The health care and biomedical industry is the largest employer in metro San Antonio, and now the industry will attempt to leverage its considerable resources to get stronger and to make sure its successes are known around the world, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
BioMed SA, the umbrella group for the city's hospitals, health care professionals, and medical research firms, is unveiling a long range plan for growing the industry locally, largely by working together to encourage the development of industries and employers associated with some of the city's key health care specialties.
"It is focused strictly on diabetes and infectious diseases," BioMed SA President Ann Stevens said.
She says four additional local specialties will also become the focus for growth, but those two will take the lead, largely because of the many centers already doing cutting edge research in those areas.
Stevens says since a critical mass of professionals, physicians, and researchers exists in those two areas in San Antonio, there is no reason for local medical groups not to work together to attract new medical practices and private firms ranging from researchers to drug development companies, to take advantage of that and locate operations here.
Health Care and biomedicine is seen as an area of economic growth for many reasons. It generally employs people with advanced degrees at high salaries; the industry is well regarded; and as Baby Boomers age, the demand for the industry's products is expected to continue to grow.
Healthcare and Biomedicine already employs one in every six people in metro San Antonio, more than 170,000 professionals.
And Stevens says that should lead to more recognition of the services and world changing medical operations being done here, and that will be another goal of BioMed SA's new initiatives.
"Its a huge, massive enterprise, and yet really we are not really that well know around the nation and the world," she said.
Cities like Cleveland, Rochester Minnesota, Houston, and Boston have built global reputations which are easily translated into economic development through their wold-class medical treatment and research facilities, and Stevens says there is no reason San Antonio shouldn't do the same.
Stevens says the long range plan of BioMed SA to increase the visibility of the city's medical industry and to leverage existing assets to encourage relocations and start-ups, will evolve through the first half of 2018, with the cooperation of the organization's stakeholders.