Guest comment: Study shows ‘tremendous’ economic impact from health care campus | SkyHiNews.com

Guest comment: Study shows ‘tremendous’ economic impact from health care campus

by Patrick Brower
For the Grand County Rural Health Network

The completion of the new Granby Medical Campus in southern Granby would have “tremendous” direct and indirect economic impacts in East Grand County, states a study by Oklahoma State University (OSU).

The addition of jobs and the related community spending in the Granby area because of the new health care facility would definitely provide an economic boost, the study concludes. The OSU Rural Health Policy and Research Center prepared the study.

A new Granby Medical Campus is planned for a site in southern Granby. The Kremmling Memorial Hospital District and the Grand County Rural Health Network have been moving forward with their plans for this new facility.

The goal of the Network, in working with KMHD, has been to expand and improve the health care offerings in Grand County and the new Granby Medical Campus is seen as a critical tool in reaching that goal, said Jenn Giacomini, Executive of the Network.

But improved health care is only one of the benefits of such a facility, she said.

“This economic impact study shows that added this new health care facility will be an economic shot in the arm for our community,” Giacomini said.

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The study states that medical facilities have a “tremendous” medical and economic impact on the communities in which they are located.

“This is especially true with health care facilities,” the study states. “These facilities not only employ a number of people and have a large payroll, but they also draw into the community a large number of people . . . who need medical services.”

The study points out that the health sector is vitally important as a community employer and important to the community’s economy.

“The health sector definitely employs a large number of residents,” it states. “The health sector and the employees in the health sector purchase a large amount of goods and services from businesses in Grand County. These impacts are referred to as secondary impacts or benefits to the economy.”

For instance, the figures show that for every dollar of health care income for doctors and health care professionals there’s a multiplier effect in the community of 1.20 percent on other local income. So very every dollar of income in health care there’s another 20 percent added impact on other incomes.

The study also shows that for doctors, dentists and other health care professionals there’s a multiplier effect of 1.28 for every job. This means for every health care job created, there’s .28 equivalence of jobs created. So, four new health care professional jobs create roughly one new job in the community.

In 2005, for example, the study says the health care sector had a direct impact on the Grand County economy of $14.2 million. But the secondary impacts add greatly to that number, making impact $19 million.

Positive impacts like these would likely be realized with a new medical campus in Granby.

The study also shows that health care jobs and income have a direct impact on retail sales in a community, increasing retail sales as health care jobs increase. This is based on studying counties that are similar in size to Grand County.

“The bottom line is that the health sector not only contributes greatly to the medical health of the community, but also to the economic health of the community,” the study concludes.

Which is to say that the new Granby Medical Campus will contribute greatly to the medical and economic health of the Grand County community.

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