Maria Todd builds innovation partnerships in health & wellness tourism that focus resources and political energies on the key political priorities and bringing the benefits of innovation to people more quickly at the lowest possible cost.

She has been active in healthcare for over 30 years helping relevant stakeholders come together to break down silos within healthcare, tourism, economic development, education, foreign affairs, telehealth technology, architecture and urban and regional planning.  Her clients seek her guidance to cut across policies, across sectors and across borders to speed up innovations that address a major societal challenge, and gain competitive advantages for growth and job creation in healthcare and health tourism operational processes and economic development.

Maria achieves project deliverable outputs by mobilizing and linking up stakeholders, facilitating new ways of working together, making best use of the instruments that exist, and helps clients align and pool resources and fill gaps where necessary. Her deep operational grasp and experience helps her to address bottlenecks and obstacles (e.g. outdated regulations and practices, lack of standards, capacity and training gaps) and brings along proven experts that can leverage the demand-side (e.g. public procurement) across the whole value chain from research to market.

She builds innovation partnerships in health & wellness tourism that focus resources and political energies on the key political priorities and bringing the benefits of innovation to people more quickly at the lowest possible cost. She navigates the political scheme like a bull in a china shop when necessary and helps educate co-legislators/budgetary authorities, and gain political endorsement from the Heads of State and Government.

Innovation partnerships in health & wellness tourism

Maria frequently works to enhance competitiveness in a health tourism destination. She does this will being ever mindful of societal challenges and against the background of globalization and existing constraints. Every penny spent on development is carefully allocated to pilot projects that deliver results. Rarely, if ever does she recommend huge stand rental budgets at medical tourism trade association and similar exposition events as a means of marketing health and wellness tourism programs before stakeholders have a clear product and a target market confirmed. Usually this doesn’t happen before the first three years of operation.

She brings an approach to her projects designed from experience. Often these projects are fraught with under-investment in knowledge generation and diffusion, framework conditions which are not sufficiently innovation-friendly, fragmentation of the health, wellness, tourism, and public and private health sectors, duplication of efforts, low involvement of consumers in the product design phase, and insufficient alignment of public actions. Absent this integrative approach, many entrants to the health and wellness tourism sector are ultimately prevented entry of sustainable innovations into the market place.

A team approach

Maria brings together experts including those conducting basic research, all the way to the final users, including every step between. Through training and plenary workshops to provide actors with a forum in which they can work together – united around a common goal to identify, develop and test innovative solutions and ensure the smoothest possible transition from conception to implementation more rapidly and at the lowest possible cost. She does this by sharing checklists, model standards, lessons learned and findings from market research conducted on similar projects throughout the world. She brings know how and best practices organized to achieve ambitious, realistic outputs which resonate with and enthuse and obtain commitment from citizens, business owners, regulators and policymakers. She inspires and demonstrates, at a practical level, new ways of working, using modern means of communication, and breaking down silo’s which too often prevent key players in innovation to work together across policy areas and disciplines. She encourages the of pooling efforts, aligning goals and objectives, and removing obstacles to achieve critical mass and rapid results and turnover that build and maintain momentum.

An experienced, organizational development practitioner (since 1982)

One quality that Maria possesses is the proven operational knowledge and organizational development techniques that defines her personal brand in health and wellness tourism. Most consultants have little if any clinical, administrative, healthcare executive, paralegal, travel arranging, training pedagogy or insurance reimbursement hands on experience. By comparison, Maria has them all. She brings these experiences and tactics in a way that better co-ordinates public and private actions. Her paralegal training enables her to anticipate regulatory and other needs for the different stages of the innovation cycle. She solicits the involvement of those representing the demand side (insurers, consumers and referral partners) along the whole innovation chain. This ensures that the regulatory environment will be appropriate, and addresses recommendations for the removal of unnecessary or redundant requirements. She organizes pilot demonstration projects so results can be immediately taken up and concepts further tested. She helps organizers find funding, and evaluate procurement options to foster rapid uptake. By coordinating alongside project managers, Maria helps smaller breakout teams work on all these aspects simultaneously from the outset. This helps to significantly speed up the process from idea to market so that solutions can be deployed, operational processes can be improved and market opportunities seized more rapidly (rather than being lost to other, quicker and better organised competitors).

