The Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) will hold a Northern Economic Development Regional Symposium to discuss “Medical Tourism: The Future of Wellness Travel Just Got Healthier.”   The symposium will be held June 21 from 9:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Cottonwood Recreation Center, 150 S. Sixth St. in Cottonwood.

Sessions will include:

• “Destination Hope” Susan Kauffman, director of business development and customer relationships for MEB Management Services, will answer the question: “What is medical tourism?”  She will share her real-life medical tourism experience during her visit to the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C.

• “The Real World of Behavioral Health and the Connection to Economic Development and Medical Tourism.”  Julie Brooks, director, Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce, will address how medical tourism creates year-round economic vitality in her community and how early guest-ranch properties contributed to the success of this industry.

• “Healing and Touring in Arizona: Prevention and Treatment.” A panel featuring natural health practitioners Dr. Shaida Sina of Breakthrough Medicine in Sedona and Carol Conti of Northern Arizona Thermal Imaging in Cottonwood, will share how they serve both local and out-of-town clients and how this leads to medical tourism as a creative path to increased economic growth.

• “Boots on the Ground.”  Panelists Trista MacVittie of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Dr. Hojat Askari, M.D. of Thumb Butte Medical Center in Prescott, Ricky Molina, CEO of Rehabilitation Hospitals of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, and Judy Baum of Rehabilitation Hospitals of Northern Arizona, Prescott, will share their knowledge about what inspires medical tourism patients to travel to healthcare facilities, what their client expectations are and what services are provided.

• “Site Selection and Facilities.”  Key elements of this process will be addressed by Mike Brinkley of Land Advisors, Scottsdale, Carol Lynn, senior planner/designer for Devenney Group Architects, and Kim Young of Arizona Kidney Dialysis and Hypertension Centers.

• “Why Medical Tourism in Your Community?”  Casey Rooney, economic development director for the city of Cottonwood, will provide his perspective on this trend in economic development.

A walking tour of historic downtown Cottonwood will also be available to the attendees.

The cost of the symposium is $50 for AAED members and guests and $65 for non-members if registered by noon on June 14.  Late registration is $70.  To register, visit 21.

For more information, call AAED at (602) 240-AAED (2233), or visit   Vegetarian meals must be requested in advance. 

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice advocating for responsible economic development through an effective program of professional education, public policy, and collaboration.