Spotlight In Health: Metro Atlanta Chamber

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KORNELIUS BANKSTON
DIRECTOR, BIOSCIENCE ECOSYSTEM EXPANSION
METRO ATLANTA CHAMBER

The Metro Atlanta Chamber’s bioscience mission is to retain, recruit and grow companies that comprise the bioscience sector, which includes, but is not limited to: medical device, pharmaceutical, biotech and health IT.

What kind of partnerships is Metro Atlanta Chamber working on?
The Metro Atlanta Chamber is actively engaged in many partnerships to advance the mission of shining the light on Atlanta’s bioscience community. MAC partners with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) to promote Georgia and the metro Atlanta region as a vibrant and growing health IT community at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference. This year, Georgia is the only state with an exhibitor booth, which is comprised of 12 Georgia companies and organizations. The booth will feature a speaker series of Georgia thought leaders from across the state’s health IT industry.

What can we do more of as a community in order to advance health?
As the U.S. continues to move toward value-based care, I think it’s important to encourage innovation that solves problems, such as easing prescription compliance, securing healthcare data exchange and providing an openness for collaboration across the innovation ecosystem.

What kind of collaborative opportunities is the Metro Atlanta Chamber looking for?
MAC is always open to learn about creative and proactive ways to advance its efforts to showcase the metro Atlanta region as a place that has a vibrant and talent rich bioscience ecosystem. I am very willing to have an open dialogue of ways we can continue to shine the light on Atlanta’s bioscience community.

Last year, an article was published on how Atlanta competes with Silicon Valley, what are your thoughts on this?
Personally, I agree with all of the points in the article. Atlanta is a community with a very impressive list of Fortune 500 headquartered companies, the cost of living here is very affordable compared to Silicon Valley, and not mentioned in the article is the Hartsfield Jackson International airport which provides entrepreneurs and venture capitalists travel options with nonstop domestic and international flights.

I also know Atlanta to be the Center of Global Health where renown organizations like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The Taskforce for Global Health, CARE, The Carter Center are all headquartered in Atlanta. It’s important to note that these organizations provide a unique opportunity for the Atlanta entrepreneurial community to lead the way in healthcare innovation. Atlanta has renowned organizations and leaders that are at the forefront of providing innovative healthcare solutions to the world. I do believe Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and technologists will continue to seek active engagement with Atlanta’s global organizations. Atlanta is a very special place that provides the tools, talent, and creativity to disrupt the status quo in healthcare innovation.

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