Julie Hurvitz Aliaga
EVP, innovation, content and partnerships, CMI Media Group
Over the past five years, Julie Hurvitz Aliaga has been a catalyst for the exponential growth of CMI Media Group’s social team, growing a team of four to more than 90 dedicated social media strategists. Her high energy and drive for results led the team to deliver numerous pharma firsts on social, including the first PGA sponsorship with pharma on Twitter, and the first branded pharma LinkedIn InMail as part of a pilot offering.
Aliaga orchestrated initiatives to integrate social and emerging media into the mainstream for planning across all CMI Media Group clients, representing a majority of the industry footprint and tripling the number of plans that included social media.
VP, marketing and product development, managing partner, Adfire Health/Katon
Since joining Adfire Health three years ago, Caitlin Barasa has ascended quickly through the ranks, from creative director to managing partner and VP of marketing for three different brands: Adfire Health, Katon Direct and Live Recruit. Under her leadership, quality leads have grown 900% monthly, opening up new lines of business that have increased revenue by seven figures. Combining a numbers-focus with creative problem-solving, Barasa responds with agility to the changing landscape of healthcare marketing; in the early days of the pandemic, she found ways to help clients by rapidly launching campaigns for hospitals that needed to fill critical HCP positions.
Director, scientific strategy, LifeSci Communications
Josephine “Jo” Belluardo arrived at healthcare public relations via the road less traveled, joining LifeSci as employee No. 5 in 2017 after a career as a scientist and academic. As director of scientific strategy at LifeSci, she’s had the opportunity to combine her love for science and communications, leading the development of scientific narratives for biotech and pharmaceutical companies and for brands with complex stories across multiple therapeutics areas. Belluardo plays a crucial role in hiring candidates with academic and healthcare backgrounds who are interested in a new career in public relations in an industry with an impact on patients living with rare diseases.
Director of marketing, OpenClinica
As director of marketing at OpenClinica, Jackie Brusch has made significant progress for the company in under six months, tripling the company’s marketing activities by delivering high-impact content and managing virtual events that have set participation records for the company.As a person with a lifelong disability, Brusch is passionate about disability rights, advocacy and equity. Recently accepted as a 2022 member of the Spina Bifida Association’s Marketing and Communications Advisory Council, she plans to use her marketing background to provide strategic guidance, support and education to the Association’s marketing and communications team.
Creative director, Icon
In her role as leader of Icon’s in-house strategic creative solutions, Jandra Chau oversees multiple business units including market access, medical communications, health economics and outcomes, and real-world evidence. She has brought creative innovation and leadership to product strategy, including multiple digital solutions such as 3-D animated and scientific mechanism of action videos, dynamic user experience validated websites, apps, and interactive presentations. Chau was the creator and executive sponsor of two new internal programs: an apprenticeship program building technical skill sets for all individuals in creative and digital teams, and a business mentorship program, open to all members of one business unit.
Associate director, media and engagement, Precisioneffect
Coming from a family of doctors, it seemed natural to Leah Davy to use her media talents in healthcare marketing. While at Precisioneffect, she and her team have successfully led work across 35-plus disease, planning and buying media on campaigns across clinical trials, disease awareness efforts, brand launches and campaigns for HCPs and patients. Davy worked with Puma (Nerlynx) to become the first pharmaceutical company to place 45-second spots with Pandora music, allowing the client to have a branded presence in a burgeoning marketplace and reach a targeted breast cancer patient population. This campaign drove 6,000 unique patients to the website.
EVP, integrated media, global health media lead, Weber Shandwick
In her 15 years in health communications, Andrea Fassacesia has made a significant impact on how health and pharmaceutical companies communicate through integrated media. While a director of global media relations at Amgen, she led Aimovig’s FDA approval in the U.S., rated the most successful approval in the company’s history, helping it become the only medicine to land on Time’s “Top Innovations of the Year” list. Debate Headache, her idea for Excedrin — which was brainstormed as a media angle — became one of the most successful campaigns for GSK, landing a Cannes Lion and a Clio. At Weber Shandwick, Fassacesia has built one of the largest health media teams in the industry.
Executive director, integrated strategy CDM New York
At the age of 23, Lilian Galarraga earned a nomination by Ogilvy as a “Rising Star,” after having worked in her birth country of Brazil on brands including Walmart, Unilever and Johnson’s Baby. Her achievements include the development of Johnson’s Baby “When a baby is born, so is a mother” global campaign, launching Unilever’s Tresemmé brand in Brazil with a campaign that resulted in initial goals three times faster than expected, and successfully relaunching Subway, which became the second largest fast-food chain in Brazil at the time. At CDM, she has been instrumental in helping to win new business, drive organic growth, and launch new drugs for clients including AbbVie, Bayer and Pfizer.
