SPOTLIGHT: Varsha Lafargue, ONE HealthCare Worldwide

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Editor's Note: In a recent exchange with David Vequist of the Center for Medical Tourism Research (CMTR), he suggested I reach out to Varsha Lafargue, founder and director of the Indian Medical Tourism Conference & Alliance (IMTCA), to discuss the conference, but more importantly, their collective effort to create a new model for accreditation. While I was interested in hearing about the IMTCA's inaugural event, I was even more interested in learning why they were pursuing a new accreditation program. I think you'll find the answer as interesting as I did. Medical Travel Today (MTT): Let's start with the IMTCA. When did you

SPOTLIGHT: Roland Conrady, ITB Berlin

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Editor's Note: Attracting 170,000 visitors and 11,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries, ITB Berlin is the leading B2B-Platform in the tourism industry. When I heard they were dedicating a session to medical travel, I decided to reach out to the event's scientific director, Roland Conrady, to learn more. Here's what he had to share. Medical Travel Today (MTT):The ITB Berlin convention has been in place since 2004 and growing dramatically. How long has medical travel been on the agenda? Roland Conrady (RC): This will be the second year. We're always looking for market trends that have the potential for further growth. Last year we landed

Paula Wilson, Joint Commission International

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  Editor's Note: Medical Travel Today last talked to Paula Wilson in 2011, a few weeks after she assumed her role with Joint Commission International (JCI). As she herself stated, "I don't think I even knew where the restrooms were at that point." Since that time she has not only gained her bearings but has helped JCI advance a number of key initiatives, and continues to contribute to a vision for promoting patient safety and quality initiatives amongst all healthcare organizations -- not just those accredited by JCI. We're grateful to her for taking time out of her schedule to share with us a bit

SPOTLIGHT: Mary Wong Lai Lin, Ph.D., Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

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Editor's Note: In our last issue we featured a write-up from Josef Woodman on the first Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2012 held late last year. His enthusiasm for the event and Malaysia as a medical travel destination inspired me to reach out to Dr. Mary Wong at the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and learn more about the organization and its approach to growing the industry in that country.Medical Travel Today (MTT): Let's start with the basics. What differentiates Malaysia from other medical travel destinations in terms of clinical quality?  Dr. Mary Wong (MW): The main point of differentiation is the fact that

SPOTLIGHT: Retired Maj. Gen. James Marks, Chairman, ADVON Healthcare

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Publisher's Note: For those readers who would like to know why General Marks has the nickname “Spider” scroll to the end of the interview and learn from this amusing story!  James “Spider” Marks (JM): The thing that makes Advon so appealing is that it facilitates the requirements among the three healthcare touch points: medical/healthcare facilities, doctors and patients -- providing access to world-class care that wouldn't otherwise be available either locally or elsewhere. Medical Travel Today (MTT): Why is the Advon business model answering a market need? The real issue is that when you discuss medical care, everyone assumes that it is in terms of what is

Bernard Lee, Activ Doctors Online

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Medical Travel Today (MTT): Can you give our readers some background and an overview of Activ Doctors Online? Bernard Lee (BL): At our core, we are a global health partner offering a complete suite of telemedicine solutions designed to empower consumers and providers. Activ Doctors Online (ADO) brings three very important aspects of healthcare delivery together under one umbrella for any patient or entity interested in medical travel, whether it is domestic or international. By providing access to personal health records (PHR), expert second medical opinions (SMOs) - in as fast as 48 hours - and eConsults, ADO solutions patients save money, time and,

SPOTLIGHT: Maria Todd, Ph.D., Mercury Advisory Group

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Editor's Note: A recent and steady stream of press releases from Mercury Advisory Group including news of developing a cancer center in Mexico, plans to build a hospital in Nigeria, and presentations in Peru caught my attention. I decided to give Maria K. Todd, Ph.D., founder and CEO of The Mercury Healthcare Companies, a call and find out what exactly they've been doing to create such a diverse flurry of news. Despite having been up since 3:30 a.m., Maria graciously agreed to fill me in on her latest undertakings and what she thinks the future of medical travel may look like

David Miller, Nueterra Global Alliance

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Medical Travel Today (MTT): I really want to focus on Global Alliance, but begin first by telling me a little bit about it Nueterra. David Miller (DM): For more than 15 years Nueterra has been helping physicians and health systems succeed. Our company is built on the philosophy of physician empowerment, with a unique model ensuring that physicians maintain control through majority ownership in facilities. By partnering with physicians in a mutually beneficial ownership partnering model, Nueterra builds, equips and manages healthcare facilities, which includes hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, endoscopy centers and physical therapy centers. We partner with local physicians in their location

John Conway, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Medical Travel Today (MTT): When we spoke with Steve Bonner last year, he indicated that the average Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) patient travels 514 miles one way to reach you for care.  Is that distance about the same or are you seeing patients from even further afield? John Conway (JC): That number isn't updated regularly but I can tell you this: it's both more and less. I'll explain. In the middle of August this year we opened our fifth full-service hospital in Georgia. As a result, patients in the southeast US now travel significantly less to access our care. We're now two months into operating

Debbie Wafford, Senior Specialist, Southwest Airlines Community Relations and Giving Team

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Editor's Note: In Issue 20 of Medical Travel Today we featured a link to blogsouthwest.com where a grateful mother by the name of Shannon Robertson was singing the praises of Southwest Airlines' Medical Transportation Grant Program. Thanks to the program, Roberston, who lives in Louisiana, hasn't had to worry one day about expenses associated with transporting her daughter to Boston Children's Hospital for ongoing treatments for bladder extrophy. This heart-warming post prompted me to reach out to the good folks at Southwest to learn more about the program. What follows is my conversation with Debbie Wafford, a senior specialist on