Government-Guaranteed Loan for New Jersey Hospital Arranged by Partnership Between Greater Commercial Lending and Stroudwater Associates that Brings Capital to Rural Healthcare

RENO, Nev. | StroudwaterGCL has completed $102 million in government-guaranteed financing for Deborah Heart and Lung Center, a hospital that provides high-quality critical care to cardiac, pulmonary and vascular patients.

Deborah Heart and Lung Center located in Brown Mills, NJ, is New Jersey’s only specialty heart, lung and vascular hospital, and an Alliance member of Cleveland Clinic Heart, Lung & Vascular Institute. 

The StroudwaterGCL funding will be used for construction of DEBORAH100: The Project.  

DEBORAH100: The Project will bring a completely reimagined patient experience to the Hospital, with all aspects of construction focused on patient privacy, their comfort and care, access to cutting-edge technology and accommodations for families who remain a key support in a patient’s hospital journey.

The new construction includes a three-story addition on top of existing hospital space, having a total of 36 private patient rooms, 18 of which will be critical care. One floor will be dedicated for staff and other uses. The project will give Deborah a total of 95 licensed beds.

After the new construction phase is completed, the remaining double-occupancy rooms in the hospital will be renovated into private rooms. Additional plans include upgrades to the hospital’s cardiac catheterization labs, a new pharmacy clean-room, new robotic technology in the electrophysiology labs and respite lounges for staff. Throughout the new construction and renovations, the most advanced digital and electronic systems have been integrated, as well as a focus on providing the most optimum conditions for the comfort and care of patients, including lessons learned from the COVID Pandemic:  privacy, critical care beds and isolation standards, as well as attention to staff amenities. 

The project is timed to coincide with Deborah’s 100th Anniversary celebration next year.

These improvements will provide critically important specialty medical care to the nearly 800,000 rural residents within Deborah’s service area.

“The improvements that we will be able to make to the campus, in large thanks to these funds, allow us to continue providing the highest standard of care to our patients. This has added importance to a hospital like ours, as we have a case mix – which is a measure of how sick patients are – that’s twice the national average,” said Deborah Heart and Lung Center President and CEO Joseph Chirichella.

StroudwaterGCL worked with Ponder & Co., the financial advisor to Deborah Heart and Lung Center, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to arrange an especially favorable, large loan – 2% interest over a long, 30-year term.

StroudwaterGCL is a partnership between Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), which provides access to government-guaranteed credit to organizations in rural and under-served areas, and Stroudwater Associates, which delivers strategic advice to rural hospitals and health systems. The loan for Deborah is guaranteed by the USDA and is four-times larger than the average USDA hospital financing.

“Given our hospital’s unique funding structure and mission, we needed to find the best way to finance this project with an approach tailored to our organization. The working relationship with StroudwaterGCL produced an arrangement with the USDA’s rural healthcare loan guarantee program that proved to be much more favorable than any other option we looked into,” said Chirichella.

“It is gratifying to be able to partner with the USDA as well as community banks and credit unions around the country to provide credit that enables a storied institution like Deborah to extend and enhance the superb critical care it provides in an under-served area. We are especially delighted that the financing and expansion coincides with Deborah’s upcoming 100th anniversary,” said Jeremy Gilpin, executive vice president of GCL.

Deborah was established in 1922 by Dora Moness Shapiro, a member of a New York City garment industry family, as a tuberculosis sanitorium to provide care to those who could not afford it. In the 1950s, the hospital expanded into cardiac and vascular care and was the site of the first pioneering open-heart surgeries in New Jersey by renowned physician Dr. Charles Bailey. For nearly 100 years, Deborah’s founding mission “there is no price on life” has been supported by Deborah Hospital Foundation’s charitable mission of never billing a patient.

“This financing supports Deborah’s mission to provide exceptional quality and patient satisfaction, while also keeping healthcare costs low. Rural healthcare systems like Deborah are vitally important and are especially deserving of this kind of support,” said Brian Haapala, CEO of StroudwaterGCL.