Powering the local economy

emory economic impact
Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer offers researchers like Jennifer Gooch (above) a crash course in how to start a company. Gooch formed ImmunoMetrix to commercialize a test to help gauge whether a transplant recipient’s immune response is under control.



From the Executive VP

Charity care in Emory Healthcare

Caring for the elderly

Caring for kids

Care at Grady Hospital

Emory and the Atlanta VA Medical Center

Serving locally and globally



Economic impact

Woodruff Health Sciences Center

The Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) employs more than 22,000 people, making Emory University the third largest private employer in metro Atlanta.

The WHSC helps create jobs in other ways as well, through expenditures of visitors and students, through Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer (which last year alone saw creation of six startup companies to manage inventions by Emory researchers), and through new construction. 

Over the past year, for example, Emory University Hospital (EUH) began renovation and expansion of its emergency department. EUH Midtown opened an $8 million “next-generation” intensive care unit that will become the standard design of all ICUs at Emory. Emory Clinic began expanding access to its campus sites in anticipation of construction of a new EUH bed tower. Yerkes National Primate Research Center broke ground on a $15 million research building and a three-story addition to its neuroscience research facility. And construction continued on a new $90 million health sciences research building scheduled for completion next spring. Based on expenditures like these ($3.3 billion in 2011-2012), the WHSC’s overall annual economic impact on metro Atlanta is estimated at $6.4 billion.

But job numbers and expenditures tell only part of the story of how the WHSC influences the economy. The WHSC is investing resources in health services research to create strategies to optimize quality and cost-effectiveness of care. For example, unplanned hospital readmission after surgery is a serious, costly problem everywhere. Emory surgeon John Sweeney and Georgia State University economist James Cox recently analyzed data on 3,000 Emory surgery patients and developed a software tool, now in testing, to provide more finely tuned discharge recommendations. Reduction and prevention of readmissions and complications have already resulted in $1.5 to $2 million in annual savings for patients, payers, and providers. 

In the same vein of implementing innovative strategies to decrease costs and increase quality, Emory Healthcare recently formed a clinically integrated network of local physicians and hospitals to improve care coordination and quality outcomes as well as control costs for patients and the community. 

Emory was also one of 14 academic institutions across the nation to receive a Health Care Innovations award aimed at reducing health care costs, improving quality, and enhancing the health care workforce. The award supports Emory’s plan to build a network supporting ICUs in north Georgia. The program is expected to improve access to ICU care in the community and to save more than $18 million over three years.  


As sites are being cleared in preparation for groundbreaking for a new inpatient facility to open in 2017, Emory contracted with Lifecyle Building Center to salvage items such as sinks, handrails, countertops, and signs from a razed sorority house to reuse in projects throughout the community. Trees removed from the site are being replaced by new plantings throughout the Emory campus.



Value to the community

In addition to providing charity care, Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) benefited the community in many other ways in fiscal year 2011–2012: 




Costs of charity care provided by Emory Healthcare



Financial aid provided to students from tuition income



Emory Healthcare investment in WHSC teaching and research



Emory’s investment in research unrecovered from sponsors



Unreimbursed care provided at Grady Hospital



Investment of Emory Medical Care Foundation in services at Grady Hospital



Other community benefits



Total (millions)



*Total includes charity care for Saint Joseph’s Hospital:

Effective December 31, 2011, Emory entered into a joint venture with Saint Joseph’s Health System, Inc. Emory Healthcare, Inc., controls 51% of Emory/Saint Joseph’s, Inc., the joint venture that controls Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory Johns Creek Hospital.  The financial data in this report and the Emory Group Form 990 include 100% of the financial data from Emory Johns Creek Hospital for the entire fiscal year and 100% of such financial data from Saint Joseph’s Hospital from January 1, 2012, to August 31, 2012. 

†This includes the following:

• Discounted/free prescription drug program; drugs for needy/transplant patients; Concord-Indigent Patient Program; contracted services for indigent patient access; unreimbursed transportation/ambulance services; education of nursing students completing clinical rotations in inpatient/outpatient settings; subsidized continuing care, nursing home care, and home care; and initiatives across the board in all Emory Healthcare facilities, including in-kind donations to organizations such as MedShare (see Serving locally and globally); flu shots; blood drives; American Heart Association fund-raising walk; and educational programs for the public, future health professionals, and patients (millions)...............$8.6
• Shortfall between Emory Healthcare’s cost to provide care to Medicaid patients and reimbursement from Medicaid (millions)...............$107.9
• Costs to Emory Healthcare for the Georgia provider tax (millions)...............$21.1

Note: Statistics and information in this report are intended to augment rather than supplant the information required and the metrics used for the Schedules H of the Forms 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service that include information on Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, Wesley Woods Long-Term Hospital, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, and Emory Johns Creek Hospital.


Table of Contents

Community Benefits Report Cover 2012

Related Resources