Phil Bolton for GlobalAtlanta
A Chinese health care delegation’s trip to Atlanta in late July revealed the city’s strengths as a medical center and firmed up growing ties with the visitors’ hometown of Chengdu, China, according to health care consultant Michael Cadger.

Mr. Cadger, a principal at the executive consulting firm Certus Group, persuaded the delegation to visit Atlanta when he learned from officials at the West China Puji Hospital in Chengdu that they were scheduled to visit hospitals affiliated with the Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“I convinced them they should consider healthcare in Georgia first since Atlanta has so much to offer,” he told GlobalAtlanta during an interview at the Certus Group’s Buckhead office.

Mr. Cadger first went to Chengdu with a trade mission that was arranged by United Parcel Service Inc. for local health care, real estate, logistics and consumer goods executives to meet Chinese business and government leaders and tour various businesses.

UPS has a presence in Chengdu, a city of 11 million people in Sichuan Province, and Zoo Atlanta has been working with Chengdu officials to promote giant panda breeding at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Mr. Cadger arranged appointments at Emory Crawford Long and Piedmont hospitals and the Atlanta offices of health care services companies McKesson Corp. and Matria Disease Management Co., as well as the insurance company Aetna Inc.

The delegation also met with Gov. Sonny Perdue and officials of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and visited local tourist destinations including the World of Coca-Cola, CNN and the Carter Center.

“Their plan is to establish ‘Centers of Excellence’ through relationships with sister hospitals in the U.S. and to combine the best practices of Western and Eastern medicine,” Mr. Cadger said.

Once the officials are familiar with Western practices, West Puji China Hospital plans to serve a rapidly growing number of expatriates working for U.S. and European companies and the emerging business class in their area, he said.

“They received a wide overview of the U.S. medical system and how it operates,” Mr. Cadger added, “and they analyzed everything very carefully from the new technologies that they learned about to how hospitals and doctors are paid.”

Although they left Atlanta for Boston before returning to China, Mr. Cadger said that he felt the visit would provide enduring relationships between the two cities.

Mr. Cadger may be reached by calling (770) 804-8628 or sending an email to