March 10, 2013

Hospital essential to economy

ELIZABETHTOWN — As do hospitals in other communities, Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s (ECH) influence reaches far beyond the realm of medical services, according to an economic-impact study.

The report, prepared with assistance from the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), highlighted the economic role ECH plays within its local community. It identified and measured the direct impact on the economy and demonstrated the ripple effect of the dollars the health-care sector brings into the community and the jobs it helps create.

In addition, it illustrated the benefit that the hospital provides to help ensure a safe, stable and healthy community.

Covers wide area

Though a community hospital’s primary purpose is serving thousands of individuals and keeping the public healthy, its impact includes many facets that extend beyond direct patient care. ECH’s service area encompasses more than 600 square miles in northeastern Essex County.

“The easiest way to look at it, if we weren’t here, what would be the impact? Sometimes people take a hospital for granted,” said ECH CEO Rod Boula.

ECH Director of Community Relations Jane Hooper said that people look for schools and hospitals when they consider where they may want to live.

“I recently got a call from someone who looked at our website and wanted a connection with a doctor,” Boula said. “He mentioned our hospital was held in high regard.”

The study shows community hospitals such as ECH have profound effects in increasing commerce through the people they employ, the impact of their spending, and the effect of hospital employee spending as well as the taxes they pay.

During the 2010 cost-report year, ECH employed 220 people in various capacities which resulted in a payroll of $10,278,000. The survey indicated that these employees spent $5,093,000 locally. During the 2010 reporting year, ECH supply purchases totaled $6,578,000 and capital spending amounted to $1,927,000, a total impact of $23,876,000.

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