FleishmanHillard veteran Betsy Neville launches healthcare shop Hippos

Betsy Neville, former senior partner and leader of the reputation management practice for the Americas at FleishmanHillard, has launched her own healthcare communications agency.

Known as Hippos, the firm has offices in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia and five staffers. It specializes in corporate and enterprise communications, and its services include transition management, data and analytics, visual storytelling, media management, digital, social, and creative.

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"Healthcare is a completely changing marketplace and there is a serious need for communications support," Neville said. "My interest has always been in complex businesses and industries that have been in transformation. In recent years, I've been tapped for more and more healthcare assignments because of my specialization in transformation."

Neville would not disclose the firm's clients, but said it works with nonprofits, payers, providers, manufacturers, consultants, and healthcare technology organizations. It will focus on healthcare delivery, which is how people receive healthcare and health information, she said.

"There's been a lot written about the rise of consumerism and patients taking more responsibility for decision making [in healthcare]," Neville added. "[There's been] a rise in the use of tech in healthcare and different types of innovations, like mobile health. It's been shifting toward this focus on how people are receiving healthcare."

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The name, Hippos, is a reflection on the changing healthcare industry. Neville named the agency after the hippocampus, the part of the brain that handles memory and emotion.

"The hippocampus is for learning new things and making the emotional connections that help us remember," she explained. "The healthcare industry is changing and people need to think about it differently. That's our job; we're the hippocampus of the healthcare industry."

Neville left her position as senior partner and reputation management practice lead at FleishmanHillard in November to begin working on launching Hippos. Prior, she was at FTI Consulting as senior MD and GM of the Midwest, then senior MD and corporate communications practice lead. She also held the role of MD at Ogilvy Public Relations and ran her own consultancy, the Neville Group.

This story originally appeared in PRWeek