Health IT

HIMSS to set up shop in Cleveland’s former Medical Mart

Conceptual drawing of medical mart and convention center - at least for now

Conceptual drawing of medical mart and convention center – at least for now

In a bid to underscore the importance of interoperability in healthcare systems, and possibly develop its relationship with Cleveland Clinic, HIMSS is taking over the fourth floor of what used to be called the Cleveland Medical Mart, according to an announcement today.

The medical mart is no more — but not because it’s gone the way of the Nashville Medical Mart. Rather, the project is now being called the Global Center for Health Innovation to “more accurately reflect the purpose and mission of the facility,” the announcement said.

HIMSS will use the center to develop simulated patient demographic, clinical and financial data. Healthcare communities will be able to plug into this environment and both test and demonstrate a specific product’s interoperability capabilities, according to the association’s statement.


The group wants to position the center as a worldwide hub for health and health IT testing, exhibitions and consumer products, and highlight the latest breakthroughs in mobile health devices and remote monitoring technology. It will start as a 12,500 square foot space, with plans to double the size of its space by 2016.

“Why Cleveland?” was the first question out of the starting gate during a conference call with reporters. HIMSS CEO Steve Lieber explained, “The logic to us was very clear. This is a place with a natural audience for health innovation.”

Although the size of the adjacent conference center means no one should hold their breath for the annual HIMSS conference to be held in Cleveland anytime soon, Lieber and Executive Vice President Carla Smith said they would make the most of the center’s location near the convention center to host smaller, targeted conferences. These events would focus on IT issues associated with mobile devices, consumer-driven healthcare, and evidence-based care and could include the Cleveland Clinic.

Smith said the value in having a center is to increase collaboration across different healthcare communities to facilitate testing, and this was a response to something its members have been asking for over several years.

For the former medical mart, securing Chicago-based HIMSS as a tenant represents much-needed buy-in from a global powerhouse that’s not already based in Cleveland. Big names like the Cleveland Clinic, GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare have signed on as charter tenants, but a project intended to bring visitors and influential players to Cleveland needs to also bring high-profile tenants to Cleveland.

HIMSS was previously announced as the anchor tenant for Nashville’s version of the medical mart before plans for that facility went awry late last year. The Cleveland facility, the only known “medical mart” project still operating, is set to open in October.

Deanna Pogorelc contributed to this story

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