JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – A series of studies conducted recently by East Tennessee State University’s College of Business and Technology found that Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) facilities in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia brought approximately $1.3 billion to the region last year. This spending supported more than 12,000 jobs, representing more than $530 million in labor income.
The figures demonstrate that MSHA hospitals are major players in the local economies of the counties they serve and that they serve to bolster the fiscal viability of the region.
“Community hospitals are more than just care providers for local patients. The hospitals themselves are members of the community,” said Dennis Vonderfecht, President and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance. “MSHA is proud to be a partner and advocate for the people and businesses of this region, providing economic benefit to the communities we serve.”
Even during tough economic times, MSHA has continued to bring capital dollars into the region by moving forward with the construction of three new facilities: Franklin Woods Community Hospital(FWCH), which was completed in July 2010;Johnston Memorial Hospital (JMH), set for completion in July 2011; and Smyth County Community Hospital (SCCH), set for completion in early 2012. These construction projects account for nearly $104 million of MSHA’s total 2010 economic impact. Last year, the projects supported 752 jobs, representing more than $31 million in labor income.
“The national economic downturn has been a challenge for MSHA just like every other business in the nation, but we felt it was important to invest in the economic future of the region and of our organization by continuing to pursue these projects,” said Marvin Eichorn, MSHA Vice President and CFO.
The ETSU economic impact studies were conducted over a period of six months and were designed to measure the direct and indirect impacts of hospital operations, including labor income, supply expenditures, and ongoing administrative expenses. The majority of the money spent by MSHA hospitals stays in the immediate area in the form of employee income and locally purchased goods and services.
“A substantial portion of a hospital’s expenditure is payroll, and these are high-paid positions,” said Jon Lane Smith, director of ETSU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “Health care not only provides jobs and income, they provide good jobs and high incomes.”
Summary of MSHA’s economic impact in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia:
All MSHA facilities, 2010 impact, including construction impact: