LSCP Perspectives: Strengthening our community and making communities healthier – UP Health System – Marquette’s impact 

Posted by on September 6, 2023

It’s hard to miss when driving into town—the towering state-of-the-art hospital and medical center situated just outside of downtown Marquette. Home to UP Health System – Marquette (UPHS – Marquette), the building represents access to a critical service and community asset—regional and advanced medical care.


In 2021, healthcare and social services made up 14% of our gross regional product for Marquette County. That statistic may surprise some, but when you consider that UPHS–Marquette is the single largest employer in the county with more than 1,600 employees, a picture begins to emerge. UPHS – Marquette distributed over $158,000,000 in payroll in 2022 alone. Between local property taxes, payroll taxes, provider taxes, and sales taxes, UPHS – Marquette added another $23,000,000 to support state and local government service. Community benefit programs also exceeded $1,080,000 in 2022.


Many of us know or live next to someone who works at the hospital or is directly economically impacted by it. UP Health System – Marquette, along with UP Health System – Bell and UP Health System – Portage, provides services from primary and preventative care to advanced specialty services in more than 50 clinic locations throughout the Upper Peninsula—expanding their regional employment footprint to over 2,500 employees.


UPHS – Marquette also makes valuable investments in facilities and specialist recruitment to elevate the quality of care we receive in Marquette County, making our area a destination as the regional referral center for lifesaving, emergency care. We’re all familiar with the major investment resulting in the 2019 opening of the new regional medical center. But those investments have continued. In 2022, UPHS – Marquette capital investments totaled $2.55 million and UPHS recruited 59 new providers covering a range of services, including emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, palliative care, radiology, cardiovascular and other surgery specialists, and adolescent psychiatry. Thanks to UPHS – Marquette’s ongoing investments, we are fortunate to have the region’s only Level 2 Trauma Center and the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) right in our backyard, among other specialties.


We all know medical care is advancing rapidly. And thanks to investments at UPHS, we have access to robotic surgery, state-of-the-art blood collection systems, 3D mammography, and more. In fact, over 700 robotic surgeries have been performed since UPHS – Marquette first invested in this technology. Robotic surgery is more precise, less invasive and results in a faster recovery time. Through these investments, UPHS – Marquette serves over 362,000 patients (more than the entire UP population) each year.


Quality healthcare is vital not only for us as individuals but also to the business community. A robust medical industry allows us all to find the care we need so we can be at our best when we go to work and when we’re with our families. When businesses recruit outside talent to our region, access to quality healthcare can be a deciding factor in the initial move and in their long-term decision to remain in the community. Large organizations like UPHS provide stable revenue for existing businesses and can foster additional businesses as needs evolve. UPHS has also been active in economic development efforts, participating in Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) committees and helping track the impacts of state regulations or laws about healthcare, which often are based on urban needs instead of rural ones.


Healthcare is an essential service we all need. And while our medical industry expands beyond UPHS specifically (including mental health, dental, vision, and other providers), its impact is felt both locally and regionally. We’re fortunate to have UPHS right here in Marquette County, providing an edge for talent recruitment and retention as well as adding significant financial impact to our local economy.