Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) generates 679 jobs that add nearly $29 million to the region’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association. In addition, OCAHS employees by themselves spend $6.1 million on retail sales and contribute over $368,000 in state sales tax revenue. “Once again we are reminded of the significant impact that health care has on the local and regional economy,” said Marty Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Area Health System. “Second to our mission of providing excellent health services, this is something we are proud to contribute to the area we serve.”

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 71,324 people and create another 50,131 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $4.2 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $1.8 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, the health care sector, which includes offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $14.3 billion to Iowa’s economy while directly and indirectly providing 293,758 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment. “Hospitals positively influence their local economies not only with how many people they employ and the salaries of those employees, but also through hospital purchases from local businesses as well as the impact of employee spending and tax support,” said Kirk Norris, IHA president/CEO. “Whether at the local level or statewide, there are few Iowa employers that generate economic activity comparable to hospitals.”