Report: St. Mary's Medical Center is a $443-Million Economic Driver in Mesa County
In a new economic impact report, St. Mary’s Medical Center emerges as a cornerstone of health and a vital contributor to Mesa County’s economy.
The comprehensive study conducted by Colorado Mesa University’s economics Professor Nathan Perry, Ph.D., and sponsored by the hospital, shows a staggering contribution of $443,426,992 to the Mesa County economy through wages, spending, and capital investments. The figure represents a robust six percent of the total goods and services produced in the region, echoing the hospital’s substantial role in shaping the county’s financial health.
The report stated that St. Mary’s accounts for about one third of the healthcare and social assistance industry’s contribution. The healthcare sector makes up 12.5 percent of the county’s economy and is behind only real estate, rental and leasing, and government.
Mesa County and Grand Junction serve as the healthcare hub for Western Colorado and Eastern Utah, and 13.7 percent of the jobs in the county are in the healthcare sector.
Employment Powerhouse: Nurturing Jobs, Nurturing Lives
With a direct employment roster of 2,739 individuals, St. Mary’s accounts for about three percent of the county’s jobs. The ripple effect of its operations is even more profound, with a total employment impact of 4,701. That means approximately five percent of Mesa County’s workforce can be attributed to the hospital.
In 2022 alone, St. Mary’s paid more than $264 million in wages, health insurance, and benefits. The direct wage impact extends to $274 million, or 5.8 percent of the county’s total wages, making the hospital a significant player in the economic and personal well-being of the community.
A Fiscal Pillar: Generating More than $105 Million in Tax Revenue
The report stated that even though St. Mary’s is a nonprofit hospital, the healthcare system’s economic activities have generated more than $105 million in tax revenue, underlining its role as a powerhouse in sustaining community infrastructure and services.
As Mesa County anticipates a demographic shift with more people 65 and older living in the community, St. Mary’s stands ready to meet their evolving healthcare needs; a commitment to adapting and serving the changing needs of the community.
“There are intangible impacts of a large regional hospital,” Perry wrote in the report. “As many retirees choose to live in Mesa County as opposed to a different county due to the proximity to high level medical services.”
Perry also noted that many people travel from outside the county for care at St. Mary’s, and they spend locally when they come to Grand Junction for medical appointments. Economic impacts from that activity were not captured.
St. Mary’s President Bryan Johnson said the report puts into perspective the significant role and responsibility caregivers at the hospital and medical clinics have in Mesa County’s economy.
“This report clearly illustrates the significant dollars St. Mary's generates that stay right here in our community,” said Johnson. “Since its founding in 1896, St. Mary's has consistently delivered quality healthcare while simultaneously investing in the community. We are proud to be part of the community we serve and are committed to investing in its future. “
In addition to the economic impacts cited in the report, Johnson said St. Mary’s contributed $82.3 million in 2022 in charitable giving to benefit community projects throughout the county.
Intermountain Health operates multiple clinics and hospitals in Colorado and in six other western states. Intermountain is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 4,600 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs.