Westbank/b> And Holyoke Medical Center Announce Closing Of $4.8 Million Capital Equipment Lease

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Westbank and Holyoke Medical Center announced today the finalizing of a $4.865 million, 7-year capital equipment lease facility. The financing, which was structured as a tax-exempt transaction through the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority's (HEFA) Value Lease Program, will enable Holyoke Medical Center to replace its mobile MRI unit, add a state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Lab and a CT scanner.

"This financing will enable the medical center to provide the community it serves with the latest in diagnostic equipment. The new state-of-the-art equipment, coupled with our current expansion project, will continue to provide patients with the highest quality of care available in our area," said Paul M Silva, Vice President of Finance at Holyoke Medical Center.

The MRI unit and CT scanner will add a new dimension to diagnostic services at Holyoke Medical Center. Interventional radiologists will now have technology that provides a higher level of sophisticated, three-dimensional images that can frequently lead to earlier diagnosis of disease. The addition of a Cardiac Catheterization Lab will enable patients to receive a level of cardiac care never before offered in Holyoke.

"The Medical Center conducted a rigorous comparison of offerings from some of the major equipment lessors in this market, and their choice of Westbank reflects the flexibility, versatility and competitive nature of our financing solutions," said Rob Fluharty, Vice President of Westbank Leasing. "This transaction underscores our commitment to the community and reinforces our position as a leading provider of financial services to the local healthcare industry."

"Since 1982, HEFA has provided more than $116 million of tax-exempt funds to the Holyoke Medical Center for equipment, construction, and renovations," said HEFA spokesperson Liam Sullivan. "We are pleased that HEFA's financing programs continue to support the Medical Center's goals of providing the highest quality care using the latest technologies."

Holyoke Medical Center is a private, nonprofit acute care hospital that provides a full range of patient services. For more than one hundred years, the medical center has been serving the healthcare needs of Holyoke and the surrounding communities. Holyoke Medical Center is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Westbank Leasing, a division of Westbank, is a bank lessor providing comprehensive lease and project finance solutions to commercial, non-profit and state and local government entities. Founded in 1962, Westbank is a $766.1 million, eighteen-branch community bank based in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

HEFA, the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority, is an independent public authority that works with nonprofit health care, higher educational, cultural and scientific institutions, as well as schools for the disabled, to cost-effectively finance capital projects. HEFA provides financial services and other programs to enable nonprofits to thrive in a constantly evolving economy. HEFA was established by the legislature in 1968, its board is appointed by the Governor, and it is self-supporting without public funding of any kind. For more information, visit HEFA's website at http://www.mhefa.org/.


CONTACT: Rob Fluharty, Vice President of Westbank Leasing, +1-413-747-1344, fluhartyr@westbank-trust.com; or Paul M Silva, Vice President of Financeof Holyoke Hospital, Inc, d/b/a Holyoke Medical Center, +1-413-534-2567; orLiam P Sullivan, Director of Marketing & Public Relations of HEFA, +1-617-737-8377

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