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Published on November 21, 2018

The importance of shopping local

The importance of shopping local

Danni Gearhart, CEO, Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics.

With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday just around the corner, we're more and more aware of the impact of shopping local. But shopping local isn't just confined to the world of retail. Choosing to get your health care locally also helps our local, rural economy.

Danni Gearhart, CEO of Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics

Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics accounts for $38 million a year in local economic activity (WHA, 2017). That value is only possible through the revenue generated inside of the walls of Gundersen St. Joseph's. This revenue allows reinvestment in local patient care, new technology, staffing and expansion of local health services. It also allows Gundersen St. Joseph's to invest those dollars in the communities it serves through donations to local charitable causes, sponsorship of community events and providing free and subsidized health care services. In fact, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported that in 2016 Gundersen St. Joseph's provided over $1.2 million in total community benefits.

By seeking care locally, you help Gundersen St. Joseph's provide over 200 full and part time jobs plus an additional 200 indirect jobs due to local goods and services purchased by the organization. This impact generates over $16 million in local labor income (WHA, 2017).

You also help Gundersen St. Joseph's provide financial assistance to those patients who are uninsured or underinsured and struggling to pay for their care. Indeed, over the last five years, Gundersen St. Joseph's has written off over $1.4 million in patient charges through its financial assistance program. In some instances, this program is life-changing and greatly appreciated.

Simply put, money spent here, stays here and helps us our mission to enrich every life, every day, every way we can.

So during this holiday season I encourage you to shop local whenever possible because, as you can see, the impact of your decision is great and touches many.

For more information on the project and how to contribute to the capital campaign to support the new home of Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics, visit

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