St. Mary's Health Care System Generates $440M for Local, State Economies

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Friday, July 12th, 2019

The three hospitals making up St. Mary's Health Care System generated more than $440 million in revenue for the local and state economy in 2015, according to a recent report by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state's largest hospital trade association.

St. Mary's Health Care System includes St. Mary's Hospital in Athens, St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia, and St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro. The system also includes a region-wide home health care/hospice services agency, a fast-growing medical group of primary care and specialty physicians, Highland Hills Village retirement community, and numerous outpatient services.

According to GHA, St. Mary's as a whole had direct expenditures of more than $191 million in 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available. When combined with an economic impact multiplier developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $440,161,000.

This output multiplier reflects the "ripple effect" of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on the "circular flow" of spending within an economy as a whole.

"It is an honor for us to continue in the spirit and legacy of those religious Sisters who came before us," said St. Mary's President and CEO Montez Carter. "We consider ourselves not only guardians of health in the communities we serve,  but also as a major economic engine that contributes to the overall welfare and vitality of our communities. We are committed to being here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for everyone who needs us."

The GHA report further notes that St. Mary's provided nearly 1,900 full-time jobs in 2015, which, when the ripple effect is taken into account, helped generate nearly 4,600 jobs across the state.

Looking at each individual hospital:

- Mary's Hospital in Athens generated a total impact of $364 million on $158 million in direct expenditures.

- Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia generated a total impact of $36.6 million on $15.9 million in direct expenditures.

- Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro generated a total impact of $39.5 million on $17.2 million in direct expenditures

"While St. Mary's is well known for our role in meeting the health care needs of the residents of Northeast Georgia, our ministry also plays an integral role in protecting our area's economic health," Carter said. "That is especially true in the smaller, more rural communities of Greensboro and Lavonia, where the presence of a strong local hospital is vital to attracting and retaining jobs and residents.

"We are thankful for the partnerships with our communities and will continue to work hard to ensure that our families, friends and neighbors will always have access to the best and safest health care services available," he concluded.