LECOM operations Impact the U.S. economy by more than a quarter of a billion dollars annually

Driving America's Healthcare Economy:
The Impact of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

At commencement, graduates of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) step off the stage with their diplomas ready to impact not only the health of their communities but also the economy. When the physicians complete residency training and begin practice, each generates 20 additional jobs and more than two-million dollars in economic impact. That is just part of the LECOM economic impact as reported by Tripp Umbach researchers to the College. (To see the full report click the headline above).

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This year, 389 physicians and 201 pharmacists will receive their degrees at commencement ceremonies in Erie and Bradenton, Fla. They’re part of an economic engine driven by the Millcreek Health System, led by LECOM, Millcreek Community Hospital, Medical Associates of Erie, the Millcreek Geriatric Education and Care Center and the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center.

According to Paul Umbach, founder and president of Tripp Umbach, LECOM’s total operational impact on the U.S. Economy is nearly $230 million dollars and 700 jobs, not including the individual impact of all graduates. Just the 2009 graduating class alone, pushes that impact over $1 billion, by adding another $865 million dollars and employment support for 7,500 people residing in the U.S. Since its founding in 1992, LECOM has graduated more than 2,000 physicians with a nearly $5 billion impact and support for almost 41,000 jobs.

Currently, 142 LECOM physician alumni practice in the Erie region with an economic impact of $327 million dollars which supports another 2,840 local jobs. LECOM pharmacy graduates number 145 in Erie County providing additional economic growth for this region.

LECOM graduates contribute greatly to the health of the medically underserved by practicing primary care in regions of the country where the need for physicians continues to be a major problem. Tripp Umbach estimates those 480 alumni throughout the nation saved the U.S. healthcare economy more than $1.7 billion in 2009.

Adding the health system partners, the total economic impact nationally, is $329 million and 1,833 jobs.

The direct and indirect impact of LECOM and the health system stands at $225 million for Pennsylvania and $66 million for Florida. In the Greater Erie Area, these impacts support nearly 1,000 jobs and generate $136 million dollars. The jobs created by the health system pay on average $7,800 more than the average job in this market, creating more economic impact per full time employee than the average job in this area.

Additionally, the report shows more community benefits from the service provided through charitable donations, volunteer service and free health care. These services would cost the community an additional $2 million without the college, its graduates, physicians, staff and the hospital.

Pennsylvania and local governments in Erie receive nearly $5 million dollars in revenue as a result of LECOM investments and operations in the community.

While the campus sizes are smaller in Bradenton and Greensburg, Pa., economic, employment and government revenue impacts are significant. LECOM is a $60 million economic engine for Florida supporting more than 160 jobs. Greensburg is benefiting by the statewide impact of the College since it opened two years ago, and results are expected to grow as the campus develops. Additionally, LECOM will open a School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton next year, which will increase total student enrollment, faculty and staff employment and economic growth in southwest Florida and the nation.

Tripp Umbach is the leading provider of economic impact analysis for hospitals and health systems, having completed national studies for the Association of American Medical Colleges since 1995 and statewide economic impact studies for all of the medical schools and their hospital affiliates in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and the Greater Boston area. Tripp Umbach has completed economic impact studies for more than 100 leading health care organizations and for several state governmental agencies, including the Mayo Clinic, UPMC Health System, the University of Pennsylvania, Jefferson Health System, and the Ohio State University. Tripp Umbach serves more than 50 of the nation’s leading 100 health care organizations as ranked in the 2010 hospital rankings in U.S. News & World Report. For more information, please contact Tripp Umbach at www.trippumbach.com.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, LECOM School of Dental Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

May 27, 2011
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