BERRYVILLE, Ark.—As co-workers at Mercy Hospital Berryville keep their patients healthy and strong, their work is also keeping the economy strong.
A new report from the Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA), “What’s at Stake: Arkansas Hospitals’ Total Impact on the Economy and Our Communities,” shows hospitals are economic engines, creating and supporting jobs in every area of the state.
In Carroll County, the report found Mercy Hospital Berryville is the fifth largest employer. Payroll, purchasing and capital spending combined for a total economic impact of nearly $27 million in 2010. The dollars Mercy co-workers earn are then spent in the community on things like groceries, clothing, mortgage payments, rent and fuel. The report showed when that money is spent, another 110 jobs are supported.
While the AHA report used numbers from 2010, Mercy just conducted its own economic impact report based on 2011 numbers. That report showed Mercy and its suppliers spent $24.4 million in the Berryville area. Additionally, $10.1 million went to payroll, not including benefits. Mercy contributed $731,000 in local and state taxes and spent $150,000 in direct capital investment. Mercy’s report also shows a contribution of more than $290,000 in charity care, the unpaid cost of Medicaid and other community benefits.
“Schools, housing and access to health care are the top three qualities people evaluate when making the decision to relocate,” said Kristy Estrem, president of Mercy Hospital Berryville. “We are blessed to live in a community that excels in all three areas. Mercy not only wants to provide quality health care to this community, we continually strive to be viewed as a health resource by educating the community on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle and improve their quality of life.”
The AHA report determined high-quality health care providers are key to Arkansas’ quality of life and to its ability to attract new businesses and jobs. “Mercy places great emphasis on being a strong community partner that provides stability to our local economy,” said Estrem.