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Upstate University Hospital skyline

New study shows Upstate’s economic impact on state and local economy is $2.5 billion


SYRACUSE, N.Y.— SUNY Upstate Medical University contributed $2.5 billion to the state and local economy and supported, directly and indirectly, more than 18,321 jobs across New York in fiscal year 2018, according to a recent study and report by a national consultant.

“Our mission is to serve and improve the health of this community. But as this report points out, we are also a vital player in this community’s economy—employing more people than anyone else and generating billions of dollars for the state and local economy each year,” said Upstate Interim President Mantosh Dewan, MD. “Our talented, valuable employees are investing their salaries into the Central New York economy, which plays a critical role in the vitality of the region and New York state.”

The substantial economic impact figure—which has grown 50 percent in a decade—includes capital improvements, Upstate expenditures and salaries to employees who spend their income on housing and services in Central New York. Additional dollars are generated by students, patients and visitors to Upstate, according to consultant Tripp Umbach.

The study looked at the economic, employment, government revenue and community impacts of Upstate, which is the region’s only academic medical center. Highlights of the report include:

-Upstate directly employs 10,959 people.

-Upstate supports an additional 7,362 employees through local business and employee spending.

-Upstate sustains and supports 14,920 jobs in Onondaga County.

-Upstate’s annual payroll is $625 million.

-Since 2008, Upstate’s overall economic impact grew 50 percent, from $1.67 billion annually to $2.5 billion; employment grew 30 percent from 14,000 to 18,321; and government revenue generated grew 86 percent from $86 million to $160.4 million.

-One dollar of state support to Upstate generates another $58 in the state economy.

-Student enrollment at Upstate Medical University has grown 30 percent since 2006.

-More than 3,100 Upstate alumni practicing in New York generate $7.1 billion in economic activity, support 35,363 jobs and generate $377 million in state and local taxes.

-Alumni physicians practicing nationwide generate $993.1 million in taxes annually.

Upstate is a considerable driver of tax revenues for the state and local governments. Tax revenues attributable to Upstate in the form of income taxes, sales taxes, real estate taxes paid was estimated to be $160 million in 2018.

“Upstate’s economic impact goes far beyond our payroll. We are constantly investing in our infrastructure and patient care and we use local goods and services that generate millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue,” Dewan said. “Our role in the SUNY system helps bring in state dollars that are valuable to the Central New York economy and stir additional growth, spending and economic prosperity.

“We are proud of the work we do to improve lives and now we know unequivocally that Upstate is an integral player in the local and state economy.”

Upstate’s commitment to research also translates to local economic investment. Upstate is entering its third year of near double-digital growth in annual research expenditures. Upstate’s clinical departments host more than 450 active clinical trials per year. The SUNY research expenditures of $35 million ripple across the state economy and generated an additional $20.7 million in indirect and induced activity.

The growing number of Upstate graduates has created a vast network of nearly 7,900 alumni nationwide. Those licensed physicians generate more than $24.8 billion in economic activity and support or employ nearly 132,354 employees throughout the United States.

As the region’s only academic medical center, Upstate’s mission is to improve the health of the community it serves through the university, a biomedical research enterprise, two-campus hospital, an extensive clinical network covering patients in 17 counties and other supporting entities.

As a public, nonprofit hospital, Upstate provides many safety net and one of a kind services, including burn and trauma care, to name a few.

Many Upstate programs and special services are supported by the Upstate Foundation, which manages 1,000 funds and endowments totaling close to $200 million in total assets.

The report also noted how Upstate employees give back to their communities through volunteer time and money to local causes. In fiscal year 2018, the value of that time and money contributes an additional $25 million in economic impact to the community. That total includes $9.7 million in direct charitable contributions and an additional $15.3 million in donations of time to local charities by students, staff, faculty, physicians, residents and Upstate families.


This economic impact analysis measures the effect of direct and indirect/induced business volume and government revenue impacts for all of Upstate’s operations throughout the State of New York and Onondaga County. The methodology employed in the calculation of these impacts is IMPLAN. Primary data used to conduct the analysis were collected from each of the four hospitals in the network. Data included five-year average of capital expenditures, operational expenditures, employment headcounts, payroll and benefits, and taxes. The multipliers used in this study were derived from the IMPLAN software. Tripp Umbach’s approach to economic impact analysis is conservative by way of utilizing the industry standard software, IMPLAN, to conduct the impact analysis as well as using conservative assumptions for individual spending patterns. Tripp Umbach bases assumptions of spending on federal per diem rates. Economic impact begins when an organization spends money. Studies measuring economic impact capture the direct economic impact of an organization’s spending, plus additional indirect and induced spending in the economy as a result of direct spending. Total economic impact measures the dollars generated within New York due to the presence of Upstate. This includes not only the member’s spending on goods and services with a variety of vendors and the spending of its physicians, faculty, staff, patients, students, and visitors, but also the business volume generated by businesses within New York that benefit from Upstate’s spending. It is important to remember that not all dollars spent by a medical school or hospital remain in its immediate locale. Economic impact includes all dollars that are spent in the region in the form of purchases from in-area vendors, employees, etc. The economic impact analysis conducted for this study gathered and modeled fiscal year 2018 (FY18) data for each of the four Upstate entities. The analysis looked at impacts of Upstate through two lenses: impacts on Onondaga County and the State of New York.

About Tripp Umbach:

Tripp Umbach is the national leader in providing economic impact analysis to leading healthcare organizations, universities, and academic medical centers. We have completed more than 150 economic impact studies over the past 20 years for clients such as The Pennsylvania State University, The Ohio State University, The University of Washington, The University of Iowa, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Cleveland Clinic, The University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, The University of North Carolina Hospitals, The University of Pennsylvania Health System, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and The Ohio State University Medical Center.