On Aug. 16, during the Governor’s Health Care Economic Development Summit, economists presented a new study illustrating the economic impact the Medical City at Tradition may have on the state of Mississippi.
The study includes economic results based on the success of a very similar planned community in Orlando, Florida, known as Lake Nona Medical City.
According to the study, prepared by Arduin Laffer & Moore Econometrics, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District, “Mississippi is ready for a rebound, and while tax cuts for the state that began in 2017 should help pave the way, more could be done for the state to live up to its potential. Higher wage industries, such as higher education and life science, could be better fostered, and productivity could be improved —particularly by reducing obesity and diabetes rates.”
The research provided in the study states that “the physical health of the state is poor, and the burden of diabetes and obesity has been undercutting prospects for growth. With the cost of diabetes alone equaling a $3+ billion burden annually, fighting the disease must be a primary concern for legislators.”
The study also states, “Mississippi’s economy is not meeting its potential, and the Gulf Coast economy is still suffering from the shock of the BP oil spill. The community at Tradition means high-wage, sustainable jobs that will address the economic growth problem in Mississippi as a whole and the Mississippi Gulf Coast specifically. Our forecast concludes the new development at Tradition could add between $1.3 and $2 billion dollars in cumulative economic activity and create an estimated 9,400 jobs over the next decade.”
“The Medical City at Tradition will require a highly skilled workforce with advanced degrees, such as scientists, researchers, etc., and offer the kind of jobs people are leaving Mississippi to pursue,” said Joe Canizaro, president and chief executive officer of Columbus Properties LLC, d/b/a Tradition, who is charged with developing the Medical City. “This opportunity will further allow people to meet their career goals while remaining here in the state.”
Tradition is a collaborative cluster for health care and is the largest master-planned community under development in the state of Mississippi, and one of the largest in the country. Because Mississippi has statistically been at the center of diabetes and obesity epidemic in the United States, the first major development component pursued at Tradition was the creation of the National Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, a world-class research center with the mission of finding a cure for diabetes.
“This entire effort started when Governor Bryant asked me to remove Mississippi off the list of #1 in the nation for diabetes and obesity,” continued Canizaro. “This economic study is confirmation of Mississippi’s dire need for this Medical City.”
Tradition leaders hope to use this study to urge legislators to invest in further developing Tradition as Mississippi’s health care hub through recruiting pharmaceutical research and development companies and medical device/supply companies. “We conclude that an investment in further developing Tradition is an investment towards solving some of Mississippi’s most pressing economic issues: low productivity (low wages), weak employment growth, and rampant diabetes and obesity.”