HIGPA International Expo

By Curtis Rooney

Although you may never spend the night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) can take you all the way to the JW Marriott at 1313 Pennsylvania Ave., site of the 2011 HIGPA International Expo. Running from October 12-14, this year’s Expo promises to have something for everyone, whether you are a first-time attendee or an “old timer” back for more of what you have come to trust – a good, clean trade show where business gets done.

This year’s Expo also guarantees a surprise that promises to change the face of the industry forever!

First time attendees are invited and encouraged to attend the First-Time-Attendee Welcome & Orientation, during which they will be “shown the ropes” by four veterans of the show:

  • Dennis Daar, Medical Strategies International
  • Connie Pettijohn, Smiths Medical
  • Kerry Price, Amerinet
  • Linea Wilson, Child Health Corporation of America

Past first-time attendees highly recommend this session to anyone who wants to learn more about the program, meet helpful people and feel truly welcomed. Keynote speaker and BBC television journalist Katty Kay highlights the international component of the meeting. Ms. Kay has covered sex- and phone-hacking scandals, three Presidential elections as well as wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Her address will include her perspective on America from her position as Washington correspondent for the BBC’s World News America, viewed every week day in the United States and around the world.

In addition, satirist P.J. O’Rourke will discuss his piece, “If You Think Health Care Is Expensive Now, Wait Until You See What it Costs When It’s Free.” O’Rourke will cover current events and explain what he means when he states, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” He promises to both inform and entertain as only he can.

Educational sessions will focus on the current state of the industry and the impact of recent healthcare legislation. The general session, “The State of the Industry: Perspectives from GPO Executives,” will include the following key panelists:

  • Mike Alkire, chief operating officer, Premier Healthcare Alliance
  • Rand Ballard, MBA, office of the chief executive, senior vice president, COO and chief customer officer, MedAssets
  • Todd Ebert, president and CEO, Amerinet
  • Jody Hatcher, president and CEO, Novation
  • Lee Perlman, president, GNYHA Ventures Inc.

Time is also scheduled for attendees to connect with high-profile GPO executives and expand their network during events such as the GPO Executive Networking Lunch and Breakfast, Chairman’s Welcome Reception, and the Reverse Tradeshow. And because it’s Washington, we’ll explore recent developments on Capitol Hill with a special general session, “Washington: An Insider’s Look,” featuring commentary from major lobbyists. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., who currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is vice chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, will also provide his insight.

For more information about the show and to learn more about the “big surprise,” go to www.higpa.org.
Curtis Rooney is president of the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association, www.higpa.org.