The Angelina County Commissioners are holding a public forum for CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial to potentially grant the organization the ability to refinance and potentially issue new bonds.

The Colorado Health Facilities Authority issued a bond to the Catholic Health Initiatives across the nation. CHI merged with Dignity Health, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, on Feb. 1, to create CommonSpirit Health.

The nonprofit may be able to get a better rate on the bonds currently issued for CHI, but in order to do so they have to have approval from each governing body to issue the new bonds.

“They’re going through the process of doing a bond issuance to refinance debt,” Angelina County Attorney Cary Kirby said. “What they’re asking us to do is participate in the process to help them qualify to get the bond issuance as tax-exempt, which allows them to get a better interest rate on their loan.”

If approved by the Angelina County Commissioners following the public forum, the nonprofit will refinance up to $65 million CHI already had in debt. This will not affect taxpayers because governmental money will not go toward the bond.

This process is underway in Texas and across several other states where CHI is located.

CHI representative Tina Alexander-Sellers said despite the merger they do not have any current plans to change the name or branding of the hospital.

“For the immediate future it is expected to continue operating using its current name/brand: CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial,” she said.

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