As a health care provider, Elk Regional Health System is a major asset to the region.
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Through its affiliate organizations, the Health System provides residents in a large geographic area with easy access to a broad spectrum of essential health care services including primary care, surgery, rehabilitation, laboratory and imaging services, home health care, long-term care, emergency care, mental health services and maternity care.
But Elk Regional is also essential as an economic engine.
The Health System spends more than $80 million each year. The ripple effect of that spending means the Health System’s total annual economic benefit is more than $141.1 million, making the health sector an economic mainstay in this region.
“Elk Regional is one of the biggest economic anchors in this region,” said Gregory P. Bauer, the president and CEO of Elk Regional Health System. “We are the largest employer in Elk and Cameron counties. Our spending supports businesses both locally and regionally, allowing them to employ people who live right here in our community. We are a major economic driver and will continue to have a positive impact on this region’s economic landscape.”
The health sector’s influence is also major across northwestern Pennsylvania and the state. According to the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania, hospitals are major economic engines in their communities. In 55 of the state’s 67 counties, hospitals are among the top five employers.
In northwest Pennsylvania alone, hospitals spend more than $2 billion annually and have a total annual economic benefit of more than $3.5 billion. Hospitals in northwestern Pennsylvania employ more than 18,500 people and support another 12,900 jobs across the region.
In spite of the nation’s recession, hospitals remain one of the strongest economic contributors in the Commonwealth. In 2010, the economic contributions made by Pennsylvania’s hospitals to their local communities and the state were over $98.9 billion.
“Hospitals like Elk Regional provide essential health care and stable employment,” Bauer said. “Support for your local hospital translates into support for its patients. But more than that, supporting your community hospital means you are supporting the local workforce and the local economy. Elk Regional has been fortunate to continue growing while other hospitals and health systems across the state are shedding jobs.”
Elk Regional recruits some of the finest medical specialists and professionals in their respective fields, all of whom live in, work in and contribute to communities in the area.
Elk Regional employs 1,098 people throughout the region, in full-time, part-time and casual positions. That includes 485 residents of St. Marys, another 143 people who live in Ridgway, 96 who call Kersey home, 93 who live in Johnsonburg, 37 who live in Emporium and another 31 who live in Wilcox. Another 213 employees live elsewhere in the region.
Elk Regional’s employees enjoy an average annual salary of $46,922. These employees support the jobs of another 641 people throughout the region.
Elk Regional Professional Group employs 31 physicians, including family practitioners, specialists and surgeons.
“Looking at these numbers, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a strong, vibrant health system is absolutely essential to the health of our region,” Bauer said. “Without Elk Regional, nearly 1,100 people would be without a job. I cannot imagine how devastating that would be to the families in our region.”
Elk Regional’s importance stretches beyond the Health System’s economic impact, regardless of how impressive the numbers seem.
“For the last 110 years, we’ve been with our communities every step of the way,” Bauer said. “We are the only full-service hospital in Elk and Cameron counties. You don’t have to travel in order to find quality health care. You and your loved ones can be taken care of right here, close to home. Other health systems try to claim that they are as dedicated to serving you. We do more than put a few physicians here a couple times a week. We’re here for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
The newest HHAP report on economic impact, Pennsylvania Hospitals Critical to State Economy, is available online here. The report updates HHAP studies released in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010, and includes data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, and HHAP member hospitals and health systems.