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Volunteer Leaders Steer PHL Life Sciences to Success

Philadelphia’s reputation as a world-class destination for life sciences meetings continues to grow. In 2016 all meetings and conventions held in the city generated close to a $1 billion economic impact. More than half of those events were life sciences related — 247 meetings and conventions to be exact — generating $295 million impact for the region’s economy.

Key to this success is the committed leadership, good counsel, persistent advocacy and unabashed pride and enthusiasm for all things Philadelphia of three extraordinary life science leaders: Dr. Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); Christopher Yochim, chairman of the board of Delaware Bioscience Association; and Dr. Barbara Wadsworth, senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Main Line Health System.

In 2016, Foti and Yochim were named co-chairs of the PHL Life Sciences Advisory Board and Wadsworth was appointed chair of the PHL Life Sciences Nursing Leadership Committee. Together, the advisory groups comprise more than 80 leaders in the life sciences, with expertise in medicine and health care, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, higher education, scientific research, technology transfer and venture capital investing.

Acting as ambassadors and reaching out through their professional networks, Advisory Board and Nursing Leadership Committee members position PHL Life Sciences as a valuable resource for the life sciences meetings industry and help bring these meetings and conventions to Philadelphia.

“My role is to help make Philadelphia the premier destination city in the country for life sciences, cancer research and scientific and technological innovation,” Foti said. “Our city has extraordinary resources and is rich with experts in the life sciences. As a city, it not only offers spectacular venues to host a meeting, but also an outstanding convention with a wealth of regional experts available to enhance the convention experience.”

In 2016, Foti was recognized with the PHL Life Sciences Ultimate Solution Award for her leadership in raising Philadelphia’s profile as a life sciences destination.

“We engage nurse leaders to support PHLCVB , and to act as advisors to brainstorm ways to get nursing and biosciences conferences to come to Philadelphia,” Wadsworth said. “We serve as a sounding board. We are there to build bridges, be partners, be their ‘phone-a-friend’. Most importantly, we open doors. Through our connections we can provide access to help them source new groups that haven’t been in Philadelphia before.”

Consider the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) annual meeting. Wadsworth recently served as an affiliate for AONE while also serving as president of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders in 2016. She is now partnering with PHL Life Sciences to leverage those connections and bring AONE to Philadelphia.

“The strength and value of the advisory boards is in the diversity they represent across the life sciences spectrum and in their vast professional networks and board appointments,” said Yochim. “Board members are in a position to influence where organizations hold their meetings. We all engage in quiet influencing.”

Foti, Yochim, Wadsworth and their board and committee members serve a more valuable role than simply generating revenue for the city’s hospitality industry. Bringing these meetings to Philadelphia strengthens the region’s life sciences economy as a whole, growing it through knowledge-sharing, networking, professional development opportunities and exposure to venture capital.

As an example, the life sciences industry’s premier meeting has been held in Philadelphia three times in recent years and is booked to return in 2019.

“At BIO, it’s all about the interaction and the opportunity to collaborate,” Yochim said. “Researchers meet potential partners and investors, and deals get done. Conventions are not vacations. They are serious business.”

As leaders driving the growth and success of the region’s life sciences sector, Foti, Yochim and Wadsworth embody Philadelphia’s rich heritage of discovery and innovation and guide the industry toward future success. Learn more about these visionary PHL Life Sciences leaders by clicking here or scrolling to the end of this page.





Philadelphia skyline

Philadelphia: Top 5 for Life Sciences

Philadelphia now ranks fifth in the nation as a hub for life sciences, according to the latest Life Sciences Outlook report from professional services and real estate investment management firm JLL.

The region’s diverse ecosystem of pharmaceutical firms and startups in collaboration with elite academic research institutions, its growing “eds and meds” workforce, ongoing lab space expansion and increased access to venture capital helped boost Philadelphia from the seventh to the fifth spot this year. Boston, San Francisco, San Diego and Raleigh-Durham hold the top four spots. Click to read more.





CPHI convention

Pharma Trade Show Generates $5 Million for Philadelphia

In May, Philadelphia welcomed more than 7,500 members of the pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals supply chain to UBM’s CPhI North America and InformEx 2017 for a three-day trade show that delivered $5 million in economic impact for the Greater Philadelphia region. PHL Life Sciences looks forward to welcoming the event back to the city in 2018. See this article for more information.





Life Sciences Future logo

Life Sciences PA Looks to the Future

Mark your calendar and register now for Life Sciences Future, the annual conference for the Mid-Atlantic regional life sciences community.

Hosted by Life Sciences Pennsylvania and with an agenda driven by its members, the event draws pharma, biotech, medical device and diagnostics, health care IT, contract research organizations, academic research institutions and investors for thought-provoking discussions about the rapidly evolving life sciences landscape. Life Sciences Future will be held September 18–19, 2017, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. For more information and to register, visit Life Sciences Future.



NMA logo

National Medical Association Comes to Town

From July 29 to Aug. 2, the National Medical Association — the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States — convened in Philadelphia.

Acclaimed as the nation’s foremost forum on medical science and African American health, the theme for this year’s event, “Empowering African American Healthcare: One Community at a Time,” invited attendees to intensify efforts to develop a cadre of grassroots advocacy leaders. Also addressed were how changes to the health care landscape will affect the organization, profession and patients. Check out coverage of the conference in The Philadelphia Sunday Sun.




Muldoon announcement

Tom Muldoon Inducted into Hall of Fame

Former PHLCVB President Tom Muldoon was inducted into the Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International) Hall of Fame in recognition of his leadership in destination marketing and significant contributions to the meetings and conventions industry.

