Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated the expansion of athenahealth, a leading supplier of cloud-based services for electronic health record, practice management and health care coordination at the Arsenal on the Charles in Watertown.
To support the company's expansion, the Patrick Administration's Economic Development Coordinating Council (EACC) approved $9.5 million in tax credits to athenahealth in June through the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), the state's investment tax credit program for businesses. As part of a multi-phase improvement project, athenahealth plans to invest an additional $89 million for building improvements, which will include construction, furnishings and equipment. The company's expansion will create 1,900 net new full-time jobs over 10 years and retain 1,047 full-time employees in the Commonwealth.
During today's event, Governor Patrick interacted with a cross-section of athenahealth employees, taking questions from the audience and discussing the Administration's commitment to making the investments that support the growth of the state's vibrant innovation economy, including the eHealth industry.
"The success of athenahealth reflects a growing eHealth industry cluster here in Massachusetts because we have stuck to our strategy of investing in education, innovation and infrastructure," said Governor Patrick. "When we invest in the sectors of the 21st century global economy, we make a proactive choice to shape our own future, rather than leaving it to chance."
Since its founding in 1997, athenahealth has a history of growing 30 percent per year and has made a long-term commitment to growing in Massachusetts by acquiring the land and existing buildings of the Arsenal, a 29-acre, multi-building commercial property.
During today's event, athenahealth President and CEO Jonathan Bush unveiled the company's master plans for the redevelopment of the Arsenal on the Charles, outlining their plans to transform the property into a dynamic and inspirational indoor/outdoor campus for the community and growing employment base.
"We are tackling one of our nation's biggest challenges, fixing health care," said Bush. "The Arsenal on the Charles offers athenahealth everything we could ask for in a headquarters; its open, expansive and historic architecture, outdoor campus, strong community and proximity to Boston can't be beat. As we share our vision and proposed master plan for the campus, we are committed to building and fostering a space for the community and one that makes people want to come to work -- to feel inspired every day, to be creative, industrious and revolutionary."
With input from Watertown officials and the community, the plan seeks to provide 150,000 square feet of new office space, a new parking garage with nearly 2,000 new parking spaces, new retail space, accelerator incubator space to support local healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship and an Arsenal Museum, to highlight and share the rich history of this campus and historical site.
The company's growth is part an emerging eHealth industry cluster here in Massachusetts. The industry, which includes electronic health records, telehealth, mobile health and big data health solutions, boasts more than 100 companies with well over 5,000 employees.
"eHealth technologies are improving how we coordinate and deliver healthcare," said Laurance Stuntz, Director of the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. "Many of the innovators leading these efforts nationally and globally, such as athenahealth, are located right here in Massachusetts. We are pleased to work on behalf of the Commonwealth to support our eHealth community and advance our shared goals of coordinated patient care and economic growth."
"The growth of athenahealth here in Watertown reflects the coming of age of our innovation economy," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "We are already well-known for the great companies and entrepreneurs that get their start here but now we are also becoming better known as a place where successful, innovative companies, like athenahealth, choose to grow big."
Since the EDIP program's reform in 2009, through the support of EDIP credits, 160 projects have received approval, leading to the creation of 11,449 new jobs, retention of 37,207 existing jobs and leveraging of $4.5 billion in private investment throughout the Commonwealth. The EACC has assisted 92 manufacturers through the EDIP program and supported 71 projects in Gateway Cities.