UnityPoint is big boost to local economy

Bemrich: The economic benefits are tremendous

As one of the area’s largest employers, UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center continues to play a vital role in stimulating the local economy.

According to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association, Trinity generates 742 jobs that add $73,683,056 to Webster County’s economy.

The study found that Trinity employees by themselves spend $24,082,974 on retail sales and contribute $1,444,978 in state sales tax revenue.

“I’m proud to witness our team’s commitment to our mission, to improve the health of the people and communities we serve, every single day,” said Leah Glasgo, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge. “It is of added value to know Trinity is also making a positive impact on the economic growth for Fort Dodge and our surrounding areas.”

Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich said the positive impact the hospital has isn’t just limited to Fort Dodge.

“UnityPoint being a regional hospital that provides a multitude of services, has an impact far reaching beyond the borders of Fort Dodge,” he said. “Both by employment value and services being provided that add to the quality of life throughout our greater region. You can see that on a daily basis if you happen to be at the hospital and see all of these license plates from not just here, but from surrounding counties and even further.”

Bemrich said a variety of workers contribute to the economy’s success.

“From administration to doctors or maintenance and contractors doing work at the hospital, the impact isn’t just in medical services, but throughout other services provided,” Bemrich said. “From pharmaceutical sales, contractors doing work, or food service companies. All of those jobs from top to bottom add value to our local economy. Those paychecks will be spent at local stores. They will be used in Humboldt or Manson. Not just through employment, but the employees themselves using their wages to support the community throughout the region.”

Bemrich said the value of the hospital should not be understated.

“The economic benefits are tremendous,” he said. “If you remove a hospital like UnityPoint from Fort Dodge, the impact would be felt for years and years. Sometimes people might take for granted that we have this great regional hospital here locally. We need to support it, use it and help it grow so it’s here for generations to come.”

The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector.

The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.

The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 76,203 people and create another 64,453 jobs outside the hospital sector.

As an income source, hospitals provide $5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.7 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, the health care sector, which includes offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $18 billion to Iowa’s economy while directly and indirectly providing 342,914 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

“Hospitals positively influence their local economies not only with how many people they employ and the salaries of those employees, but also through hospital purchases from local businesses as well as the impact of employee spending and tax support,” said Kirk Norris, IHA president and CEO. “Whether at the local level or statewide, there are few Iowa employers that generate economic activity comparable to hospitals.”

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