Collaborative effort by Cook Group, IU and BioCrossroads brings Medical Technology Leadership Forum to Indy

Indianapolis, December 4, 2008 – Indianapolis will be the new home of one of the premier non-partisan medical technology think tanks in the United States. The Medical Technology Leadership Forum (MTLF) is relocating from Minneapolis to Indy. To celebrate the organization’s new headquarters location, the group is holding one of their three yearly forums in Indianapolis next Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 8 and 9.

The organization was founded in 1996 by a group of medical technology and policy leaders, including former U.S. Senator David F. Durenberger (R-MN), who has led the organization over the last 12 years. The original purpose of the organization was to bring together an influential group of thought leaders – entrepreneurs, physicians, research institutions, health plans, manufacturers, patient organizations and public policy leaders – to promote dialogue and debate about policy issues related to the medical device and medical technology community. The group addresses important topics on the forefront of the industry such as the economics of innovation, evidence-based medicine, combination products, and medical technology regulation and adoption.

Susan Bartlett Foote, Professor at the University of Minnesota, has served as the Director of MTLF along with Chairman of the MTLF Board of Advisors Sen. Durenberger, since its founding. They have spearheaded the leadership of the organization from both Washington D.C. and Minneapolis and are retiring from their leadership roles. In charting the future direction for the organization, the Board of Directors of the MTLF selected Indianapolis as an ideal new location for the group’s headquarters. Current plans call for the MTLF to be housed within the Indiana University/Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation campus at the head of the canal in downtown Indianapolis. The MTLF plans to name a new executive director for the organization following the relocation to Indianapolis in December.

Sen. Durenberger noted, “I have been proud to be associated with the Medical Technology Leadership Forum since 1996. MTLF has tackled many pressing topics of interest to the medical technology community and policy makers over the years. It is gratifying to see the enthusiasm of the Indiana health care leaders who will assume the leadership role in the future.”

As a founding member of the organization, Bloomington-based Cook Group has been instrumental in gathering support to move MTLF’s operations to Indy.

“Since its inception, the MTLF has provided a forum for discussion of public policy issues that face our nation and the medical technology industry. Policy makers who have participated in these discussions have used the concepts, resulting in positive action. The wide representation attending our forums – public interest groups, medical practitioners, industry, universities, and research institutes – generate a broad and informed perspective,” said Steve Ferguson, Chairman of the Board, Cook Group Inc.

“Sen. Durenberger and Professor Foote’s leadership has been pivotal in making the organization very successful, and we will follow their tradition of bringing emerging issues within our industry to light.”
The mission of MTLF is to educate policy makers, other health care leaders, the media and the public about the role of medical technology and the need to sustain technological innovation. Because the industry is ever-changing and is influenced by countless factors, the organization’s forums are important outlets, contributing to public policy on a wide range of issues.

The MTLF’s meeting in Indy next week features a distinguished group of influencers within the health care industry who will lend their views on the FDA and its role in the health care marketplace, including:

  • US Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), Chair of the Senate Medical Technology Caucus
  • Dr. Gail Cassell, V.P. of Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar, Eli Lilly and Company and Chair of the FDA Science Advisory Board, “FDA Science and Mission at Risk” task force
  • Dr. Jane Henney, Professor of Internal Medicine and Public Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati and former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

BioCrossroads, Indiana’s initiative to grow the life sciences, has been coordinating with Cook, Indiana University and the MTLF on the transition of the organization from Minneapolis to Indianapolis.
“Not only is Indiana one of the strongest life sciences regions in the U.S., but our expertise, entrepreneurs and large companies in medical technology – device, orthopedic, diagnostic, and IT – are significant, making Indianapolis an ideal location for this nationally prominent organization,” said David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads. “The MTLF includes an impressive group of U.S.
medical technology companies and health care thought leaders, and it has developed a highly favorable reputation within the policy halls of Washington D.C. and beyond. We’re excited to have the MTLF call Indianapolis its new home.”

“I am delighted that Indiana University was able to partner with Cook and BioCrossroads to attract one of the country’s leading medical technology organizations to Indiana,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. “Having a public policy organization of this stature in Indiana will further enhance our state’s reputation as a national leader in the life and biosciences arena.”