HOUSTON (February 12, 2014) - A top emergency response commander with the U.S. Coast Guard, a pioneering researcher in cardiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and a leader in genomic medicine at MD Andersen Cancer Center are just a few of the more than 80 speakers who will present at the inaugural Medical World Americas conference and expo in April in Houston.

With less than three months to go, planning efforts are wrapping up on Medical World Americas (MWA), which will bring together more than 2,000 health care professionals from across the Americas to showcase knowledge and innovation in the medical field.

The organizers of MEDICA, the world's largest medical conference, partnered with the Texas Medical Center and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau to create the first annual MEDICA event in North America. Set for April 28-30 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, MWA will provide a platform for new products in health care to be introduced in an expo format as well as a multi-track conference program. MWA will also align with the strengths of the Texas Medical Center-including cardiology, oncology and hospital disaster preparedness to name a few-to showcase knowledge and innovation in these specialized categories.
"We set out to create a world-class conference program for Medical World Americas, and thanks to the hard work and expertise of our Executive Advisory Committee, I believe we are well on our way to doing just that," says Dr. Robert Robbins, CEO of the Texas Medical Center. "We are eager to welcome attendees and exhibitors from across the globe and we are confident that this conference will create new opportunities and showcase the Texas Medical Center, Houston's major medical institutions, and, of course, the city itself."

Attendee registration continues to grow as the conference draws near with doctors, nurses and other professionals from 22 different states and 18 countries already signed up. Currently, more than 30% of registrants are from outside the U.S., with 10% coming from Mexico alone.
On the exhibitor side, currently there are eight different country pavilions and more than 100 exhibitors at the expo.

"Medical World Americas is a continuation of our efforts at the Greater Houston CVB to help build conventions and events around Houston's core industries," says Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the GHCVB. "This partnership with the organizers of MEDICA has enabled us to capitalize on the strength of our health care sector and craft a conference that will become a 'must attend' for medical professionals across the Americas."
Dr. William A. Zoghbi, past President of the American College of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Institute at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, says doctors and health care professionals are used to conferences that are geared to a specific practice area, such as cardiology or pediatrics. "What makes Medical World Americas so unique is that we have put together a multi-disciplinary program that will appeal to a wide range of health care professionals," says Zoghbi, who is co-chairing the cardiology tract for MWA. "I am very proud of the level of expertise we have assembled for this program with some of the best and brightest minds from across the country."

More than 80 leaders in medicine and emergency response will present during the inaugural conference. Roughly half of the speakers hail from the Texas Medical Center, with the remainder coming from other leading institutions around the U.S.

Three speakers of note: 

  • Joseph J. Leonard Jr., M.E.P.

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard  
Commander Leonard is a 28-year veteran of the United States Armed Forces and is currently the Chief of the Planning Department/Deputy Incident Commander for the U.S. Coast Guard Incident Management Assistance Team based in Norfolk, Virginia. He has led Coast Guard teams during a number of major emergency response operations including those for Tropical Storm Allison; Hurricanes Isabel, Rita, Ike and Sandy; and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  •  Lynda Chin, M.D.

Chair, department of Genomic Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Andersen Cancer Center
Dr. Chin serves on the scientific steering committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.  She has made multiple scientific discoveries spanning the fields of transcription, telomere biology, mouse models of human cancer, oncogenomics and personalized cancer medicine. As a leader in translational genome medicine, she has enlisted new cancer gene discoveries into productive drug discovery efforts. Chin co-founded cancer biotechnology company AVEO Pharmaceuticals in 2002 and, most recently, she founded Metamark Genetics, a cancer diagnostics company.


  • Robert O. Bonow, M.D.

Goldberg Distinguished Professor of Cardiology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation

Dr. Bonow is recognized for his research and teaching in a variety of cardiac diseases, including coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and heart failure. He has authored or co-authored 475 published papers and 108 book chapters. He serves on the editorial boards of 12 medical journals and is one of the four editors of Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. Dr. Bonow is past-President of the American Heart Association, a Master of the American College of Cardiology and a Master of the American College of Physicians.
About Medical World Americas
Medical World Americas will bring together hospital administrators and executives, procurement specialists, physicians, nurses, scientists, pharmacists, research technicians and educators from across the Americas to showcase knowledge and innovation in the medical field. The event is a partnership of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Texas Medical Center, Messe Dusseldorf North America and Houston First. Medical World Americas will offer an opportunity for new products in health care to be introduced in an expo format as well as a multi-track conference program. Event details, educational sessions, participating exhibitors and more information are now available on the event website.

A.J. Mistretta
Senior PR Manager
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau