HOUSTON (December 07, 2012)

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center was honored to host His Excellency Mr. Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minster of the Republic of Macedonia, for an official visit to the historic 87-year-old hospital in the heart of Houston last month.

This was Gruevski's first trip to the United States in an official capacity, embracing the opportunity to explore mutually beneficial relationships for Macedonia. The prime minster stopped in Houston not only because it is internationally recognized as an oil and gas capital of the world, but also because he wished to see the world's largest medical center, in hopes that what he learned and observed might help him develop something similar back home.

Gruevski, along with his diplomatic delegation, toured the Memorial Hermann Health System flagship location and met with Dr. Robert C. Robbins, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center, and Craig Cordola, CEO of Memorial Hermann-TMC.

"The Prime Minister of Macedonia, Mr. Nikola Gruevski expressed his appreciation for the warm welcoming to the Texas Medical Center and to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center provided by Dr. Robbins and Mr. Cordola, and the commitment to assist in improving the quality of health in Macedonia," said Zoran Jolevski, Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the United States.

"The prime minister's visit was a huge success," said Cordola. "We were deeply honored to be the only hospital in America he elected to tour while here in the States. Prime Minister Gruevski was visibly impressed with the size, scope and economic impact of both the Texas Medical Center and Memorial Hermann. During our meeting, he formally pledged his interest and support for a collaborative relationship based on education and other interactions."

Gruevski has served as the Macedonian Prime Minster since 2006. He has led the republic's ruling party since 2003 and, prior to that, he served as the Minister of Finance.

Macedonia is a relatively young country, only declaring its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. It has a population of approximately 2 million people and is located in the central Balkan peninsula of Southeast Europe - landlocked by the nations of Kosovo, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania.

Memorial Hermann-TMC has had the pleasure of hosting a number of other foreign dignitaries recently including Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway's Minister of Health and Care Services; Chris Rodwell, Queensland, Australia's Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Americas; and His Excellency Alva Baptiste, St. Lucia's Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation.