A new report shows EVMS has grown at more than twice the rate of the region and has emerged as a “major source of new economic energy for Hampton Roads.”
EVMS is now the region’s 12th largest non-governmental employer, generating an estimated $1.2 billion annually in economic impact, according to the study conducted by noted economist James Koch, PhD. Five years ago, when Dr. Koch published his last report, the school was the region’s 20th largest non-governmental employer with an estimated annual impact of $823 million.
Dr. Koch, Board of Visitors Professor of Economics Emeritus at Old Dominion University and author of regular reports on the economic health of the region, has measured EVMS’ impact at five-year intervals since 2007. In that 10-year span, the region’ economic activity rose 2.71 percent annually. By contrast, EVMS’ yearly growth was 5.59 percent during that same period. Since 2012, EVMS growth has accelerated to 6.53 percent annually.
“EVMS unquestionably has established itself as one of the foremost economic engines in Hampton Roads,” Dr. Koch wrote in the executive summary of his report. “What we are witnessing is the emergence of an ‘ed-med’ economic sector in Hampton Roads, and EVMS is central to this story.”
Richard Homan, MD, President and Provost of EVMS and Dean of the School of Medicine, unveiled the new report at his annual State of the School presentation Sept. 21. He says he was not surprised by Dr. Koch’s findings.
“It reaffirmed my feelings that this institution is an extraordinarily important component of the economy in this region,” Dr. Homan says.
EVMS’ soaring economic effect has been fueled by carefully planned growth in education, research and patient care. For instance, the school has grown its MD program class size and has continued to expand its health-professions programs. In addition to the MD degree, the school now has 21 health-professions educational programs, all created to meet the workforce needs of the community.
David Arias, President of Swimways Corp. and Rector of the EVMS Board of Visitors, says EVMS has helped to diversify and bolster the regional economy.
“For a lot of businesses,” Mr. Arias says, “it becomes harder to grow as they get older. But EVMS has actually accelerated its growth under President Homan and the current faculty and staff. They’ve done a really great job.”
Other findings from Dr. Koch’s report indicate that the value of EVMS charitable services has grown 16 percent in the last five years, to $63 million annually, and the number of “ripple effect” jobs has grown 30 percent, reaching 4,900 jobs.
A freestanding school without a hospital, EVMS partners with a range of hospitals and other educational institutions across the region. The partnerships are critical to the school’s educational and research missions, and they serve to enhance the quality of medical care available in the region.
“The academic-health-center model we have here at EVMS provides an opportunity for us to recruit very high-quality faculty members that typical community hospital systems cannot recruit,” Dr. Homan says. “That provides a great added value to the community and opportunities for our patients in this region to receive highly specialized care by talented physicians and faculty.”
EVMS was created by the community to benefit the community, and that support has continued over the years. Dr. Homan says that the five-year reports serve as a way to track progress on this homegrown community asset.
“It’s our role to let the community know how valuable this institution is in contributing to the economic development of the region,” Dr. Homan says. “It also gives us the opportunity to thank everyone that has contributed their time, treasure and talent to achieve this success. We want to build on that going forward.”