Health technology conference to focus on growing industry in Westchester

By Aleesia Forni

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Business leaders, researchers, investors and academicians will discuss Westchester’s surging health care, health technology and biotechnology sectors at The Westchester County Association’s Health Tech ’16.

The conference, titled “Fueling Innovation in Westchester,” will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown. The daylong conference will identify the latest emerging trends and new ideas in the health care sector, along with focusing on the research and discoveries unfolding across the industry.

“The WCA’s Health Tech conferences have attracted the best and the brightest minds in the region because health care and life sciences is a $15 billion-plus industry and a major economic engine in Westchester County,” said William M. Mooney Jr., president and CEO of the WCA.

Mooney said that Westchester County has “become a major hub for health care, health tech and biotech innovation, and that is creating opportunities for everyone who does business in Westchester.”

The growth of the sector in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley has spawned a new digital economy, according to William V. Cuddy Jr., executive vice president at CBRE in Stamford and chairman of the WCA’s Blueprint for Smart Growth initiative, which is working to build an infrastructure that will spur and support Westchester’s innovation economy.

The conference will feature a luncheon keynote speech from Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, formerly known as North Shore-LIJ Health System. He led the Long Island-based hospital system’s acquisition of two Westchester hospitals, Phelps Memorial in Sleepy Hollow and Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, in the last two years.

Dowling said his speech, titled “Think Differently: Writing a New Prescription for Healthcare,” will focus on the importance of health care organizations making partnerships with companies outside of their industry. These partnerships, he said, allow professionals in the health care field to “promote and help people stay healthy, rather than only dealing with illness.”
“We have to be in the health business and not just only in the medical care business,” he said.

Dowling said the topics discussed at Health Tech ‘16 are important because professionals in the health care sector need to commit to creating a new and different future. They “have to decide what direction they want to be moving in, because they have to realize the biggest competition businesses have is the status quo,” he said.

Westchester is an “ideal place” to discuss the growth of the health technology sectors, Dowling said, because it is home to a number of business leaders in the industry. He added that these conferences can be not only stimulating, but also educational, giving attendees new ideas they may not have discovered otherwise.

The morning keynoter speaker at Health Tech ‘16 is Tom Coburn, a former U.S. senator from Oklahoma, adviser to the Manhattan Institute’s Project FDA and a three-time cancer survivor. Coburn will explain four ways the nation can usher in a new Golden Age of medicine in his presentation, “Race Against Time: Why We Need a National Health Innovation Strategy.” 

Conference attendees will hear from strategists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, IBM Healthcare, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence, WMCHealth, Burke Medical Research Institute, Addicaid and GNS Healthcare.

The conference will also include the WCA Innovation Panel and Pitch Contest, where entrepreneurs will seek advice and pitch new products and services to panelists. This year’s panel features representatives from Dreamit Health, BioLabs New York, Blueprint Health, and NewYork-Presbyterian Innovation Center. Representatives from Westmed Medical Group and Northwell Ventures will join the panel to judge the pitch contest.

Registration fees for the full conference are $275 for WCA members and young professionals and $325 for nonmembers. Fees to attend the healthcare innovation panel and pitch contest only are $75 for members and $100 for nonmembers.

For additional information and to register online, visit healthtechwca.com. Inquiries can also be made by contacting Lauren Randall at lrandall@westchester.org or 914-948-6444.

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About the author

Aleesia Forni
Aleesia Forni covers transportation, tourism, nonprofits and residential real estate for the Westchester County Business Journal. She previously worked as a financial reporter for the online newsletter Prospect News. She started with the Westchester County Business Journal in April 2016.

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