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Economic Impact: Another way our hospital makes a difference

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:13 p.m. CDT

From Angela Mortoza, RN, BSN, MHA

CEO of Adair County Health System

Adair County Health System is a good example of something that is a vital part of our immediate environment that it is easy to take for granted. Yet, its excellence is enormously important to our community and region.

Having a first-rate medical center close at hand is essential to the quality of life of every Adair County resident. The presence in our community of a superb medical facility also makes Adair County more competitive as it seeks the economic growth that is so important to the future of the city and region. It’s no secret that two of the factors of critical importance in corporate decision-making about site selection are the quality of a town’s schools and the ready availability of comprehensive, top-quality health care.

Consequently, it is no exaggeration to assert that Adair County Health System’s excellence helps Adair County achieve its dreams for tomorrow.

But there’s more to the story.

A 2013 survey by the Iowa Hospital Association documented that the Hawkeye State’s 118 community hospitals have an enormous economic impact. According to IHA, Iowa’s hospitals provide more than 71,000 jobs and pay in excess of $4 billion in salaries and benefits annually. This puts hospitals collectively among the largest non-agricultural employers. And that’s only direct employment.

When one adds in the additional jobs in communities across the state that exist because of hospital spending and the dollars spent by their employees, the IHA estimates that almost 130,000 jobs are tied directly or indirectly to the hospital industry. The overall economic impact on the state’s economy is calculated to be approximately $6 billion a year.

Here in Adair County, Adair County Health System generates about 98 jobs and adds nearly $5,128,921 in direct worker income to Adair County’s economy, also according to the IHA report.

But, the impact is even greater than that. Adair County Health System employees support Adair County businesses to the tune of $1,135,742 in taxable retail sales being spent on Main Street. Hospital employees pay taxes that support schools, roads, parks and other vital infrastructure.

Adair County Health System is more than jobs, income, retail sales and tax revenue. And it’s even more than the high quality health care that it provides every hour of every day.

Think of the 98 employees who work at the hospital and what they bring to the community at our schools, churches and volunteer groups. Think of the many young professionals who come here to start a career at the hospital and stay because in a rural community, hospitals are still one of the best places to grow a career.

Think of how they build homes, start families, strengthen neighborhoods and put down roots. Think of how important – and challenging – that is for any community in Iowa in this time of rural “brain drain.”

There are many reasons to take pride in Adair County Health System. It’s no exaggeration to assert that its success contributes mightily to the ability of our town and region to thrive. Not only is it vital to the health of people who live here and in surrounding counties, but it also contributes to the ability of Adair County and nearby towns to prosper economically.

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