MercyOne Centerville Medical Center generates 260 jobs that add $18,490 million to Appanoose County’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association. In addition, Mercy employees by themselves spend $4.4 million on retail sales and contribute $269,000 in state sales tax revenue.

Chairperson of the MercyOne Centerville board Mike O’Connor said that Mercy is a major economic contributor to the area both as a medical services provider and employer.

“We are so fortunate to have such high quality and comprehensive medical services in our community,” O’Connor said.

He also pointed out the tremendous property tax savings of having a private non-profit hospital for the last 119 years.

“Appanoose County citizens have been spared the property tax burden of supporting a county hospital since 1910, thanks to Mercy,” he said. O’Connor pointed to surrounding communities who each contribute well over $1 million each year in property tax to support their hospital. “We’ve been fortunate but need to remind people what an advantage this is."

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 76,203 people and create another 64,453 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.7 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.

In Appanoose County alone the entire health care sector creates 647 jobs with a total income of $32 million, impacting retail sales by $9.7 million and sales tax by $585,000.

“Hospitals and health care are vital to the economy in all parts of the state, and particularly in rural Iowa,” said MercyOne Centerville president Matt Johnson.

Health care is one of Iowa’s largest employers, and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest contributor to that enormous impact.

“Whether at the local level or statewide, there are few Iowa employers that generate economic activity comparable to hospitals,” Johnson concluded.

MercyOne Centerville is a member of The Iowa Hospital Association, a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences.