Fort Worth’s medical district had $5.5 billion economic impact in 2013

The city’s near-south-side Medical District had a $5.5 billion economic impact on Tarrant County in 2013, according to research by the University of North Texas.

The study, commissioned by Fort Worth South Inc. and the area’s major healthcare providers, for the first time assesses the economic impact of the healthcare industry. The analysis involved data supplied by the medical providers and looks at many other areas, including employment and income.

In 2013, the Medical District accounted for 38,985 jobs, according to preliminary findings.

Paul Paine, president of Fort Worth South, said the findings were astonishing given that they don’t include the economic impact from several large companies on the near south side or dozens of restaurants and shops. More than $4.2 billion of the impact was in Fort Worth, the study shows.

“I wish I could capture more,” Paine said. “Our numbers are even grander than what we’re reporting here.”

Paine said he first met with the heads of the hospitals in October 2012 to discuss the need to determine the economic impact of the Medical District. He said he was most impressed with the countywide impact and how the Medical District serves as the epicenter of medical care in the county.

“The Medical District really has been a catalyst for additional growth throughout the county,” Paine said. “What we’re growing here is an economic driver in and of itself.”

Paine released the preliminary numbers at Fort Worth South’s annual banquet Wednesday night. The full study should be completed in April, he said. It is being done by Terry Clower, director of UNT’s Center for Economic Development and Research.

The participating healthcare providers include Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, John Peter Smith Hospital, Plaza Medical Center and the Moncrief Cancer Institute.