By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A first-of-its-kind event at the Minneapolis Convention Center this week could have an impact on how the rest of the world sees Minnesota.

It’s a three-day summit with leaders in healthcare, medical technology and research from around the country.

We talked to the organizers who are trying to boost the image of Minnesota’s “medical alley.”

When the rest of the world thinks of Minnesota, images of lakes and bike trails, blizzards and Vikings may come to mind.

But what about the abundance of healthcare resources here?

Mark Addicks is the CEO of MANOVA, a 3-day summit at the Minneapolis Convention Center bringing together experts on how to live better.

“More people need to know that medical alley is like Silicon Valley,” Addicks said. “Minnesota actually is the epicenter of global health, with our companies, our research and all of our startups.”

He plans to make this an annual event.

“Much like South by Southwest, we want to be the destination for health and we want to be the place where people come from all over the world to talk about the latest and the greatest and dream about what we can do to improve the health of every individual on the planet,” Addicks said.

Sam Kass is the former senior White House policy adviser for nutrition and one of the summit’s speakers.

“It’s a really interesting culture that is being created here … on health and healthcare, using innovation to get better outcomes,” Kass said. “I think it is really exciting.”

He worked closely with former First Lady Michelle Obama on the “Let’s Move” campaign.

“From where we started to where we landed, we did great,” Kass said. “We made progress in our culture. I think people care about health much more than they used to and are working on it in their own lives.”

Kass is also the author of a new book called “Eat A Little Better.”

On Wednesday, Arianna Huffington will be here to talk about the medical findings in her book “The Sleep Revolution.”

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