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World Healthcare Congress “Best Of” Awards

by JMcCabeGorman

Tomorrow is the last day of World Healthcare Congress. As Jay Parkinson mentioned in an earlier blog entry, we’ve all heard the term ‘consumer-centric’ dropped enough times that if it had any weight, the combined usage would plug the hole in the ozone.

In honor of the almost-conclusion of WHCC ‘08, I’d like to hereby present a few “best of” awards.

First, an always competitive category, puffed by plush marketing budgets the world over - the “Best Swag” award.

This year’s field was impressive, but one offering truly blew the pants (quite literally) off the competition.

The 2008 Winner of WHCC Best Swag Award goes to….Erickson Retirement, for its Calendar Girls remake entitled “Ladies of Greenspring 2008.” This baby is going right up on the wall the minute I hop off the plane. One word of advice for the Erickson folks - please add a ‘viewer discretion advised’ tag - the photo with the yorkies pushes the bounds of elder-risque art.

In the “Best Booth” category, one entry stood head-and-shoulders above the rest (again, speaking figuratively). Size really does matter in this competition folks. This year’s 2008 Winner of WHCC Best Booth award goes to Healthways, who, despite having stylized cupped hands logo that looks strangely like a radioactive symbol, took the green theme to new heights.

Their booth, which welcomed visitors with artificial turf-like carpeting, Arbor Foundation seedlings in tubes (not sure if they’re real), towering kitelike fabric installations, and the tagline “Grow Stronger Every Day” took the greening of healthcare to a whole new level. Congrats Healthways - I hope you’re recycling onsite.

One final award to close out the show - everyone’s favorite - the WHCC Freudian Slip Award. This year’s prize was a probably unintended transposition offered during the first session of the morning (insert your own pun about early risers here).

One of our esteemed panelists (name not released to protect the innocent) inadvertently (we think) called “MySpace” “MyFace.” Priceless, and a perfect transition as it eased us right into the conversation about how consumers believe it’s really “all about me. No, me - no…”.

You get the idea. Consumerism, individualism in medicine, niche approaches, microsegmentation, personalized healthcare, prima facie genetics testing, and many other ways to say “the customer is always right, except in healthcare” - coming soon to a blog near you.

Again, a hearty congratulations to this year’s winners. If you’d like to suggest a category for next year’s WHCC “Best Of” Awards, leave a comment - and to all those competitors waiting with bated breath, better luck next year - we look forward to your best efforts, and until 2009, be well.