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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Mary Washington described as one of the engines that propels local economy

Stephen Fuller, professor at George Mason University.

A new economic impact study of Mary Washington Healthcare describes it as a “major force” in the local economy, responsible for more than 4,300 jobs and more than $370 million in annual spending.

The study, released last week, was prepared by Stephen Fuller, a professor at George Mason University and director for its Center for Regional Analysis. Mary Washington hired Fuller to do the study. He completed a similar impact study for the hospital company in 2008.

Fuller says Mary Washington’s economic impact on the region comes primarily from annual spending of $219 million for its payroll.  Nearly two-thirds of Mary Washington’s workers are full time. The average annual salary for full- and part-time employees is $46,534. The data are from 2010.

Fuller also includes in his calculation direct annual spending of:

* $64 million in goods and services purchased from local vendors.

* $7 million for the operation of six NextCare Urgent Care centers in the area.

* $29 million to pay the in-house physicians who work at Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals. These are the hospitalists, emergency room doctors and others who are contractors rather than employees.

* $1 million by Mary Washington Hospital Auxiliary at its gift shop.

* $1 million in capital outlays.

Fuller also says that this direct spending generates additional economic activity when the money is respent by those who receive it. The bottom line, according to Fuller, is that Mary Washington produced almost $373 million in local economic impact in 2010.

“Given the increasing size and complexity of the Fredericksburg regional economy, this magnitude and growth of direct economic contribution originating from a single organization is significant,” Fuller concluded.

(Fuller’s report is available here.)