By John Egan

Hundreds of leaders from the medical world will convene in Houston this April to spotlight health care innovation and collaboration. Now in its second year, the Medical World Americas conference and expo has helped Houston earn an even more prominent place on the global health care landscape.

"Medical World Americas gives Houston a powerful platform to tell the story about the Texas Medical Center and our community," said Dr. Robert C. Robbins, president and CEO of Houston's Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical complex. "When people across the globe think of health, we want them to immediately think of Houston."

From April 27-29, the George R. Brown Convention Center will host the Medical World Americas gathering, which is set to attract more than 2,000 health care professionals from the public and private sectors.

"The goal of the conference is to focus on improving the health of our communities through inventive health policy, as well as highlight the important clinical and research breakthroughs that are revolutionizing medicine," Robbins said.

This year, Medical World Americas will be beefed up in two ways, according to the Trade Show News Network: The American College of Healthcare Executives' Southeast Texas Chapter will hold its annual educational meeting there, and Vendome Group's Healthcare Design Academy will collaborate with the conference.

Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, said when the creation of Medical World Americas was announced in 2013, "Houston is already a leader in medicine, and this conference will further elevate our status globally."

The Texas Medical Center, Houston First Corp., the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Germany's Messe Düsseldorf joined forces to establish Medical World Americas. The inaugural event was held in 2014.

"I can say unequivocally that the level of education and the quality of our speakers would rival those one would find at any major international conference," Robbins told the Trade Show News Network.
Joachim Schaefer, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, said that when his trade-show company was considering where to hold the Americas version of its popular European medical conference, Houston became the obvious choice.

"Not only does Houston have the Texas Medical Center and all of its assets, but few cities show the kind of warm hospitality and welcoming atmosphere that I've experienced here in Houston," Schaefer said.

Houston is a natural host for Medical World Americas, given that over 100,000 health care professionals work at the more than 85 hospitals in the region. Those professionals represent about 7 percent of the Houston area's workforce.

"An event like Medical World Americas ... further establishes Houston as a global home of health care," said Dr. Craig Cordola, CEO of Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

During last year's Medical World Americas, several participants met with representatives of medical institutions and hospital systems that will be investing more than $3 billion in projects and equipment over the next several years.

Brigham Buhler, a Houston-based sales representative for medical device and equipment provider Stryker Corporation, said last year's Medical World Americas was a great opportunity for Stryker to showcase its health care products. "The opportunity to meet face-to-face with so many customers was truly valuable," Buhler said.

Learn more about the evolving Houston Convention District at visithouston.com/meetings/.