Call on an expert you can trust

Maria will help you make a significant contribution to GDP from health & wellness tourism innovation that will bring about significant positive impacts on competitiveness, growth and employment at all levels in your community. Count on her to bring strong field and desk research, lessons learned from other health & wellness tourism destinations & innovation dimension with “demand-side” measures across policy areas. Trust her to help you shorten time-to-market and ensure an organized pull and roll-out of innovation, both at the regional and national level (i.e. reviewing regulations and/or proposing new rules, accelerating product approvals, fast-tracking standard-setting, and deploying infrastructure initiatives strategically). If your project does not offer clear added value to stakeholders and consumers – she will shoot straight and tell you where it needs a little adjustment in order to get back on course. If your approach is too similar to near-market competitors, she will point out the ways you can differentiate to create Blue Ocean Strategies that set you apart from competitors. She’s not afraid to work on the basis of clearly-articulated Terms of Reference (ToRs) that benchmark against concrete and compelling targets. She’s not afraid to stand and deliver in front of politicians and government authorities to explain her recommendations about “why” and “how” to bring about the change to achieve program objectives.  She commits to projects long enough to ensure strong and sustained engagement by the private sector and industry so they can realize major business opportunities. She remains long enough to prove her value and share tools that translate actors’ efforts into concrete commitments of time and resources into the partnership. Her guidance brings about simplification and streamlining from experience and lessons learned, situation analyses, inception studies that identify gaps, integrating new with existing instruments to help improve outcomes and lower operational and development costs by removing duplication and overlap.

She will help you to address your most challenging innovation bottlenecks and to identify the key stakeholders that must be integrated and aligned. Maria Todd uses her professional mediation experience and motivational techniques to bring together different players who would not normally join forces across sectors, geographic borders, or areas of competence and responsibility. She will bring about the collaboration necessary to combine R&D and innovation with users’ needs and market deployment and the adaptation of innovative production processes to make your health & wellness tourism project a success.

AskMariaTodd™ to help you structure your Terms of Reference, outputs, budget and project timelines and objectives that will help you to submit funding applications that specify light, flexible, results-oriented, convincing, measurable and sustainable building blocks and clear milestones to achieve your targets. 

How to get started:

Begin with a brief call (+1.303.823.4662) to Maria Todd to discuss your project. Projects of this type usually begin with a short term contract for an inception assessment mission. While on that mission, she helps you to form a steering group to undertake the initial scoping steps – in close co-operation with key stakeholders. The strategic implementation plan, containing specific actions and initiatives at different levels which must be taken to achieve the agreed objectives can be listed at that first encounter. There is no one-size-fits all: the exact composition of the steering group should of course be adapted to the specific situation of each health & wellness tourism innovation partnership. The initial inception assessment mission contract is customarily quoted as a flat fee inclusive of Maria’s travel and consulting services while at your location, as well as a 5-6 page mission report delivered within 10 days. From that point, project owners can decide from optional next steps that are dependent on the findings and recommendations of the inception assessment mission report.

Upon a commitment to continue working with Maria, the steering group will be expected to actively seek views and input from stakeholders which are not themselves represented in the steering group, but who can make a contribution to the achievement of the objectives. Maria can participate together with the steering group using virtual meetings and social network groups that include social innovation. The process of identifying bottlenecks, defining priorities and detailing the specific commitments, must be as open as possible. Maria will augment the steering group when necessary, to participate and lend guidance to ‘operational groups’ focusing on specific activities.  All steering groups and task forces are expected to have representation from public authorities, private sector leadership personalities, and other ad hoc members of the public, insurance plans, consumers and referral partner levels.

In the early phase of the partnership (the first six months) as it prepares the strategic implementation plan, the steering group would probably meet two to three times in person with Maria Todd in attendance. in person. The steering group must be supported by a secretariat, responsible for preparing the meetings, organizing stakeholder inputs and assisting the board and consultant experts in delivering on their respective tasks. Once the strategic implementation plan is finalized and the milestones defined, implementation of the plan begins. It is at that point that the role of the steering group transitions to monitoring and reviewing progress made and making slight changes in strategy as warranted.