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Permanent International Healthcare Marketplace and Education Center Set to Open in New York City in 2013
Date:11/20/2008

World Product Centre Finalizes Construction Plan and Begins Marketing; John Strong, Former President of the National Healthcare Purchasing Group, Consorta, Inc., to Lead Sales and Marketing Efforts

NEW YORK, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's first permanent international healthcare marketplace and education center will open in less than five years, the key players driving the project said today, as plans for the Midtown Manhattan tower have been finalized and marketing has begun. World Product Centre, as the project is known, has signed an agreement with Extell Development Company, a nationally acclaimed real estate developer, and formed a joint marketing company with GNYHA Ventures, a leading healthcare business services company owned by the Greater New York Hospital Association. The joint marketing company also announced that it has tapped John Strong, former president and chief executive officer of the $4.8 billion group purchasing organization, Consorta, Inc. as its top executive. "We are moving forward with this exciting endeavor," said Israel Green, president and visionary of World Product Centre.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081120/NY47744 )

A custom-built 60-story, 1.5 million square-foot tower at 555 W 33rd Street, World Product Centre (WPC) will serve the unique commercial and educational needs of healthcare suppliers and providers. Participating companies will represent key segments of the global healthcare industry, including medical devices, diagnostics, technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. Current estimates of global sales in medical devices alone stand at $336 billion.

"World Product Centre is a direct response to the evolving needs of the healthcare marketplace," said Lee H. Perlman, president of GNYHA Ventures, Inc. and a healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. "With ever-growing pressures on hospitals, long term care facilities, and other healthcare organizations to cut costs and increase quality, providers wrestle daily with how to stay current with innovation and make well-informed purchasing decisions. Moreover, the ethical climate governing healthcare and other industries make past practices such as supplier-sponsored trips unacceptable," said Mr. Perlman. "Among its numerous other benefits, WPC solves these challenges. It offers a new, convenient, cost-effective, and transparent environment for bringing purchasers and sellers together to transact business." Mr. Perlman added that 40% of all teaching hospitals in the United States are located within a half-day drive of New York City.

"World Product Centre is the most unique, exciting, and groundbreaking project in my 35 years in the healthcare business," said John Strong, who took over as President of World Product Centre Marketing on October 1st. "It will offer the industry a dynamic commercial environment for partnership and collaboration as well as resources to enhance education. This is a new concept; there is nothing like it." In leading the marketing and sales effort, Mr. Strong will be aided principally by five well-known healthcare executives: Anthony Alibrio, former President of Sodexo Marriott's Health Care Division; Diane Appleyard, industry veteran and President of Core Consulting, Inc; Fred Brown, former President and Chief Executive Officer of BJC Healthcare in St. Louis; Chuck Lauer, former Publisher of Modern Healthcare; and Alan Weinstein, founder and former President of Premier, Inc.

World Product Centre will be equipped with the latest business, communication and education resources to support healthcare commerce. "The idea of a permanent showcase and education center for healthcare is an idea whose time has definitely come," said Lloyd Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Healthcare West, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. "I look forward to the completion of World Product Centre where education and product evaluation can occur side by side in a transparent environment." Catholic Healthcare West is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California. World Product Centrefacilities will include state-of-the-art permanent showrooms, conference and educational facilities, media centers and traditional office space. The building will also feature a Consumer Health Pavilion open to the general public, including students, tourists and other healthcare consumers. The Pavilion will offer guided tours, interactive forums, and a wealth of information supporting health literacy, prevention and wellness, and those considering careers in healthcare. Hewlett Packard (HP), the world's largest technology company, is designing a vendor-neutral technology infrastructure that will, as Tom Tillar, HP Principal for WPC, describes, "support one of the smartest and technologically advanced buildings ever developed."

Current plans call for over 120,000 square feet of education and conference space that includes a two-story, 499-seat, fully digitized auditorium. Medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare associations, and WPC itself will offer events of all kinds, including accredited professional and medical education courses. "World Product Centre's role in bringing together the provider community and device makers is a real step forward for the productivity and education of physicians and hospital leaders," says James Foy, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. John's Riverside Hospital in Westchester, NY and Chairman of the Board of Governors, Greater New York Hospital Association. "For healthcare vendors, World Product Centre will shorten selling time and sales costs because it is designed to attract motivated buyers and key decision makers."

Few medical suppliers, including the vast majority of leading publicly traded healthcare companies, currently maintain a permanent presence in New York City. "World Product Centre will greatly complement New York City's ongoing bioscience initiatives as we expand into new sectors and support major growth industries including international healthcare and commercial bioscience," said New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber. "WPC will provide companies with a unique opportunity to showcase and conduct business in one of the most important healthcare markets in the world."

"Located in Midtown Manhattan on 34th Street and 11th Avenue, WPC is ideally situated from the perspective of both healthcare providers and suppliers," said Gary Barnett, CEO of Extell Development Company, whose projects have included the award-winning redevelopment of the Insurance Exchange Building in downtown Chicago; The Belnord, a landmark, trophy residential building in New York City; the W Hotel in Times Square; and the luxury InterContinental Hotel overlooking Boston Harbor. "New York City is a global capital, accustomed to hosting domestic and international visitors, all of which will be supported by this highly advantageous site. The location provides convenient access to the City's public transportation system and all that New York City has to offer." Forty million unique visitors are expected in New York City annually across the next decade.

Companies that participate in WPC will receive permanent showrooms and exclusive access to all of the resources and amenities. For further information, contact World Product Centre Marketing at info@worldproductcentre.com or (212) 506-5520.

Website: www.worldproductcentre.com


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