A hospital is an asset to any community or region. It provides communities with easy access to the broad spectrum of essential health care services -- primary care, surgery, laboratory services, emergency care, hospice and technology like CT scanning and magnetic resonance imaging.
Community hospitals also offer community benefits in the form of charity care and free and reduced-cost services like immunizations, health screenings and counseling. Many of these programs and services simply would not exist without hospital resources and leadership. Hospitals as health care providers are clearly irreplaceable, but hospitals are also essential in another way -- as economic engines.
Cherokee Regional Medical Center not only provides quality health care services to the area, it plays a significant role in the continued economic development of Cherokee and the surrounding communities. As the 4th largest employer in Cherokee, CRMC employs 207 individuals providing $7,750,421 in worker salaries.
According to the Iowa Hospital Association, the total economic impact of Cherokee Regional Medical Center will reach an estimated $10.4 million in 2009. A significant amount of this is then spent to support local economies through the purchase of homes, utilities, food, clothing and supplies. With retail sales from these hospital jobs at $2,517,919, a 5-cent sales tax collection will generate $151,075 in revenue for Cherokee County.
"The economic impact of the health sector of Cherokee is significant. The presence of a strong health care system is essential for retaining current employers and attracting new businesses and industry to the area. CRMC has established medical clinics in Cherokee, Holstein and Marcus in an effort to contribute to the economic health of those communities by offering primary care services locally," said John Comstock, Cherokee Regional Medical Center CEO.
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 72,220 people and create another 76,876 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $3.3 billion in salaries and benefits and generate almost another $2.4 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.
In all, Iowa's health care sector, which includes employed clinicians, long-term care
services and assisted living centers, pharmacies and other medical and health services,
directly and indirectly provides 366,072 Iowa jobs, or more than one-fifth of the state's total employment.
"Even in these difficult economic times, Iowa hospitals remain major employers and business partners throughout the state," said Kirk Norris, IHA president/CEO. "In addition to providing essential health care and community services, hospitals are at the foundation of Iowa's economic infrastructure. The state's economic security is clearly linked to maintaining the high-quality health care system we now enjoy."
An impressive $6 million construction project is nearing completion for the Cherokee Regional Medical Center that will boost the hospital into the future as a comprehensive state-of-the-art medical health care facility.
Two vital hospital departments are the focus of this latest project - radiology, and rehabilitative medicine (physical therapy).