October 18, 1996

VUMC’s Impact on region soars above $1 billion

VUMC's Impact on region soars above $1 billion

$1.2 billion.

That's the economic impact Vanderbilt University Medical Center had on the Middle Tennessee economy during the last fiscal year.

Look at the number again. That's billion, with a 'b.' As in 1.2 followed by eight zeros. If you had to write it out at the bottom of a check at the grocery store, it would read 'One billion, two-hundred thirty seven million, two-hundred eighteen thousand, seven-hundred eighteen dollars.'

That's not just an impact. That's the economic equivalent – locally – of the Tunguska blast. To put it in perspective, it would take 8.3 arenas, like the one under construction downtown, or 4.1 stadiums such as the one about to sprout from the east bank of the Cumberland River, to equal $1.2 billion.

"These figures show that Vanderbilt does indeed give back to the community by playing a vital role in the economic health of the region," said Dr. Roscoe R. Robinson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.

The Office of Financial Management arrived at this figure of $1.2 billion after breaking down several different aspects of the medical center's operations and applying accepted mathematical models for determining economic impact.

The bulk of the $1.2 billion – $983 million – came from salaries and wages paid to VUMC faculty and staff. Capital expenditures, including construction and equipment, accounted for $53 million. Supplies and other expenses – which included those purchased within the Vanderbilt system, such as telephone, printing, etc. – totaled $118 million. Students and visitors, a category comprised of tuition, fees and student living expenses, generated $83 million.

Broken down by categories within VUMC, Vanderbilt University Hospital generated $242 million during fiscal year 1996. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine accounted for $208 million and the School of Nursing generated $20 million.

VUMC also contributed to the Middle Tennessee economy in numerous other ways beyond the direct input of money from salaries, construction and services purchased.

Using the U.S. Department of Commerce's analysis of health care services and their impact on local economies, 40 jobs are created for every $1 million of direct salaries paid. Based on this model, VUMC created 17,307 jobs for the local economy, in addition to employing more than 9,000 faculty and staff.

VUMC continues to provide millions of dollars in uncompensated care to Middle Tennesseans. According to the report, VUMC provided $29 million in uncompensated care during fiscal year 1996.

"We are extremely proud that Vanderbilt has been able to contribute so much to the Middle Tennessee community," Robinson said. "Not just through its economic impact on the region, but by providing the highest quality health care possible."