The Mountain State sees billions of dollars in economic activity because of West Virginia University’s hospitals and health clinics and the impact is expected to grow in the coming years.
That is the finding of a new report from Tripp Umbach, a nationally recognized consulting firm. It was released on Friday afternoon in the Capitol City.
“The impact statewide is significant,” said WVU Healthcare President and CEO Bruce McClymonds said of the results.
For 2012, the report said the direct economic impact of WVU Healthcare hospitals and clinics, West Virginia United Health System hospitals and the five health schools at West Virginia University was more than $2.6 billion. Upwards of 12,200 full time jobs are directly tied to WVU related health entities.
By 2017, projections say the direct impact could be $3.1 billion, with more than 1,000 new jobs created.
When the indirect impact is considered along with the direct impact, the current economic impact jumps to more than $5.4 billion in the report with total full time employment at more than 20,725 positions.
In the next four years, that direct and indirect amount could grow to $6.6 billion.
McClymonds says it shows WVU related health entities are a major driver for West Virginia’s economy. “We do a lot of business with a lot of companies,” he said.
However, McClymonds says it’s not about monetary figures. He says a lot of West Virginians depend on the work of WVU Healthcare and WVU related health entities.
“We see patients in 35 different sites across the state, a hundred different clinics in those sites across the state and, I think, that’s the real issue in terms of the impact on the health of West Virginians,” he said on Friday’s MetroNews Talkline.
The Tripp Umbach report also found that $1 out of every $12.60 in West Virginia’s economy, almost 8%, is generated by WVU Healthcare, WVUHS hospitals and other WVU health entities.