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Idea Village joins groups giving attention to New Orleans as a health care hub

By Mark Waller | The Times-Picayune

September 29, 2014

Business and civic groups in New Orleans recently have dedicated attention to the idea that the city can become a greater hub for the health care industry. The Bureau of Governmental Research hosted a talk on it last week. The week before that, the New Orleans Business Alliance increased its role in promoting a biomedical corridor in Mid-City.

The Idea Village entrepreneur support network also is looking at the topic with a recent article from its IDEAinsider report. Writer Summer Suleiman talks to Tarun Jolly, founder of the Renaissance RX firm that uses DNA data to guide medical decisions, Peter Ragusa, founder of Better Day Health, a software platform to ease data entry for doctors, and Kris Khalil, who manages the BioFund, which supports startups at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.

Construction of the sprawling hospital complex in Mid-City is among the factors cited for potentially stoking the industry in New Orleans. Echoing economic developers on the topic, Khalil tells the IDEAinsider that developing a qualified workforce is one of the biggest challenges.

Khalil also said in the article that the city would benefit from becoming recognized for a health care specialty: “New Orleans needs to find a healthcare identity. I don’t think you can find that overnight. I think it’s going to be a process.”

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