The U.S. health care industry may be in crisis, but local business leaders aim to make the Tampa Bay area the epicenter of a global health care revolution.
Where many consumers and providers are agonizing over the tsunami of change that recent health care reforms will bring to the industry, others see an unprecedented opportunity for positive transformation.
"There is not a single community in this country that has planted the flag and said, 'We are going to be the center -- or one of the centers -- of this change,'" says Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development
Homans is the force behind "MediFuture 2023, Healthcare Disrupted," a confab of forward-thinking stakeholders who will gather for the first time on Monday to envision what the future of health care should look like, and to begin shaping the transformation.
Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health
and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, sums up the process with a quote from Buckminster Fuller: "To transform something, make a new model that makes the old one obsolete."
The new model will be shaped to deliver higher levels of care and more access at lower cost. MediFuture
participants believe the Tampa Bay region, with its strong foundation of medical providers and researchers, as well as clusters of tech, IT and medical device manufacturing, is uniquely poised to lead the charge into the future of health care.
Organizers have lined up a roster of national movers and regional shakers to explore the institutional, technical and inspirational aspects of revolutionizing the health care landscape.
"The Innovator's Dilemma''
The keynote speaker for the inaugural event is Clayton Christensen, Harvard business school professor, bestselling author and one of world's top management thinkers who can claim Steve Jobs, George Gilder and Andy Grove among the Silicon Valley disciples who embraced his book, "The Innovator's Dilemma."
Christensen's theory of "disruptive innovation," which encourages technologies and business models that may threaten the status quo, can be applied to many industries. But he has been promoting it as a means to raise the quality of health care for the better part of a decade.
Homans says it's an idea whose time has come. "There's just been so much debate and acrimony about health care and Obamacare that it's hard for most people to understand the level of change that is about to occur, and how that could become a huge economic opportunity for Tampa Bay."
The first panel discussion will include Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty and BayCare Health System president and CEO Stephen Mason, who will discuss their approach to surviving and thriving in a disruptive environment.
Klasko, Leonard Polizzotto, vice president of Draper Laboratory and Bill Dalton, CEO of M2Gen, will participate in a second panel that focuses on how research and development play a key role in shaping the technologies of the future.
Dalton, former CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center, believes as many others do, that personalized medicine is the wave of the future, and that "precision medicine" assisted by bio-information -- a homegrown concept that M2Gen has already exported on a large scale -- has already arrived in Tampa Bay.
That kind of entrepreneurial spirit is the key to marshaling the Tampa Bay region's burgeoning resources in medical, technical and educational startups and incubators, says Homans, who would like to parlay Monday's conference into "the Paris Air Show" of health care innovation.
"We need to grab the market space," he says. "We need to define what this new industry is and plant the flag."
Event Details And Link
The inaugural MediFuture 2023
When: May 13, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
Where: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina
Cost: $95 per person (includes keynote presentation and all MediFuture 2023 events, plus continental breakfast, snacks and lunch)
Jan Hollingsworth is a Valrico-based freelance writer working from a restored Victorian parsonage built in the mid-1880s for a Methodist circuit rider. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.