The single largest concentration of animal health interests in the world sits between Columbia, Missouri and Manhattan, Kansas, with companies located there representing 56 percent of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics, and pet food sales. That fact prompted the Chamber, Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), and BioNexus to market that asset as the Animal Health Corridor.
When the KC Chamber launched its Big 5 goals for Kansas City in 2011, one of those big ideas was to create a global symposium on animal health. That goal has been achieved with the annual Animal Health Corridor Global Animal Health Week, which includes a market insight seminar, Homecoming Dinner, and investment forum.
“Growing Kansas City’s Medical Research from Discovery to Cure” was one of the first Big 5 goals for Kansas City announced by the Chamber in 2011. The initiative was spurred by the founding of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and the effort to gain National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation by the University of Kansas.
The KU Cancer Center received NCI designation in 2012, one of only 70 in the United States and the only such center in the state of Kansas. That designation was renewed and funding was increased in 2017.
A year before the vote on a new single terminal, polling looked dismal – only 34 percent of Kansas Citians approved of the idea. The KC Chamber’s Joe Reardon and others thought that the business case for a new terminal had not been made, so the Chamber joined with the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Civic Council, and others and created the “A Better KCI” campaign. Using videos, social media, and with presentations to more than 200 local businesses and civic groups, the tide of public opinion turned and, in November of 2017, KCMO voters approved building a new single terminal by a vote of 76 percent in favor.