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(DES MOINES, IA) – Crawford County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) generates 429 jobs that add $21,805,908 to the Crawford County economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association. In addition, CCMH employees by themselves spend $4,130,806 on retail sales and contribute $247,848 in state sales tax revenue.

Bill Bruce, CCMH President and CEO, noted the dollars generated by the health care industry provides a firm foundation for further economic growth in the county.

“As the population in rural Iowa continues to age, the economic impact of healthcare continues to grow,” Bruce said. “Our continuing efforts to bring medical specialties and up-to-date technology closer to our patients means better accessibility, convenience and quality of care.”

Evan Blakley, Executive Director of the Chamber and Development Council of Crawford County, also sees the effect of the investment CCMH makes into local healthcare services.

“Crawford County continues to be an oasis of population growth in western Iowa,” Blakley noted. “The continuous improvement and expansion of services available at CCMH helps us in attracting new employers and new residents to our area.”

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 74,691 people and create another 57,586 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $4.8 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.3 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, Iowa’s 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 $17 billion to the state economy while directly and indirectly providing 330,308 jobs, or about 20 percent of the state’s total non-farm employment.

“Hospitals and health care are vital to the economy in all parts of the state, both urban and rural,” said IHA president and CEO Kirk Norris. “With more than 330,000 jobs, health care is one of Iowa’s largest employers, and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest contributor to that enormous impact.”

“In Iowa cities and counties, hospitals are uniformly among the largest employers. Those jobs bring income to Main Street businesses and support local government services and infrastructure through taxes.”

As possible cuts to Medicaid and Medicare are contemplated, hospital services and jobs are put at risk – and with them a large swath of the Iowa economy.

“These facts need to be front-of-mind among our political leaders in Washington, DC and Des Moines. They need to understand that when legislation and regulations financially impact hospitals and health care, they also impact jobs and business in every part of the state.”

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.