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Boston MedFlight Purchases New Medical Helicopter Thanks to $8.5 Million MassDevelopment Lease

December 16, 2013

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Ellen Berlin, Boston MedFlight, 617-520-7115

MassDevelopment has issued an $8.5 million tax-exempt lease on behalf of New England Life Flight Inc., which does business as Boston MedFlight, a cooperative venture among Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center. The organization will use lease proceeds to purchase a medically-configured helicopter to transport critically ill and injured patients. Lease proceeds will also finance related tools, parts, equipment, and training. U.S. Bancorp Government Leasing and Finance Inc. purchased the lease.

“MassDevelopment is pleased to leverage this low-cost financing to ensure that patients receive the critical healthcare they need,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO, Marty Jones. “Maintaining a prepared fleet is essential to Boston MedFlight’s work.”

Boston MedFlight transports emergency patients regardless of their ability to pay and operates three of the four medical helicopters in Massachusetts. In 28 years, Boston MedFlight has transported more than 52,000 critically ill and injured patients. This is the second lease issued to Boston MedFlight from MassDevelopment; in March, MassDevelopment issued an $8 million tax-exempt lease to Boston MedFlight that financed the purchase of a new medical transport helicopter as well as tools, equipment, and training.

“Access to tax-exempt financing through MassDevelopment allows us to purchase new equipment with favorable rates,” said Boston MedFlight Chief Financial Officer Maura Hughes. “The new helicopter will enable safe and high-quality care for our patients.”

MassDevelopment’s tax-exempt lease program is formatted similarly to installment loans. An investor lends money to the borrower to acquire whatever is needed such as equipment or renovations so long as the borrower promises to pay back the loan periodically. Usually, the borrower will lease equipment for the economic lifetime of the equipment. Once the lease ends, the borrower typically pays a nominal amount and assumes ownership of the equipment.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.