It’s rare that a medical marketing agency touts the arrival of a financial executive as one of the year’s true highlights. But that’s a sign of just how strongly JPA Health CEO Carrie Jones feels about the addition of chief financial officer Chris Sousa, who joined from Dataprise in November. 

“He brings a ton of experience helping professional services agencies grow from, say, the $20 million mark to the $100 million mark,” Jones explains. “He’s really strong with infrastructure and focusing on a people culture. He’s also strong on M&A, which is important given that acquisitions will be part of our strategy going forward.”

Sousa was one of two C-level execs to join JPA in 2022, the other being chief client officer Adam Pawluk. Overall head count grew from 80 full-time people at the start of the year to 91 at its conclusion.

The company enjoyed a strong year on the financial front. Revenue grew from $12.8 million in 2021 to $17.9 million in 2022, a gain of just under 40%.

Jones attributes the growth to both internal and external adjustments. “We secured some very desirable clients to allow us to be both creative and innovative, and we doubled down on flexibility within our culture,” she says. “That drove success for the firm and ultimately drove revenue.”

New JPA clients came from all over the healthcare spectrum, ranging from pharma (Takeda) and medical organizations (the American Gastroenterological Association) to A-list health providers (Mass General Brigham) and nontraditional retail players (Kroger Health). They join a roster that includes assignments from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, GSK, the National Institutes of Health and LUNGevity Foundation.

Jones believes a trifecta of factors contributed to the business wins.

“First, there’s a lot of movement within the biotech and pharma industries, so when our clients move from one company to another they often bring us with them,” she explains. “Second, we are just at the size of scale that people know our name, and we have a reputation for doing good work. And third, we’ve been fortunate to be invited to speak at lots of industry events, so we are being recognized and invited to pitches as a result of them hearing us there.”

Another important addition to JPA’s client rolls was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which tapped the agency for a social-first campaign to support the mental well-being of healthcare workers. JPA also continues to work with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association on a range of projects, including an effort to raise awareness of its 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

“It’s a $26.5 million contract, so it’s meaningful from a revenue standpoint,” Jones says. “But it’s also incredibly meaningful work.”

Look for JPA’s dedicated federal government practice, headed up by SVP, group lead Christina Zurla, to continue to pursue assignments of this kind.

“Our employees love the ability to work with nonprofit and federal government clients,” Jones adds. 

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Our marketing role model…

Carl Jung’s contribution to the field of marketing looms large. His understanding of how humans use symbolism to connect emotionally and psychologically — and the 12 archetypes that resulted from his research — remains a foundation for modern branding strategies. Jung’s work reminds us that effective branding is about more than just promoting a product or service; it’s about understanding the needs and desires of our customers on a deeper level. — Jones

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