BEND, Ore. -

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded St. Charles Health System’s bond rating to A2 with a stable outlook from A3 with a positive outlook, the organization announced Thursday

The upgrade means the health system will be able to borrow money for future capital projects at lower interest rates. Ultimately, it gives St. Charles access to more capital to improve its facilities and equipment, and provide the best care possible to the communities it serves, the health care organization said.

Considering the challenging economic climate and the fact that St. Charles’ volumes have not increased in recent years, Moody’s was impressed with the health system’s ability to improve its balance sheet, including increasing its amount of cash on hand and reducing its accounts receivable.

“Our caregivers deserve kudos for working hard to reduce expenses, improve our efficiencies and for being responsible stewards of our funds,” said Karen Shepard, St. Charles’ chief financial officer.