After years of seeking the right partner to achieve the goal of building a replacement hospital, in January 2013 the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center Board selected RegionalCare Hospital Partners as its long-term partner in a pre-paid lease structure to operate the hospital. The Board had been adamant that for the partnership to work, the partner had to assure the Board that a new replacement hospital would be built. RegionalCare met this requirement by developing a pre-paid 40-year lease. The pre-payment provided the capital necessary to fund the building of the replacement hospital in order to break ground in 2013 and open in 2015.
Because RegionalCare Hospital Partners is a for-profit corporation and Sierra Vista Regional Health Center was a not-for-profit hospital, there could be no commingling of funds. The law prohibited RegionalCare from using any of the hospital’s finances. For that reason the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona was formed. At the time the partnership contract was signed all funds from the lease of the hospital were deposited to a trust account for the construction of the replacement hospital. The remaining funds formed the corpus of the Legacy Foundation.