VP, director, Precisioneffect Productions
Just two weeks into Karen Gardiner’s position at Precisioneffect, COVID-19 required the entire company to begin working from home, but she immediately pivoted to drive remote video production for both the agency and its clients. Gardiner led the team in developing COVID-compliant methods, enabling high-quality recording through the camera while the interview took place over Zoom. By creating a way to provide equipment to healthcare providers to create footage, she enabled busy doctors and KOLs to do their own B-roll, allowing for more authentic content, an agile act of leadership which paved the way for the department to see a 92% growth in production requests.
Dr. Briana Hecht
Strategist, Health4Equity, Wunderman Thompson Health
Having begun her career by achieving degrees in medicine and public health, Briana Hecht has a deep-rooted commitment to using healthcare marketing to help people. While attaining her MPH, Hecht helped develop a first responder program in Haiti to strengthen the capacity of communities to respond to medical emergencies. As a medical strategist at FCBCure from 2018-2020 and at Wunderman Thompson Health from 2020 to present, Hecht has acted as a key scientific and medical strategy resource for brands across many therapeutic spaces. Hecht and the Health4Equity team recently won grant funding from WPP, as part of its $30 million investment to help combat racial injustice.
SVP, strategy and operational excellence, Propeller
Owing to her strategic vision and storytelling abilities, Kate Horvath has played a key role in increasing Propeller’s yearly scopes while overseeing Business Planning for the agency. She created three new teams for Propeller, driving the expansion of AOR capabilities, a real brand and a work culture that has seen a 90% employee retention rate. With the aim of keeping the company at the forefront of innovation, Horvath developed Propeller Pulse, a communication platform that includes numerous multi-channel innovation streams scaled to partners. Recent new business wins she spearheaded include Xiidra, HemosSonics, Innocoll and Emanate Biomedical.
VP, digital strategy and execution, Propeller
Heather Hoy began her career as a 3-D pharmaceutical animation artist and experiential designer for global healthcare conferences, and after joining Propeller in 2010, quickly became the leader of the agency’s digital strategy and execution team. When COVID-19 hit, Hoy quickly helped businesses pivot their strategies — for Cosentyx, she led the team’s closed-loop marketing efforts with a rep-triggered interactive email strategy, garnering 62% open rates. When conferences and congresses had to shift to virtual and hybrid, she concepted and spearheaded unique booth engagements that brought content to life online through experiential rooms.
Senior director of market intelligence, Myriad Genetics
Ramya Kartikeyan has experienced a mix of scientific and corporate success throughout her career. As a scientist, she worked on the initial research that helped GSK develop the malaria vaccine recently approved in 2021, and as a doctoral researcher she discovered mechanisms controlling the production of tumor proteins that caused devastating neurodegenerative disease from JC polyomavirus infection. At Intouch Seven, Kartikeyan helped launch the V Is For Vyvanse campaign for Takeda’s ADHD product in 2020, and her team earned the 2020 Manny Award for the Best Use of Immersive Technology for Ben’s Room, a VR experience focused on highlighting the disease burden of ADHD in a young child. She joined Myriad Genetics in March.
Executive director, centralized operations and quality, VMS BioMarketing
A 21-year veteran of VMS BioMarketing, Valerie Kinman oversees the management of compliance, quality, data analytics and operational processes across all divisions of VMS. She has been a key contributor to the launch of 68 healthcare provider and patient support education programs that impact on average 31,000 patients per year and 27,000 HCPs per year. Over the past two years, Kinman has led the growth of the full VMS compliance program to be a comprehensive quality management department working across all divisions of the company, as well as launching Power BI as a reporting tool to enhance VMS data and analytics.
VP, client experience, Phreesia Life Sciences
Danielle Lynch found early success after joining Phreesia in 2017, when her leadership of the company’s Agency Relationships team inspired a redesign of Phreesia Life Sciences’ go-to-market strategy. Since playing a pivotal role in taking Phreesia public in 2019, Lynch has doubled the size of her team, and between 2020 and 2021 Life Sciences grew its revenue by nearly twofold. She has helped Phreesia Life Sciences significantly broaden the scope of its partnerships to include branded campaigns, disease education, PSAs, larger strategic initiatives and more, spearheading efforts to customize content based on specific client needs.
Global VP, data and analytics, Merkle/Dentsu Health
With her cross therapeutic insight and analytic experience, Olympia Mantsios has been an innovative healthcare analytics leader, taking insightful leaps for her clients by applying data to novel ideas. She has introduced new measurement approaches for several clients, among which are the Healthcare Professional (HCP) Migration initiative (blog 2018), and the first CRM Coc Impact Dashboards, which analyzed the fluctuation in HCP and patient behavior with CRM pre- and post-pandemic. The idea was utilized by Merkle/Dentsu Health leadership and led to the development of the Marketing Impact Dashboards across all industries by using Johns Hopkins COVID-19 data and proprietary Merkle consumer data.
