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SBJ, chamber give credit for care

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Health care dominates the Springfield-area’s physical landscape, and it’s a presence that trickles into our businesses, homes and families.

The health care industry affects our pocketbooks and economy like no other segment.

Last year, nearly 29,000 people were employed in the health care and social assistance sector in Greene County alone, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center within the Department of Economic Development. The second-highest employment category was retail trade, some 10,000 workers behind health care.

CoxHealth and Mercy continually rival each other for the title of the Springfield area’s largest employer, and a gap of merely 500 employees exists between No. 1 CoxHealth’s workforce of 8,000 and No. 2 Mercy Springfield Communities as of mid-2012, according to Springfield Business Journal’s research of the five-county region.

The revenues the two health systems generate alone locally exceeded $3.7 billion last year.

The 2012 edition of Salute to Health Care takes the vast economic statistics and connects them to the individuals who set the standard – and raise the bar – for health care in our city.

This year is the third partnership of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Salute to Health Care Awards and SBJ’s Health Care Champions.

The collaboration brings together the chamber’s longtime awards honoring select doctors and SBJ’s recognition of related occupations.

This year, the Health Care Champions honor dentists, hospice workers, physical therapists and school nurses, and three in each field were chosen by a panel of five judges.

We thank each of them for the hard work and sound judgment given to making the selections of the nearly 50 applications submitted.

Combined, these top specialists make health care tick across the region. On behalf of the staff at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and at Springfield Business Journal, it’s an honor to tell these stories and to recognize these works during the Oct. 25 Salute to Health Care banquet at Ramada Oasis Convention Center.

We salute you.

Springfield Business Journal Editor Eric Olson can be reached at

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 Salute to Health Care.

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