HEALTH CARE CONGRESS CATCHES GOP WAVE The Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress (GPHCC) hopes to ride the wave of success of the Republican National Convention held in the city this past summer. And keeping the momentum going was Karen Dougherty Buchholz, president of the Philadelphia 2000 Host Committee, and featured speaker at the Congress' most recent event at the Ritz-Carlton in September.

"Everyone is genuinely thrilled with how the GOP went; we're still riding the high," Buchholz says, "and people who are pitching conventions for Philadelphia can point to this success." Nearly 300 members of the GPHCC heard Buchholz's remarks, which included talking about tools created for the GOP Convention that can be used to lure other events to the City of Brotherly Love. Among them: A venue book that showcases more than 1,000 attractions available for convention and meeting events - some with medical relevance, such as the medicinal plant garden at the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians - is now available for all future conventions in the city. "The venue directory is universal," says Buchholz, "because depending on the convention, the cover can be changed to reflect the group, so that it looks like a publication specifically for them."

It may seem unusual to have a nonmedical keynote before an audience of physicians, nurses, and other health care - related folks. But it's all by design, says Tom Muldoon, president of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and founder of GPHCC 12 years ago. "The only thing we don't talk about at these events," he says, "is health care."

About one-third of all conventions held in Philadelphia are medical meetings, he says, so it's only natural to have health care leaders embrace the hospitality industry as part of their public service. Their buy-in is crucial to the continued success of meetings in Philadelphia. Muldoon estimates that the GPHCC is responsible for one-third of the CVB's medical related bookings.

Membership in the congress is at a high of about 580 right now, but a core group of 300 people representing hospitals, medical and nursing schools in the region is solid. The event at the Ritz attracted about 160 people in the health care community, and not just any people. "Most are prominent members of one or more national medical society, and these are the folks who can open doors and influence people," says Muldoon.

- I appreciated seeing Anna's [Anna Chinappi's] piece on needs assessment in the September/October issue [page 25]. There is a small but large correction I would like to make, if possible. Five to six lines from the last part of the article there is a phrase "someone on staff who is responsible for CME." It should read "someone who is responsible for quality management." They are the folks in hospitals who have the data I am talking about.

Don Moore, PhD Manager, Continuing Medical Education The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu