NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (TB&P) — Northwest Arkansas is still a long way from becoming a healthcare destination on par with peer metro areas of Austin, Texas, Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., or Madison, Wisc. according to a new study released by the Northwest Arkansas Council at its winter meeting in Bentonville on Thursday (Jan. 17.)
The report indicates the healthcare sector in Northwest Arkansas is valued at $2.7 billion in annual economic output, but the region trails six peer metros also evaluated in the report: Austin, Boise, Des Moines, Durham-Chapel Hill, Evansville, Ind., Madison and Spokane, Wash.
A PDF of the report can be found here.
Paul Umbach, founder and senior principal of Pennsylvania-based Tripp Umbach, a national consulting firm with expertise in community health needs and healthcare economic impact, completed the analysis on behalf of the council. He gave the region the grade of “C” as a healthcare destination. He said the region is strong, but there is plenty of work to accomplish.
“This region is average, just like lots of other metros that haven’t really worked toward growing their healthcare sectors,” Umbach said. “Northwest Arkansas has exceptional leadership and resources to draw from and raising that grade from a ‘C’ to an ‘A’ is doable. There are regions who are a ‘C’ and they will always be a ‘C,’ because they do not have the leadership or vision and resources of Northwest Arkansas.”
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