Muldoon was honored along with nine other industry leaders at the Destinations International Annual Convention held last month in Montreal. Muldoon served 25 years as president of the PHLCVB, where he was instrumental in supporting the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, a turning point in Philadelphia’s transformation into a major meetings and conventions destination. He also launched PHL Life Sciences’ predecessor, the Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress; the Philadelphia Sports Congress (now PHL Sports) and the Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress (PHL Diversity).

Congratulations, Tom! Read more here.







Upcoming Life Sciences Meetings in Philadelphia







In The News

















Margaret Foti, PhD, MD, (hc)

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), is the chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the first and largest cancer research organization in the world. Under her visionary leadership, membership has grown from about 3,000 members to 37,000 in 108 countries and the AACR’s portfolio of peer-reviewed scientific journals has increased from one to eight.

Foti progressed through several key management roles in scientific publishing to become chief executive officer. She joined the AACR as an editorial assistant for Cancer Research and was rapidly promoted to become the youngest managing editor of a major scientific journal in the country. Foti has since launched seven major peer-reviewed scientific journals: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Prevention Research; Cancer Discovery; and Cancer Immunology Research. She also helped launch Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors, and their families and caregivers.

A graduate of Temple University, Foti has been one of the most influential voices in advancing the field of cancer research, both in the United States and abroad. She was elected president of three professional societies in scholarly publishing and in cancer research. She has also served as a board member, committee member, and consultant to many nonprofit organizations.

Foti’s contributions have been widely recognized by numerous awards from organizations around the world. Her lengthy list of formal recognitions includes honorary degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Rome La Sapienza and the University of Catania in Sicily, and an honorary degree in medicine from the University CEU of San Pablo in Madrid. Most recently, she was recognized with the Ovarcome Excellence 2016 Award, the 2016 James Ewing Layperson’s Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology, as a 2015 honoree of “the one hundred” by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and received the 2015 Children’s Champion Award from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the 2014 Ellen V. Sigal Advocacy Leadership Award from Friends of Cancer Research, the 2014 Morton M. Kligerman Visiting Professorship Award from the University of Pennsylvania, the 2013 Stanley P. Reimann Honor Award from Fox Chase Cancer Center, and the 2013 Distinguished Partner in Hope Award during the Annual Colorectal Cancer Conference hosted by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.








Christopher Yochim

Chris Yochim is a leader in the greater Philadelphia life science community, recognized for promoting industry and academic collaborations to drive innovative science toward commercialization for the benefit of patients.

Capping a 35-year career leading global external relations activities for ICI/Zeneca and AstraZeneca, Yochim retired in 2015. An expert in technology transfer with expertise in negotiating strategic alliances, licences and academic/industry partnerships, he firmly established AstraZeneca as a preferred partner within the biotechnology sector, venture capital and academic communities.

Yochim currently serves as head of business development for the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biologicals (NIIMBL), in The Biotech Institute at the University of Delaware. He is a strategic advisor to Hoya, a global medical device company specializing in life care optics, and is a member of the business development committee of Advamed.

A founding member and chair of the board of the Delaware Bioscience Association, Yochim served on the executive committee of the board of trustees of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). An active volunteer leader for AUTM, serving as vice president for the eastern US region and leading the sponsorship committee, he was honored as the first life science industry recipient of the AUTM President’s Award. Yochim also serves on the board of Kibow biotech, a commercial-stage probiotic nutraceutical company promoting kidney health, and has served on the boards of Life Sciences Pennsylvania (formerly Pennsylvania BIO) and The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.

A graduate of Loyola University and Millsaps College, Chris owns Easy Rider Stable, a gentleman’s horse farm in Chester County, PA, where he breeds standard bred racehorses and Dutch warm blood show horses.










Barbara Wadsworth, DNP, RN, FAAN

Barbara Wadsworth is senior vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer (CNO) of Main Line Health (MLH). She vibrantly leads almost 3,000 nurses across Main Line Health and is responsible for the leadership of all areas of patient care services throughout the health system. She is currently overseeing a major performance excellence initiative across the System, and others focused on patient satisfaction and the superior patient experience, embedding the culture of safety at Main Line Health, and advancing care coordination to population health to meet the needs of patients into the future.

Under Wadsworth’s dynamic leadership, Main Line Health made history when the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) announced it was one of only 22 health systems in the nation to achieve Magnet® status. With this long-awaited and hard-earned designation, MLH became the only health system in the nation to bring on two initially designating entities (Riddle Hospital and Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital) and a HomeCare & Hospice division, along with three re-designating hospitals (Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital and Paoli Hospital). Likewise, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital became the fourth acute freestanding rehabilitation facility in the country, and the only on the East Coast, to earn Magnet designation. Wadsworth earned a BS in Nursing from Russell Sage College, an MS in Nursing Adminstration from Old Dominion University, an MBA from LaSalle University, and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, Health Systems Leadership, from Vanderbilt University in 2014. She also became certified as a Nurse Executive, Advanced; a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing; and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a 2009 Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, was inducted as a Fellow into the National Academies of Practice in March of 2017 and recently completed the national Baldrige Executive Fellowship. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, PA State Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Wadsworth serves on several boards, including serving as President of the Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania, immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders, and member of the Immaculata University MSN Advisory Board. She serves on the Gift of Life Board of Governor’s after serving six years on the Medical Advisory & Policy Board, and is Chair of the PHL Convention & Visitors Center Board Nursing Leadership Committee and the Montgomery County Board of Health for a second term. She was appointed to the Hospital & Health system Association of PA Board in 2017 and was appointed by HAP to become the nurse leader representative on the Pennsylvania Action Coalition. Wadsworth has also served on the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Board in 2014 and its Executive Leadership Team in 2015.

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