EVP, group account director, 21Grams
Ericka McKenna joined Real Chemistry in 2018 with a single-minded mission: to one day reignite her client relationships with Janssen Oncology and build that business into one of the agency’s largest clients. She started building her team with Daiichi Sankyo’s new oncology division, which opened doors for other Real Chemistry divisions. In 2020 she achieved her goal, winning Janssen’s Rybrevant and shortly thereafter AOR assignments for five more Janssen oncology drugs: Erleada, Imbruvica, Niraparib, Teclistimab and Talquetamab. McKenna’s team of account managers grew from four to 24 people as the Janssen business grew 261% in 2021 vs. 2020 and projected to nearly double this year.
SVP, social media, Intouch Group
Always ready for new challenges, in 2017 Laurie Meeks jumped on the opportunity to join Intouch Group and bring her first-to-market social media expertise to an untouched industry vertical. Over the past four years, she has paved the way for creating a new best-in-class standard to level up pharmaceutical and life sciences clients to achieve a successful brand presence within social media while remaining compliant. Laurie’s strategic vision, partnered with data-centric recommendations, has inspired clients to extend their storytelling into social, giving them direct access to communities and the ability to shepherd conversations, in which their brands are being discussed.
Director of product development, Mind+Matter
Kristen Mutascio has worked in medical marketing for nearly a decade, but her first love — and career path — was in education. True to her passion for helping children, one of Mutascio’s proudest accomplishments is her work on a new-to-market insulin injector for kids with diabetes. For this groundbreaking treatment she led software development of product materials, including child-friendly Alexa skills and step-by-step instructions catered to young patients, which helped foster confidence in the product and ultimately drive adoption. Mutascio’s greatest industry contributions are the innovative projects and work she delivers for clients, whether disease education or product-related.
Supervisor, client engagement, Elevate Healthcare
With three promotions in as many years, Taylor Myers-Ackerman has quickly proved herself a valued leader at Elevate. In her role overseeing client engagement, she leads a number of teams, currently managing over $3 million in business and leading successful launches of seven different brands in her short time at the company. As the key liaison between the client and internal team, Myers-Ackerman played a vital role in the launch of Mulpleta (lusutrombopag), a thrombopoietin receptor agonist indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic liver disease.
Danielle Petrangeli Potteiger
Executive director, U.S. marketing, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals
Joining BioCryst immediately before the start of the pandemic, Danielle Petrangeli Potteiger put her multitasking and innovation abilities to the test, pulling off a product launch in unprecedented times. For her work on Orladeyo, which delivered hereditary angioedema patients the first targeted oral option in the highly competitive treatment space, she and her four-person team have won industry recognition. Potteiger embraces opportunities to help shape the direction and culture of a company and has worked on special teams focused on corporate rebranding; DE&I, strengthening company culture and corporate give back.
Director of strategy, therapy programs and solutions, B. Braun Medical
More than 20 years as a pediatric registered nurse laid a solid foundation for Stephanie Pitts to become a patient-focused leader in the medical device industry. Her awakening to medical device marketing happened in 2009 when she invented a new product solution for neonatal vascular access and assisted in bringing the product to the global healthcare market. In 2021, alongside her multi-disciplinary team, Pitts led the launch of B. Braun’s Peripheral Advantage program, a new service available to hospitals across the U.S. designed to improve patients’ experience with peripheral intravenous therapy, the most common invasive procedure in healthcare today.
VP, account director, Area 23
Jessica (JP) Tinker, who joined Area 23 as VP, account director, from Deerfield Agency at the beginning of May, has worked in both the HCP and DTC spaces throughout her career, developing successful live, digital and print tactics in support of DSA and branded campaigns across neurology, immunology, oncology and rare/ultra-rare therapeutic areas. She has put a special focus on laying the groundwork to foster the passion of young professionals eager to establish their own long-term careers in pharma, creating an environment where team members are encouraged to bring their authentic selves to their role. At Deerfield Agency, Tinker worked with the HR department to include this concept as a fundamental aspect of the agency’s onboarding and training.
CEO, Group 31 Communications
Crystal Weberspent her early career as a nurse treating critically ill patients with a rare disease, giving her a unique perspective on the importance of accurate and compelling medical communications designed at the right level for physicians, nurses and patients. Having had the difficult discussions with patients and their families to explain their prognosis and treatment plans, she understands firsthand the role that medical materials play in facilitating these interactions. In April, Weber rose to CEO at Group 31 after nearly three years as VP, director of medical communications. Before being a medical communications leader, Weber served as editor for the allied health journal and as a member of the scientific leadership council, where she published extensively on pulmonary arterial hypertension.
For Meg Woodworth, who joined RxMosaic as VP in March, her ability to balance multiple projects while maintaining flexibility has made her a valuable team player. At her previous position at Goodfuse agency, she worked on every account during her eight years at the company. As VP, she led day-to-day planning and tactical execution for several healthcare and biotech teams. With the Goodfuse Oncology team, she played a key role in the management of dozens of high-profile scientific milestones, including the FDA approval of Pfizer’s blockbuster breast cancer medicine, Ibrance. Addressing the stark healthcare disparities in oncology, Woodworth has led the charge on numerous integrated media campaigns showcasing the stories of women of color living with breast cancer.