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Impact of hospital detailed
CEO: Total activity about $553M
Rotary WEB
Skip Putnam, CEO of Northside Hospital-Forsyth, addresses the South Forsyth Rotary Club on Wednesday. - photo by Autumn Vetter

It is the county’s largest private employer and has room to grow across 165 acres, but Northside Hospital-Forsyth is more than a business and health care provider.

The hospital is a financial benefit and draws economic development to the community, said its CEO Skip Putnam.

Since opening in October 2002, Northside-Forsyth has “not had one day at the hospital without construction going on,” Putnam told the South Forsyth Rotary Club during a meeting Wednesday.

“Our goal isn’t just to grow. It’s to make sure that we provide services at the quality everybody needs,” he said.

According to Putnam, the hospital has 1,800 employees, but the ripple effect adds another 2,070 in terms of support staff and jobs needed outside the hospital to serve the area’s medical needs.

The same goes for the hospital’s sales and benefits, which total nearly $105 million. But with nearly another $90 million in area resources, the total labor income to the community is close to $195 million.

Total economic activity is about $553 million, according to Putnam. Since opening the hospital in 2002, the total capital investment in the hospital has been about $525 million.

He went on to note that the hospital has gone from seeing about 20,000 emergency patients per year to more than 50,000 over the past decade.

The hospital takes up 48 acres, but has plenty of room to expand with another 120 acres of campus.

As a nonprofit hospital, all proceeds go right back into the community, Putnam said. That also means “that we’re here to take care of people who don’t have the ability to pay.”

The hospital boasts more than 2,400 physicians and has assisted more than 202,000 patients in just the past year.

In 2008, the hospital opened its Women’s Center and began delivering babies. This year, more than 2,350 have been delivered — and counting.

Lauren Giles, who was among the Rotarians at the meeting in the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, is expecting a baby boy the first week of October.

“I’m personally very glad Northside is here and I’m sure I will be in a few weeks even more so,” said Giles, a local attorney.

She added that she was interested to hear more about the hospital, especially how many deliveries it has welcomed. Putnam’s presentation was good and she “enjoyed hearing what he had to say.”

“We appreciate that it’s here,” Giles said of the hospital. “It’s obviously a great contribution to the community and provides a lot of jobs.”

Putnam said the hospital is proud of its oncology focus, among the largest in the state, and is also concentrating on cardio and surgical growth, as well as its clinical commitment.

Putnam fielded a few questions from the audience, including one about how the Affordable Care Act could impact the hospital. Putnam said “we won’t see a lot of things change during the next five years.”

“The Affordable Care Act has a lot of good in it,” he said. “It also has a lot of really bad things in it.”

Rotarian Marcie Kreager offered praise for the hospital, which recently took care of her husband.

“It’s just a great hospital all the way around,” she said. “We’ve received excellent care from the top to the bottom.”