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CLEVELAND -- The MetroHealth Systemis responsible foran annual economic impact on Northeast Ohioof $797 million, according to a new study by Cleveland State University.

The public health system'seconomic impact on Northeast Ohio is set to top $1 billion by 2017, as new capital projects launch in the coming years to enhance patient care delivery.

Each year, MetroHealth contributes more than $797 million to Northeast Ohio's economy, making the health system one of the region's most valuable assets.

MetroHealth's impact on the region is projected to grow as the system moves ahead with a multimillion-dollar capital project to renew the MetroHealth Medical Center campus and its ambulatory networks across Cuyahoga County.

"It's widely known that MetroHealth provides high-quality care, but this study proves that MetroHealth is also a tremendous economic asset to the region," said Dr. Edward Hills, Interim President and CEO of MetroHealth.

"As we bring healthcare services closer to the homes of our patients, we will have an even greater impact on Northeast Ohio."

This summer, MetroHealth will open its first of several planned health centers throughout Cuyahoga County. The MetroHealth Middleburg Heights November Family Health Center will provide primary and specialty care to residents in the southern part of the county.

Additional anticipated capital spending will result in the funding of an estimated 5,309 jobs in the region, for an additional economic impact of $349 million by 2017, CSU predicted. However, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County will benefit the most.

As the largest employer on the West Side, MetroHealth currently provides an economic impact of $562.4 million to the city of Cleveland through jobs and spending.

By 2017, with the capital improvements underway, this number is expected to rise to $738.8 million, CSU estimated. MetroHealth's economic impact on Cuyahoga County now tops $747 million, but is expected to reach more than $1 billion by 2017. The spike in capital spending by MetroHealth will create approximately 4,452 jobs in Cuyahoga County, including jobs in construction and project management. MetroHealth has consistently contributed to the health and well-being of Cuyahoga County for 176 years.

In 2012, the health system reached another milestone by providing more than one million patient visits for the first time in its history.

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