100 Agencies: HealthEd Group

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Mike Brzozowski and Jill Balderson at center, with HealthEd management team
Mike Brzozowski and Jill Balderson at center, with HealthEd management team

HealthEd Group restructured last year. Chief strategy officer Mike Brzozowski says revenue at the Clark, NJ-headquartered firm was down, but not by a lot.

“We're evolving to be a different type of organization,” he explains. “At our core we're still health education and patient marketing, but we're expanding our business with SurroundHealth and HealthEd On Demand. We're not abandoning the agency business, we're just extending our core franchise.”

HealthEd On Demand and SurroundHealth are geared towards HCPs, including “healthcare extenders,” i.e. nurse practitioners, dietitians, etc. The former is a software platform that delivers personalized education materials directly to patients and measures impact. The latter is an online learning community.

“Healthcare marketers can engage with these communities via sponsorships, by distributing content and conducting research,” Brzozow­ski  notes. Additional new capabilities include an analytics offering and a platform for enhancing doctor/patient relationships.


Leadership roles shifted a bit last year. Brzozowski added account and new business responsibility to his plate. Veteran Jill Balderson was named president. Marissa Addalia, formerly VP management supervisor, was named SVP, business development. Stephanie Murrin retained her role as chief creative officer and added responsibility for digital. Stephanie Mazzeo-Caputo, formerly SVP of organizational development, became SVP, talent management.

Focus has increased on biotech, biologics, rare diseases, device manufacturers, and managed care organizations. Vicki Kelemen joined as SVP and is running a new office in San Diego. The plan in California is to capitalize on existing and expanding client relationships, such as one with Genentech, which expanded in 2011 to include patient AOR for Xeloda (oncology) and project work on five other oncology agents.

Other new business included more project work for Daiichi Sankyo's hypertension franchise, which became an AOR relationship this year; additional project work in oncology from Bristol-Myers Squibb; preferred vendor status for Novartis's transplant franchise; and disease awareness and digital work on Enobia Pharma's therapy for hypophosphatasia (rare diseases).  

Horizon Healthcare Innovations, which signed on late last year, is using HealthEd On Demand to support it's PCMH pilot. Brzozowski sees the PCMH market as a huge opportunity.

As part of the Independent Network, formed and led by Juice Pharma Worldwide to give independent agencies a chance to compete for Merck business, HealthEd retained its one Merck brand and won six brands across CNS, immunology, and ophthalmology. Business from Amylin Pharmaceuticals will end this year due to dissolution of a joint venture with Eli Lilly.

Effectively delivering for targeted therapies is a challenge for all agencies, but Brzozowski believes HealthEd is especially well-positioned. “Many are going to be lower budgets, but they're much more digital and much more educationally based,” he says. “[That] works in our sweet spot.”

Other challenges include demand for increased health outcome accountability across all constituencies.

“It's not enough to just administer healthcare anymore,” Brzozowski says. “Everyone is looking for innovative solutions to prove improved health outcomes.”

Six new pieces of business have come in this year (three from new clients), and Brzozowski is “very optimistic.”
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