SGMC Has $1B Impact on Local Economy

Staff Report

Thursday, May 25th, 2023

As South Georgia Medical Center continues to expand service lines and evolve into a regional health system, so too does its economic impact. SGMC, which includes four hospitals (two in Lowndes County, one in Berrien, and one in Lanier), reported $1 billion in total revenue for the local and state economy in 2021.  

According to the recent report released by the Georgia Hospital Association, the total economic impact of those expenditures was $1 billion when combined with an economic multiplier developed by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. 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.  

SGMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean shared, "Our mission is to serve the healthcare needs of our region, but we also know that we must be extremely diligent in our planning for the future so that we can ensure access to high-quality care for generations to come." 

According to SGMC, during the same period, the health system provided approximately $40.5 million in uncompensated care while sustaining more than 3,000 full-time jobs throughout South Georgia. When a US Department of Commerce multiplier is applied to the jobs number, it revealed that an additional 7,000 jobs are supported across the state due to the economic activity of SGMC. The hospital spent $213 million on salaries and benefits, resulting in total household earnings of $482 million. 

SGMC says it expects the economic impact of the system to continue to rise each year. In January, SGMC expanded the capabilities of its Smith Northview hospital to include emergency services and other specialized care. SGMC also recently launched a $15 million expansion of its Berrien County hospital. 

Physician recruitment is another vital component to a health system’s growth and SGMC welcomed 15 doctors in 2022 and is slated to add another 19 by the end of this year. 

According to Dean, SGMC is committed to creating unequaled access to care for the area. “It is essential for the health of our communities that SGMC remains strong and vibrant. Having a robust health care system is important to a region’s growth as it attracts other industries and businesses to the area.”  

While this report only calculates the impact of SGMC's hospital campuses, the health system also operates 35 medical offices, a cancer center, a hospice facility, a retirement center, a skilled nursing facility, an imaging center, and an urgent care center. SGMC routinely serves more than 400,000 residents across a 15-county area.  

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