architects and banking specialists.

Davy has told the health care board that possible land options for the proposed facility will be discussed at the April 28 meeting.

He also noted that there is a lot of misinformation circulating about the proposed new hospital. He repeated that there would be no tax increases if a hospital is built and said that, in spite of the fact that critical access is projected to pay 50 to 60 percent of a new facility, there was no correlation between Wallowa Memorial qualifying for a critical access designation and the need for a new hospital.

"Surgery volume has just exploded," said Davy, "But we cannot continue to expand surgery, radiology or laboratory work in the existing facility."

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