BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi is currently number two in the nation for obesity and is also at the center of the diabetes epidemic.
That's why the 12th Annual Cleveland Clinic Obesity Summit - which explores the latest strategies for managing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease - is of special significance. The summit is all part of an effort to find cures and treatments for obesity and diabetes in a state where both are prevalent.
"We have a long history of working with this particular problem and we were sought out by the state of Mississippi to help fight this epidemic here, which is affecting a lot of people," said Cleveland Clinic CEO, and Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Toby Cosgrove. "Hopefully we'll offer our knowledge to try to manage this and exchange ideas back and forth and both get smarter."
During the two-day event at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, everything from live surgeries and interactive workshops with leading experts, took place simultaneously; in both Biloxi and Cleveland. Cardiologist, James Young, MD, from Cleveland, calls it a learning opportunity.
"We're learning from what's going on here in Mississippi and Mississippi is taking away some things we've developed at the Cleveland Clinic that are important," said Young. "This affiliation with NDORI allows us to do that."
The National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute (NDORI), part of a new development based at Tradition in Biloxi, co-hosted the event in affiliation with the famed Cleveland Clinic. Tradition developer, Joe Canizaro, has type 2 diabetes himself and he has positioned NDORI as a focal point of the planned community development at Tradition.
"They're doing the summit right here, which is huge for our state," Canizaro said. "We're working aggressively toward a major research effort with the idea of trying to cure diabetes and obesity."
Four buildings are currently under construction in the medical center at Tradition, with partial completion expected before the end of the year.