Rockford Hospitals generate $938.8 million in personal income, directly and indirectly employ 14,935 residents, study finds

CHICAGO—The three Rockford hospitals generate $938.8 million in personal income for residents and account for 14,935 primary and secondary jobs, according to a study released by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC). The full report is available on the MCHC Web site at

The study, which analyzed data from OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Memorial Hospital and SwedishAmerican Health System, reinforces the fact that hospitals remain a major economic engine vitally important to both the physical and economic health of the communities they serve. While the economic impact of Rockford hospitals measured by employment and payroll alone is significant, secondary economic impacts are also created when hospitals and their employees spend money. Across the Rockford area, hospitals:

Directly and secondarily generate $938.8 million in personal income for area residents.

Directly and secondarily account for 14,935 jobs including hospital employees, vendors, and construction crews that benefit from the presence of a hospital serving their community.

For every job in the hospital sector, another 1.54 jobs are created in other businesses in the Rockford area.

“Local hospitals are critically important, not only as protectors of the physical health of our residents but also for the economic well-being of residents and businesses across the region,” said Kevin Scanlan, president-elect, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. “These hospitals bring thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic development to the Rockford area.”

“This study confirms the important economic impact the Rockford hospitals have on the Rock Valley Region. Also important, however, are the community benefits we provide which are not easily measured in dollars and cents,” said David A. Schertz, administrator and CEO of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. “OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, along with SwedishAmerican and Rockford Memorial, provide numerous free programs and services that enhance the health of all people in our community.

“The three Rockford hospitals protect the physical health of the community, and now this report shows we also enhance its economic health,” added Schertz.

“I think the impact of health care on this community, economically, is extremely significant and growing. I am proud of Rockford Health System’s role as one of this region’s largest employers,” said Gary E. Kaatz, president and chief executive officer, Rockford Health System. “But, if we are to talk about the true ‘value’ of health care, we need to take it one step further.

“I believe we have a responsibility as health care providers to do a better job of documenting our contributions in more human terms. If we can measure success, in ways such as these, then we have truly brought value to our community,” added Kaatz.

“We have three fine healthcare institutions in Rockford that serve our community and surrounding region,” said Bill Gorski, M.D., president and CEO, SwedishAmerican Health System. “We feel it’s important that the economic impact of that service is well understood by all.

“The MCHC study confirms the breadth of that impact as it relates to job creation, infusion of income, and the positive spin off to other regional businesses. The conclusion is that our healthcare industry in Rockford is a powerful engine for economic development for our entire region,” Gorski added.

Data for the study was analyzed using a widely recognized formula developed by Gerald Doeksen, Ph.D., Regents Professor and an economist at Oklahoma State University. Doeksen is widely recognized as a key authority on economic impact analysis.

Although hospitals play a critical role in protecting the physical and economic health of their communities, hospitals also rely on their surrounding communities for continued support. Proactive public policy and hospital investment is necessary to preserve the quality of life throughout the Rockford area.

The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council also commissioned a similar economic impact study of the 99 hospitals in the metropolitan Chicago area earlier this year. That study showed that metropolitan Chicago hospitals directly and secondarily employ 402,290 workers and generate $23.7 billion in personal income for residents of the region. The metropolitan Chicago survey report is available on the MCHC Web site,

From the Jan. 4-10, 2006, issue

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