Published: 05/15/2014

Area Hospital Provides More Than Healthcare – Fuels Economy

 
When people hear the word hospital, the first thought that comes to mind is doctors, nurses, and healthcare. What doesn’t often come to mind is the impact hospitals have on the local and state economy and how they fuel thriving communities with jobs, buying power, and charitable care.
 
That story is no different at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. An employer of 1626 employees, it is projected that over $100 million will be expended for salaries and benefits for fiscal year 2014.
 
Evangelical employs a proportionate mix of healthcare professionals who provide direct care for patients along with a wide-range of non-medical personnel who are integral in keeping a facility of its type running efficiently including accounting, environmental services, plant engineering, security, food delivery positions, and more. One of the largest employers in Union County, the Hospital provides jobs to individuals living throughout the surrounding counties of Snyder, Northumberland, Lycoming, and Montour.
 
According to The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), every dollar directly spent by hospitals for the employment of staff, results in an additional $1.30 spent in other parts of the economy through spin-off investments, resource utilization, and purchasing power. Individuals, when they have income, will turn around and spend those dollars in the communities where they live.
 
“Evangelical Community Hospital plays a major role in the economic and social well-being of our community,” said Michael O’Keefe, President and CEO. “We reinvest in our people, new technology, and our facility. We continue to move forward with renovations and recruitment of new employees and specialists despite an ever-changing and sometimes difficult to predict healthcare environment. Our goal is to provide top-quality care to the individuals of our communities and remain an independent and strong resource for those looking for employment.”
 
In addition to employment, Evangelical is projected to spend $175 million to operate in fiscal year 2014. A portion of those dollars are directly funneled back into the community through the use of local vendors.
 
As healthcare reforms unfold, the focus is on how hospitals will continue to provide top quality care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Evangelical, along with other Pennsylvania hospitals provide uncompensated care - discounted or free services for low income, uninsured individuals -resulting in a substantial amount of charitable care each year. Evangelical is projected to provide nearly $1 million in charitable care in fiscal year 2014.
 
According to HAP, Pennsylvania’s 240 hospitals provided more than $5.8 billion in charitable community benefits and contributed nearly $104 billion to state and local economies. The contributions include support of nearly 592,000 jobs state-wide, about one in 10 jobs in Pennsylvania.
 
As state government continues to make decisions regarding budget dollars for healthcare and the participation and implementation of Medicare and Medicaid, voters are encouraged to become more educated on how those changes affect a hospital’s ability to provide care to their family and neighbors.
 
Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,600 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming Counties.

Evangelical Community Hospital’s cardiovascular specialists work with leading-edge technology in the Hospital’s catheterization lab. Opened in 2012, the heart care suite and the eight new operating rooms above it are among the many examples of how the organization reinvests in its people, technology, and facilities.