Top 100 Agencies 2014: HealthEd Group

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Top 100 Agencies 2014: HealthEd Group
Top 100 Agencies 2014: HealthEd Group

HealthEd is building momentum once more after what could be called a rocky 2013. Staff is down to 50 this year—half of what was reported in May 2013, and down from the 125 reported in 2011.

Among senior management shifts in 2013, president Jill Balderson, who had been with HealthEd since 2005, left the agency and is now VP of healthcare innovation at Planned Parenthood. And Carleen Kelly, who joined HealthEd in February 2013 from CAHG as EVP, client engagement officer, left last June for an EVP spot at FCB Health.

Anthony Marucci, formerly director of healthcare strategy and business development for Global Advertising Strategies/Prime Access, was hired in October 2013 as SVP, client development. This April, Joe Poggi joined as managing director of the agency, and Todd Greenwood, formerly of PMG, was hired as VP, strategy and innovation. Poggi was most recently SVP, managing director at Biolumnia, and held roles including EVP, senior client director at Regan Campbell Ward McCann and president of echo Torre Lazur before that.  

The only account loss HealthEd reported for last year was project work on Daiichi Sankyo's cardiovascular franchise.

Marucci attributes the drastic drop in staff size to layoffs and people leaving of their own accord. “Last year was about level setting and focusing our energies to hit 2014 in an efficient and effective manner,” he says.

“Then we re-focused our value proposition, re-energized the agency and prepared a foundation for growth,” Poggi adds.

Marucci notes that a new self-promotion effort called the “Patient Geeks” campaign launched last year. Poggi says it highlights the agency's core value of patient centricity.

Wins reported include an AOR assignment from Greer for a new respiratory product and work on multiple products in Janssen's GI franchise. The agency also picked up work on a childhood obesity initiative from Boston Children's Hospital.

“More and more companies are recognizing patients are at the center of everything that happens in the healthcare space,” Poggi says. “HealthEd has been there for years and is a leader and innovator in that space. The agency will continue to provide deep insights into patients and the dynamics of their engagements with those who surround them, including caregivers, providers and advocacy groups. We focus on understanding their attitudes, beliefs and what will motivate desired behavior.”

Poggi adds that the agency is winning more business around chronic diseases, and he feels areas in public health, such as obesity, are “very robust and offer opportunity.”

This year is HealthEd's 25th anniversary. Both Poggi and Marucci indicate that the agency has momentum, noting pitch and presentation activity and new work from Janssen, Amgen and Genentech. Plans are to hire between 20 and 25 people this year, though that's dependent on business expansion.

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