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Real Estate Bisnow
May 14, 2008


A big welcome to our new sponsor Appian Realty Advisors, one of the region’s fastest growing RE firms. They are managing the new 114k SF Dept. of Forensic Science building in Manassas and was recently tapped by HCA to provide leasing & project management for an 80k SF medical office building next to HCA’s new hospital in Fredericksburg. 


It's a question often heard on middle school playgrounds to tamp false claims of jungle gym bravery, but when InHealth Executive Director Martyn Howgill asks it, millions of dollars are at stake.  Since 2004, InHealth, a DC-based non-profit research organization has dished out $5 million on educational forums and grants to medical researchers who can prove (or disprove) the value of medical technology. Also, if you can't prove it to Martyn through research, don't try to make up for it on the court: He's 6'8" and played for England and the 1972 British Olympic basketball teams.


We swung by Martyn's office at 13th and F to find out how Bisnow could land some grants. He told us charitable gifts fund their mission: to amass evidence about how technology is helping the medical field. For example, while it may feel obvious that a stent is a positive advance, only Stephen Colbert cites gut feelings as evidence.  Without numbers, there will be skeptics. And if those skeptics are donors or legislators, there are serious consequences.  Therefore, InHealth deploys a $2 million budget to research grants and educational forums like its Device and Diagnostics Development Conference recently in Gaithersburg.


Martyn has a Masters in journalism from the University of Missouri, which explains his typewriter collection but also inspired us to ask the really tough questions. Like: Did you ever play basketball against anybody famous? Turns out, he once squared off against a Rhodes Scholar named Bill Bradley. Back on point, last year InHealth funded a study by UPenn that analyzed ICD's not for their life-saving benefits (that's old hat), but their social and economic benefits. For example, those with ICD's have quality of life experiences that are as good as a control group without ICD's, suggesting that fear of a device failure should not deter people from using it. This risk/reward analysis is where InHealth has carved out a niche.


A native Londoner, Martyn addressed the World Leaders in Medical Innovations conference at the new Wembley Stadium in England, where this photo was taken. His first US trip was in 1965 to play basketball at New Mexico State and later Fort Hays State in Kansas. Before coming to DC, Martyn was a VP at the University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center where he launched the "Making Cancer History" advertising campaign that garnered numerous awards and accompanied the hospital's rise to US News' "best in the nation" for cancer care.  What remains a mystery is how Martyn managed to empty a 90,000-seat stadium for this photo.

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