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  • September 22 2011

    CHC 2011: Getting to know Kansas City

    Kansas City is gearing up for thousands of health care professionals to descend on the city for the Cerner Health Conference. For those coming to Kansas City for the first time, I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to our city. For those conference veterans, I'm willing to bet that you'll learn something new about the city as well.

    First, let's talk health care. After all, you're all coming to Kansas City to experience the possible in health care. Kansas City boasts an emerging health economy, driven by premiere health care organizations like Truman Medical Center, North Kansas City Hospital, Children's Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke's Health System and HCA Midwest Health System, and by world class research organizations like the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. In fact, public and private research spending in Kansas City exceeds $1.8 billion.

    And, we were excited to hear that the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce recently announced its support for the establishment of The Kansas City Regional Translational Research Institute as part of its ‘Big 5' ideas program.

    Traditionally, however, Kansas City is known for three things: jazz, fountains and barbecue.

    Jazz is, without question, KC's signature sound. During the roaring '20s through the early ‘40s, jazz reigned in Kansas City, with jazz legends like Charlie Parker (a KC native), Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington playing gigs in what is now the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.

    Kansas City's love affair with fountains began with a rather practical purpose. The city's first fountains were built by the Humane Society as water troughs for horses in the late 1800s, and they have since grown into cherished works of public art. So it's no surprise why this Midwestern metropolis has earned its bubbly nickname, the City of Fountains.

    When you're hungry, you can't go wrong with Kansas City barbecue. In fact, it's practically a rite of passage for our visitors (and a symbolic one at that). As the Heartland of America, nearly everything here is a melding of ideas, concepts and thoughts pulled from other regions and improved with a Kansas City twist. That explains why today there are more than 100 area barbecue establishments in the area, each boasting its personal house specialty—ribs, pork, ham, mutton, sausage and even fish.

    Curious to learn more about what's new in Kansas City, especially around the downtown area where CHC 2011 is located? Check out the video below.

    Derek is a communications manager with the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association. A Kansas native, Derek graduated from the University of Kansas in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism with a minor in history. Derek serves on regional boards for the Society of American Travel Writers and the Public Relations Society of America, as well as the steering committees for WaterFire Kansas City and genKC, a young professionals organization.

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