The Turnaround Management Association awarded its 2020 Turnaround and Transaction of the Year Award to Cynthia Romano and Chris Creger of CohnReznick’s restructuring and dispute resolution practice in recognition of their their success as chief restructuring officer in the turnaround and sale of Allentown, PA-based Coordinated Health. The award was won for the middle market category.

Romano, global director of CohnReznick’s restructuring and dispute resolution practice, was hired as chief restructuring officer (CRO) in April 2019. Over the course of eight months and having made the decision to restructure out of court, the team of Romano, Creger and Joonam Hwang triaged cash, turned around operations and monetized assets to create cash runway and return the company to positive EBITDA while convincing 800 secured and unsecured creditors to stand still without court protection.

Competitive and timing pressures ultimately made a sale the most attractive long-term solution for stakeholders, and the turnaround made the transaction feasible. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) — a $2.7 billion, A-rated not-for-profit network — was selected after a comprehensive process. The CRO team worked with CH management, creditors and, ultimately, LVHN to create and return value to all stakeholders, bolster this nationally ranked practice and preserve 1,300 jobs.

“This turnaround and transaction utilized the full healthcare, performance improvement, restructuring and transaction capabilities of CohnReznick to create a spectacular outcome for all stakeholders in one of the most contentious, complex and challenging cases of my career,” Romano said.

Creger managed cash throughout the restructuring and project managed the transaction to completion.

“We closed the OpCo transaction on December 19, 2019 — the Thursday before everything closed for the holidays. Closing in that timeframe took an around-the-clock effort for weeks because we believed that each day we didn’t close created new risk. In hindsight, if we had delayed the closing, it’s likely a closing would never have happened due to the emergence of COVID-19,” Creger said.