February 16, 1999

Health Science Center’s Annual Economic Impact Exceeds $240 Million

FORT WORTH, Texas ---The UNT Health Science Center’s overall economic impact has reached $244.3 million annually, it was reported in a study released this week (Feb. 15).

Benefitting the economies of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the State of Texas, the size of the health science center’s contribution did not surprise its president, Dr. David M. Richards. "We’re on a much steeper growth curve than most people realize, so it’s important for us to measure our impact frequently and report it to our neighbors and to those public officials who take an interest in us at the city, county and state levels of government," he said.

The analysis covered 1998 and was conducted and reported by econometrician Dr. M.A.M. Anari and economist Dr. Jared E. Hazelton of the Center for Business and Economic Analysis, Lowry Mays College and Graduate School of Business, Texas A & M University. Dr. M. Susan Motheral, the health science center’s director of institutional research, coordinated gathering of the data and participated in the analysis.

According to Anari and Hazleton, the UNT Health Science Center is a significant state resource for medical and biomedical education, scientific research, patient care and community service. They summarized the following elements as having produced the institution’s overall impacts:

$84.2 million in direct economic activity ($67.5 million operating budget plus an estimated $16.7 million spent by students and medical residents).

$244.3 million in combined direct and indirect economic impact ($2.90 of additional indirect economic activity is produced by each dollar of direct activity).

672 students were enrolled in the fall of 1998 and an additional 121 graduate physicians were serving in post-graduate residency programs.

1,125 faculty and staff -- including 20 post-doctoral trainees -- were employed at the health science center. The direct impact of this workforce is the creation of another 395 jobs, while the indirect impact created an additional 760 for a total of 2,280 jobs in Texas.

$158.5 million in personal income ($3.44 of additional personal income is produced by each dollar of direct personal income -- $46.1 million in 1998 -- paid to faculty and staff).

$8.9 million in extramural research funding was expended in 1998 ($5.6 million from federal sources, $1.5 million from industry, $1.4 million from institutional resources and $400,000 from Texas).

188,000 patient visits were managed by 110 members of the medical school faculty physicians, operating as the Physicians & Surgeons Medical Group and practicing in 24 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. These doctors serve in clinics located on the health science center campus at Camp Bowie Boulevard and Montgomery Street as well as in neighborhood clinics throughout Fort Worth. $2.9 million in charity care was delivered in 1998.

7,176 medical, nursing and managed care professionals attended 340 Continuing Medical Education programs conducted by the health science center.

5 Institutes for Discovery help focus the institution’s research on aging, cardiovascular disease, cancer, human vision and substance abuse. In addition, some 20 clinical trials are underway at any given time, addressing such disorders as migraine, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes.

The UNT Health Science Center’s main component, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM), produces the highest percentage of primary care physicians -- 70 percent -- among all of the state’s medical schools. Nearly 30 percent of TCOM graduates practicing in Texas serve in towns of 25,000 or less in population.

In Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the institution’s outreach initiatives include health education and promotion activities, assessments of local community health care needs and, in 1998, a seminal role in creation of the MEDTECH center, Fort Worth’s new medically-focused business incubator.