Industry: Health Care
Two nationally recognized medical centers deliver top quality health care in the city: Memorial University Medical Center and the St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System. These centers and the advanced medical specialties they offer attract people from all over southeast Georgia and the southern coastal area of South Carolina. The medical facilities are also the top two private nonmanufacturing employers in the metropolitan area.
Ambulatory health care services accounted for $632.5 million of personal income in the Savannah MSA in 2013, or 4.2% of total private sources of personal income. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, Candler Hospital Inc. and Memorial University Medical Center are ranked as two of ten largest employers in the Savannah MSA in the first quarter of 2015.
Forecast: Health Services
The regional health care sector has been a stalwart of economic consistency and growth since 2007. In fact, this sector did not shed employment during the Great Recession and now currently employs nearly 10% more workers than at the peak of the previous economic cycle in mid-2007. The health sector continues to be a vital component of the area’s economy and growth prospects are good in the short and long run.
Saint Joseph’s Hospital celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2015 with the completion of a $15 million interior and exterior renovation of the southside hospital. In 1997, the hospital joined operations with Candler Hospital to create the Saint Joseph/Candler Health System. In 2015, nursing care received a fourth award for the recognition of the excellence of the system’s nurses. Only five other hospitals in Georgia have been so recognized. The system also earned recognition for exceptional stroke care and for its wound care centers in 2015.
Memorial University Medical Center has several notable investment projects under development. The first phase of the Parker’s Emergency and Trauma Center – a major expansion of the emergency department and Level 1 trauma center – was completed in 2015. This project will double the amount of space available in the emergency treatment area. The remainder of the project is expected for completion in 2016. Further, a $5 million gift was received to support the construction of the Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah. This is part of a larger capital campaign that has raised over $15 million for the children’s hospital. Construction will begin in 2016, to be completed by spring 2017.