Health Care Drives Shawano's Economic Health: One Million Dollars Invested

Posted 9 June 2015 8:43 AM by TCAuthor3

By Dorothy Erdmann, CEO, Shawano Medical Center

A little over one year ago, we reported that the construction of the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano had already brought $244,000 in new spending to the Shawano area community. This month, I am happy to report that we’ve surpassed the $1 million threshold for local spending and investment as a result of our historic construction project. But what do we mean when we say we’ve helped bring $1 million to Shawano?

The $1 million plus is the total amount spent on products and services like material purchases, hiring of local contractors, job site consumables, fuel, hotels, meals, office supplies, apartment rentals, and cleaning services. We consider these expenses to be investments in the long-term economic health of our community because of two important economic phenomena— the direct effect and the multiplier effect.

  • Directly, money spent in the community is distributed to members of the community, as in an employee receiving a paycheck.
  • The multiplier effect happens when money is spent locally and that expenditure goes on to have a positive ripple effect on the larger community. For example, a new hospital employee goes out for a fish fry, and his or her restaurant tab goes to fund a new waitress position or an addition to the restaurant.

In fact, statistics generated by the Shawano County Economic Development, Inc. (SCEPI) and UW Extension project both direct and multiplier effects of construction and operation of ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano through 2015 to be more than $47.4 million. This stunningly big number is based on several assumptions:

  • There will be approximately 550 skilled hospital and clinic employees;
  • Three hundred construction workers will work on the site through most of 2015;
  • The money expended in construction materials and services to complete the $50 million project
  • Once the money starts circulating—and multiplying—within the community, the effect of these paychecks and expenditures only grows.

Not only will our ThedaCare employees have stable, well-paying jobs. They will pay property and income taxes at the same time that ThedaCare makes significant ongoing contributions to the community through charity care and other support and assistance. As a state-of-the-art healthcare facility, we will play an important role in attracting both new businesses and sought-after employees to Shawano.

Economic health can certainly help drive physical and emotional health. It warms my heart to see the countless ways we are contributing to the creation of good jobs that have the potential to bring fulfillment, warmth, nutrition—and quality health care—to people throughout the Shawano area. Congratulations on our first million, and best wishes for many more.