The opening of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is still years away from completion in 2017, but the positive impact of its construction is already beginning to be felt. A new economic impact study released by Lee Memorial Health System outlines the benefits of the new hospital now and into the future. Golisano Children’s Hospital currently drives $81.2 million in annual expenditures into our regional economy and this amount is expected to grow to $120 million by FY 2022.
The report, “Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida: An Employment and Community Income Study,” was prepared by Dr. Gary Jackson of the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University. It provides a summary of an economic analysis of the employment and incomes generated in Lee and Collier Counties resulting from the operation and investments in the new children’s hospital. It also summarizes the indirect benefits created as a result of the hospital’s economic impact.
The report selected three representative years to report on, including FY 2012 as the baseline year, FY 2016 as the year with the most active construction and FY 2022 as a typical future operating year.
Highlights of the report:
• Full-time equivalent employees associated with the children’s hospital or hired by the construction firms building the new hospital will rise from 627 in FY 2012 to 1,096 in FY 2016 (including 424 construction workers) and to 760 in FY 2022.
• For every 100 new jobs directly created by the children’s hospital, it is estimated that another 85 jobs are indirectly created in the community to support the new hospital operations, their staffs and their families.
• The total expenditures from direct operations is $81 million in the baseline year of FY 2012, and is expected to increase to $120 million by FY 2022.
• The total direct and indirect expenditures is expected to increase from $143 million in FY 2012 to $255 million in the peak construction year of FY 2016, and then level out to $212 million in FY 2022.
The original children’s hospital opened in 1994 and is spread throughout five floors in HealthPark Medical Center. There are currently 98 licensed pediatric and neonatal beds and eight rooms in the pediatric emergency department. The hospital has over 25,000 children ED visits 5,000 inpatient admissions and 35,000 outpatient visits annually.
The new hospital will be a separate seven-story pavilion with its own entry, attached to HealthPark Medical Center. When completed the number of licensed beds will increase from 98 to 128, with the capacity to expand to 160 in the future. The hospital is budgeted to cost $242 million when completed.