HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A groundbreaking partnership is bringing world class medical research to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The state is joining forces to fight diabetes with one of the top hospitals in the country; The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The announcement came from Gov. Phil Bryant at the Village of Tradition in Harrison County, where the new National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute will be located.
"Mississippi can do anything we want to do and today is a perfect example of that," said Bryant.
A perfect example of that "can do" spirit is because Bryant says Mississippi has accomplished something many thought was next to impossible. The governor says NDORI, which will be built on Hwy. 67 at Tradition, will partner with world class doctors and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.
"This is about lives. It's the best investment we can make. This is a public private partnership that will literally change lives in the direction of healthcare in Mississippi, and all the world will know the Cleveland Clinic has come to the Gulf Coast," Bryant added.
State dignitaries were joined on the podium by doctors from the renowned clinic.
"We thank you for allowing us to be a part of this and we look forward to great things for the Cleveland Clinic, the state of Mississippi and NDORI," said Dr. Gerald Cacchione.
Bryant says Tradition developer Joe Canizaro played a big part in securing the partnership with the clinic. His passion was driven in part by his own battle with diabetes during the last 15 years.
Mississippi has one of the highest obesity and diabetes rates in the country, which Cleveland Clinic Endocrinologist Dr. James Young says makes the location even more significant.
"This relationship will allow us to study the population, come up with ideas, test some things see what works, what doesn't and move on," Young noted.
Bryant says the ultimate goal of the institute is to find a cure.
"My mother died from diabetes, my father had it, and I saw the suffering it brings. I have no less hope and desire than to cure that dreaded disease here on the Gulf Coast through this partnership with the Cleveland Clinic."
The governor says doctors and researchers will start working on their plans for the institute later in 2016, with construction on the facility beginning in 2017.