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- 2011 - October - 10th -

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Dr. Bill Rupp, CEO of Mayo Clinic Florida, told 144 Leadership Jacksonville graduates, as well as the current class, that the area’s economic bright spots were the port, health care and “eventually Downtown.”

Rupp, who is the business development chair of JaxUSA Partnership, the regional economic development division of Jax Chamber, told the group at its reunion Tuesday that the construction industry and housing collapse have affected job growth and City revenues through lower property taxes.

Focusing on the bright spot of health care, Rupp said the industry has a direct impact of $7.37 billion on Jacksonville, equal to $5,662 per person.

He said many of the area’s top employers are health care providers or related to the industry.

Mayo Clinic is a world-recognized organization for patient care, education and research. Its Jacksonville campus opened in Southside 25 years ago, he said, and has grown to about 5,000 employees.

He projected that Jacksonville’s 80,611 health care industry jobs today would grow to 92,882 by 2016, up 15 percent. Another chart in his presentation showed that Jacksonville’s average wage in the first quarter for health care and related jobs was $42,162, up 12 percent from the $37,514 overall average wage.

Mayo Clinic Florida serves 83,000 patients a year, he said, with 72 percent from Northeast Florida, 9 percent from the rest of Florida, 17 percent from the rest of the United States and 2 percent from other countries.

Considering the number and extent of health care organizations and providers in the area, he called Jacksonville “a medical destination.”

kmathis@baileypub.com

356-4266

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