Editor’s Note: In 2010 I had the pleasure of meeting Kate Liebelt on a familiarization tour to Korea. Kate’s energy and enthusiasm for the potential of medical travel was absolutely infectious. In the months that followed we stayed in touch, and I kept tabs on her developing networking group, Global Medical Links (GML). In 2011, Katie Carow of Carow Consulting, Inc. joined Kate as co-founder of the GML consulting consortium. Based in Chicago, GML provides healthcare professionals and others interested in medical travel the opportunity to gather and discuss various aspects of the industry while cultivating valuable relationships. Medical Travel Today (MTT): Let’s start with Global Medal Links. Give me your elevator pitch for the organization.It was a pleasure to catch up with Kate and learn what GML has on the agenda for 2012. Kate Liebelt (KL): Sure. Global Medical Links (GML) is an international healthcare consulting consortium. We focus on five key service offerings: feasibility studies, business development, strategic planning, technology assessment, and accreditation. Originally, GML was founded as a network of subject matter experts who gathered to discuss medical travel industry trends. When Katie Carow joined GML in 2011, we began identifying ways to help existing clients and colleagues develop new international partnerships or enhance existing relationships. We still design and coordinate educational networking sessions because people benefit from the dialogue. Through the network we’re able to tap into the core expertise of longstanding professionals in various aspects of the healthcare industry. That includes hospitals, pharmaceuticals, insurance, suppliers, investors, legal experts, and so on. GML aims to support dialogue focusing on the general medical travel landscape, collaboration, and strategic partnerships. In 2011 GML facilitated two educational networking sessions in the Chicago area. The first session featured a physician who delivers CME to international peers along with an executive from his medical group, the director of Technology Transfer at a local academic medical center, an expert on JCI accreditation and a medical travel legal expert. The second session featured a medical director at a major health insurance carrier and researchers from a local academic medical center. Our goal in 2012 is to increase to three sessions and focus the subject matter to the issues of key significance to our network. MTT: So is GML a membership organization? KL: No. It’s really a private network. The educational session attendees are from our personal networks and the consultants and clients are respected individuals we’ve worked with professionally over the years. Katie Carow has a background in hospital administration and my background is in pharmaceutical and medical device research and development.Â Hospital administrators may want to discuss the viability of an international partnership. Physicians want to learn about ways to collaborate with peers overseas. Attorneys and investors want to expand their areas of expertise. There’s a lot of interest from a lot of different angles. That’s what makes the GML sessions so interesting. MTT: Do you have specific topics in mind for 2012? KL: We will focus on the considerations of self-insured employers, accreditation trends, and strategic partnering best practices. Each session will contribute to a broader understanding of what it takes to build sustainable relationships between domestic and international healthcare organizations and how to best meet the needs of patients and their employers. There’s a lot to be learned from what’s being done and being done right. MTT: Are you aware of other networking groups like GML? KL:Â We’re not, but we always welcome the opportunity to connect with other organizations.Â Certainly there are consulting companies with an international healthcare focus as well as industry associations. We’ve combined elements of both types of organizations to meet the needs of our growing network. About Helen “Kate” Liebelt Kate Liebelt is one of the founders of Global Medical Links. In 2011 she served as president of the Chicago Health Executives Forum, an 1,800-member, independent chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). She is also a principal at Barque Consulting, Inc. In the past, Liebelt served as senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, outsourcing manager at Takeda Global Research & Development, R&D project associate at Baxter BioScience, and research associate at the Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine and Office of Technology Management. To learn more about Global Medical Links please visit www.gmlchicago.org.