Healthcare communications agency Highwire PR named Weber Shandwick alum Michael Byrnes as managing director of health Tuesday morning.
As the agency’s first managing director of health, Byrnes will be tasked with scaling Highwire’s portfolio and exploring strategic additions while also assisting clients and internal teams.
Highwire received a strategic investment from Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, in September 2022 with the goal of acquiring other firms and expanding service offerings.
The agency caters to a host of clients in the medtech and digital health sectors, including Zocdoc, Definitive Healthcare and Healthy.io, among others.
“We’re reaching an inflection point in healthcare, one that requires new ways of thinking when it comes to communicating to stakeholders,” said Emily Borders, principal and co-founder of Highwire PR, in a statement. “Michael’s experience at the intersection of health and innovation makes him an invaluable partner to our practice as both our clients and our employees lean into this new era of healthcare storytelling.”
Byrnes is an industry veteran, having served in a number of prominent agencies while also logging his time with in-house comms over the course of the past two decades.
He most recently served as general manager for the Boston office for marketing comms giant Weber Shandwick following a stint as SVP of its corporate healthcare practice. Prior to that, Byrnes served as VP of Matter Communications, an integrated PR, social media and creative services firm based on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
“Client needs are shifting, particularly as healthcare organizations look to convey how they are using emerging technologies to innovate in a patient-centric way,” Byrnes stated. “Highwire is an ideal partner to meet this moment, and I look forward to the opportunity to set the bar for communications designed to reach providers, payers, patients, caregivers and more.”
Byrnes’ hire comes about eight months after Highwire named Joe Hamrahi as its first CFO.
Hamrahi took the helm of the organization’s financial operations following his last role as COO at M Booth and U.S. commercial director at parent holding company Next 15. He reports in to Kathleen Gratehouse, a principal and co-founder.
The last person to run Highwire’s financial operations was VP of finance Amy Tsui, who took maternity leave.