Economic impact of Columbus Regional Healthcare System

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - While our country is still struggling to recover from one of the biggest economic downturns in recent history, Columbus Regional Healthcare System says it is helping our community to see better days.

A new report from the Georgia Department of Community Health based on information from 2009 showed the hospitals of the Columbus Regional Healthcare System generated almost $1 billion for the Valley's economy.  The numbers are impressive but, what does that really mean for our community?

Lance Duke, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Columbus Regional, attributes several different factors for the economic stimulus.

"Columbus Regional as an employer directly employs 3500 employees and that multiples out to over 550 jobs in the community overall," said Duke.

Duke explained all those jobs and paying the bills to keep the hospitals running are not the only things that help our community.  It is also what all those employees are doing.

"That then creates opportunity for restaurants and the shops and the stores and all the retail kind of things that go on in the community," said Duke.

That means your business may have nothing to do with the medical field but can still reap the benefits of the boom going on at Columbus Regional.

Finally, Duke explained to News Leader Nine the growth is the nature of the heath care system.

"Healthcare has continued to grow and is going to continue to grow through the future.  As a state, healthcare is a tremendous economic engine, and for our community, it is probably the largest economic engine perhaps outside of the growth and activity going on at Fort Benning right now."

So, the nurses and doctors at the Columbus Regional Healthcare System are not just working to keep their patients healthy but our community as well.

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