Ohio’s health care industry benefits from the state’s many strengths

Ohio’s health care industry is fortunate to have excellent research arms associated with its nationally accredited medical centers — Cleveland Clinic, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center being chief among them.

“No other state has the top adult hospital health system and the top children’s medical centers,” says Aaron Pitts, senior managing director at JobsOhio.

He says these organizations recruit some of the best doctors in the world, their hospitals treat some of the most acute patients and they attract a lot of research dollars.

“They test new devices, pharmaceuticals and surgical techniques, and they capture intellectual property, which companies get formed around, which creates wealth and jobs — it’s a virtuous cycle of innovation emanating from these three centers of health care excellence,” he says.

Smart Business spoke with Pitts about the advantages of Ohio’s strong health care and bioscience industry.

How does Ohio’s health care industry compare to those based in other states?

Where systems are ranked — US News & World Report being among the more popular, for example — Ohio regularly has the best hospital systems in the world. It’s been home to the best-ranked heart hospital for 21 years, a hospital people go to from all over the world that sets a path for others to follow.

The inventions and innovations that spring from these health care systems become licensed products that are used to save lives. For example, Assurex Health, a spinoff that got its start in part from patented technology licensed from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, has developed its GeneSight test, a genetic test that helps health care providers personalize medicine for patients. AveXis, Abeona Therapeutics and Myonexus Therapeutics are all companies that got their start because of Nationwide Children’s gene therapy research capabilities. And Cleveland HeartLab Inc. and IBM Explorys are both companies that were born from innovations of the Cleveland Clinic.

Each of these companies are accelerating Ohio’s growth in the health care and technology industries, and each owe their start to Ohio IP. They have either become public companies or been acquired by strategic global powerhouses.

How are Ohio’s academic and medical research centers contributing to the state’s health care industry?

Students graduating from Case Western Reserve University become some of the best health care professionals in the country, and The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati have great STEM programs. Each of the state’s health care systems is working with institutions of higher education to provide internships and residencies that build up the next generation workforce.

What does Ohio offer to companies in the health care space?

Ohio is fortunate to have Ohio Third Frontier, an incubator matched with local dollars that turns ideas into companies and attracts capital. The organization has a commitment to early-stage companies and works with shareholders across the state to create a support network to foster the creation and development of companies. BioEnterprise in Cleveland does much the same work.

Beyond the science realm, there’s a supply chain that supports the drugs and devices companies in the health care space create. The state’s manufacturing knowhow is an advantage because companies that want to make a device can find manufacturers nearby who have that capability.

Astute buyers understand that Ohio is among the safest places in the U.S. to operate. The state isn’t subject to major floods, wildfires or hurricanes, which reduces operational risks.

In addition to being a great place to manufacture, Ohio has a geographic advantage. Its centrality makes it a natural place to distribute products. Ohio also has a balanced economy and political makeup, which makes it an attractive place to do business.

Ohio is a fantastic place to live and work. It has many strong institutions moving medical research forward. People who look closely at what the state has to offer are often blown away by what they see.

Insights Economic Development is brought to you by JobsOhio