My Blog is down. Was the Med Mart Letter to the Editor too Heavy for it?

Submitted by Gloria Ferris on Fri, 08/17/2007 - 10:44.

I posted the following letter to my blog yesterday per Jim Moran's request if the Plain Dealer had not run it by Thursday.  They didn't, I did.  George Nemeth at Brewed Fresh Daily posted an excerpt and linked to the original post.  Today, my site is down. I can count the number of times my blog has been down in the past year,exactly once. Today.  Thanks to Norm for sharing RealNEO and thanks to George for posting the letter in its entirety. 

Hi Gloria,

I'm in the medical device business and per the following I don't think the Medical Mart is a good idea.  I submitted this to the PD Forum section last Friday but I do not know if it will ever see the light of day. I thought you might have some use for it.

“The Plain Dealer contends that a Medical Mart proposal from
New York validates the concept.  Unless you think Field of Dreams was a documentary the only credible validation is commitments by device manufacturers to exhibit. Here is an evaluation of the Medical Mart concept from a manufacturer’s perspective.

The Medical Mart will have permanent and temporary exhibit space.  The permanent space is supposed to draw shoppers, but medical device customers are used to a higher level of service. Products are brought to them for evaluation, not the other way around.  Institutions like the Cleveland Clinic have an office whose sole purpose is to control the army of vendors who are in its facility on a daily basis. Customers have no incentive to invest time and money in a trip to Cleveland when they see company repsdaily or can pick up the phone in the morning and have four reps in their office that afternoon.

Medtronic claims to have a representative in the operating room every time one of its devices is used.  Often the presence of a rep is required to answer questions about use of instrumentation or to provide assistance ifunusual complications develop. The manufacturer uses this one-on-one customer contact to explain the benefits and advantages of its new products without the distraction of a competitor doing the same thing. Manufacturers have no reason to incur the additional cost of showing their products in a medical device bazaar.

What about large capital equipment? A company plane will fly customers to the manufacturer’s facility for a plant tour, a meeting with technical specialists, product demonstration, and a sales pitch. Large companies like Medtronic also have tractor trailers outfitted with their products so they can take capital equipment on the road. Smith & Nephew has the MOBILAB that can accommodate 24 surgeons and includes a conference room with plasma televisions.

In regard to the temporary space, foot traffic is always an issue on the exhibit floor.  It would be even more of a problem at an off-site location no matter how close. If forced to choose between the main conference center
meeting hall and Medical Mart space, no exhibitor would choose the Medical Mart, nor could they justify the expense of placing an additional exhibit off-site in Medical Mart space.

The potential number of meetings that could be drawn to Cleveland appears grossly inflated.  Downtown Cleveland only has 4,000 hotel rooms. The number of convention attendees alone routinely exceeds that number. Many meetings draw 15,000 to 50,000 attendees and exhibitors.  A primary draw of many conferences is that they are always held in warm locations during winter months.  Some conventions are held in the same city every year. There are reasons certain medical meetings are not being held in Cleveland already, and the presence of a Medical Mart is not going to address any of those reasons.

Treat this like any other business proposal.  What unmet need does this address?  There is already a sales network that presents products to the customer in the customer's own office.  Permanent display space duplicates one of the main draws of the national meetings; a chance to see all of the latest technology in one place. What is the financial benefit?  It actually costs companies money to set up and staff an exhibit that duplicates existing capabilities. What is your competitive advantage?  Minneapolis would be a better location than Cleveland.  They have a larger medical device manufacturing base, the Mayo Clinic, and less snow. How do you protect your position?  There is no way to protect it - any city could duplicate the concept any time they want.

Do not buy into a false sense of urgency; there is no way for Cleveland to lock up a Medical Mart.  Sign a petition to put the sales tax to a vote. Demand details from your elected officials and make an informed decision on Election Day.

Even if Cleveland isn’t destined to be a medical convention Mecca, if the same money were used to make it the cleanest, safest city in America, people might actually move here instead of just visiting to attend conventions.

Jim Moran


( categories: )

International medical mart

International medical mart in China
This has existed for 5 years and is growing.
Do not be foolish there is a medical equipment market and medical conferences are big business.

Its success would be related to management and marketing.  Purchasers in the medical industry do travel, a static site allows for flexible scheduling.  If it is so bad of an idea then why is the one in china growing, if there is potential then what is MD publishing doing?  The reason we do not have bigger piece of this market is we are not attempting to take some of it. 


I like the idea and I will vote for the tax.  What advantage do we have, right now, it is an available funding, oh quick Cleveland stop that, if we are not careful we could get something out of this, then what would we have to complain about?    


Why are our taxes so high?  Could it be poor people?  Is the operating budget of the county disproportionate to other counties? 


I will tell you this if you want change then go about as if you really want change, define the change functionally, what and how, define it in great detail and then take it to Columbus because that is were the regional government is legally defined.  It can be redefined and if the alternative demonstrates a more efficient and intelligent design it can and would get consideration.   


Ohio is a tax recipient state we get more than we pay, 2% overall.  Cuyahoga is a big recipient county we get huge amount of social welfare money, stop making the poor look so poor.   In fact all the jobs that support convention business are a notch up from poverty, the bellman, the house keeper are glad to work, stop pretending you are in their shoes you are not.  


I acknowledge the county fucked up when they purchased the AT, it a separate issue, you seem to be stuck on that residual effect of that. 


Clevelander are way to critical, most people moved away because they get sick of it, slow down our stop, this project needs to move ahead. 


We need a regional government; look at summit county regional county government can have alternative forms.   


We could have five regions, within those 10 districts.  We are comprised of 50 zip codes each could have a council representative a council of 50.   One tax rate for everyone, one system for the entire region, each section addressed for it strength and weaknesses.


How about functional divisions that reflect those of the departments of the federal government, then force all federal spending through those, getting control of the spending would be the agenda.   We have different people do the same thing in different places with different funds, it no that they do not work together at time they actually are at total odds with each other. 


50 districts, 5 regions a centralized process.  If you want change then define a new system that breaks up the political network, define a process based on functional roles, with descriptive statistics tracked through the same process real time.


  1. State approval of the change
  2. A county vote to make the change

Now that’s a petition I would sign.    

Shop until you drop

Just a reminder--that Medical Mart tax goes into effect on October 1st, so Cuyahoga County--shop until you drop--before October 1st.

good one Laura!

This is Susan blogging from Jeff's computer (replete with our musician and actor friends). I love this post. You go girl!

PD's Joan still in denial

Thanks for the link, Laura. I see Joan Mazzola is still oiling the skids with bad information about this thing she calls the Medical Mart tax; her representation of the nature of this tax is about as accurate as my spelling of her name--close, gives the impression, sort of, but totally off the mark in the final analysis. I still see the tax as going totally into the general fund, with no earmarking, no controls, no curbing of discretion.

I'd say what Joan's doing with the blessing of the PD editorial team is misrepresentation, and inaccuracy. When does it become the wilful and wanton perpetration of fraud? Enquiring minds need to know.

We'll be shopping a bit in Cuyahoga this year, because we have friends in retail, and we must support them until they can make alternative arrangements to cope with falling volume, if that happens.