Camden Campus Generates More than $56 Million to Area Economy

In 2004, the Camden Campus of Southeast Georgia Health System in St. Marys generated more than $56,799,000 in revenue for the local economy, according to a recently released report by the Georgia Hospital Association, the state’s largest hospital trade association. The report also found that, during the same time period, the Camden Campus provided uncompensated care at a cost of approximately $2,496,000, while sustaining more than 200 full-time jobs throughout St. Marys and the surrounding communities.

The report revealed that Georgia hospitals had direct expenditures of nearly $12 billion in 2004. When combined with the an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more than $29 billion. This output multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on the “circular flow” of spending within an economy as a whole.

“While Georgia hospitals stand ready to serve all people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, what is often overlooked is the huge positive economic impact that a local, community hospital has in any given area,” said GHA President Joseph Parker. “Throughout Georgia communities, hospitals are among the largest employers and they are essential to attracting new business to those areas.” The report revealed that the Camden Campus had direct expenditures of more than $23 million in 2004. When combined with the an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total economic impact of those expenditures was more $56 million. This output multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of direct hospital expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economic multipliers are used to model the resulting impact of a change in one industry on the “circular flow” of spending within an economy as a whole.

“This new report shows that the Camden Campus of Southeast Georgia Health System has an enormous positive impact on our local economy which makes us very proud,” said Howard Sepp, vice president and administrator of the Camden Campus. “We thank the entire St. Marys and Camden County community for their unwavering support through the years and will continue to work hard to ensure that the citizens of this community have access to health care services that are second to none in quality and affordability.”

While the Camden Campus remains a major component of the area’s economic engine, the hospital’s leadership, like the rest of the Georgia hospital community, is concerned about a wide array of economic challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to meet the community’s health care needs including continued cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments and a fast-growing uninsured population. Presently, more than a third of all hospitals in Georgia are operating with negative margins.