Hill+Knowlton Canada’s health practice strengthens senior leadership

  Hill+Knowlton Canada’s health practice strengthens senior leadership

           Leslie McGill joins, Francine Beck appointed to new role

Business Wire

TORONTO -- March 18, 2013

Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), Canada’s No. 1-rated public relations and
public affairs firm, today announces two appointments in the national health
practice. Leslie McGill joined the firm as senior vice-president and Francine
Beck has been promoted to senior vice-president. Both share leadership of the
company’s health practice.

“Our most distinguishing feature is that we can seamlessly integrate public
affairs and public relations from coast to coast – there isn’t another agency
in Canada like us,” says Mike Coates, chairman and CEO of H+K Canada. “We’ve
put tremendous focus on building a strong health team with diverse talents so
we can address the ever-evolving needs of our growing roster of health
clients; and we’re illustrating that from the top down with Leslie and
Francine’s appointments.”

Francine Beck is a 20-year health-consulting veteran. She has extensive
communications and marketing expertise, supporting domestic and global clients
in the life sciences (pharmaceutical), consumerhealth, environment and
physical activity sectors. A former journalist, she is a seasoned media
relations strategist withexpertise in stakeholder engagement, sponsorship
amplification, social marketing campaigns and health-care professional

Prior to joining H+K, Francine worked in a senior capacity at another
international agency playing a lead role in business development for
health-focused clients. In addition to her work in health and pharmaceuticals,
she was also lead agency counsel for TO 2008 – Toronto’s bid for the 2008
Olympic and Paralympic Games – and mobilized support for Toronto, working with
government leaders and journalists from around the world.

Leslie McGill is a seasoned health-care strategist who joins H+K directly from
the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association where, as vice-president strategic
development, she integrated the communications, partnerships and membership
functions of the Association and led several complex projects including
multi-partner communications for the province-wide roll out of pharmacists’
increased scope of practice.

As senior vice-president for Medbuy Corporation, Canada’s leading health-care
group purchasing organization, Leslie developed a deep understanding of both
the Canadian and U.S. landscapes for bulk purchasing – not only for
pharmaceuticals, but also medical capital equipment, medical devices and
medical/surgical consumables. During her 25 years in health-care
communications, marketing and public affairs she has consulted to a wide range
of public- and private-sector organizations, providing counsel on product
launches, fundraising, reputation management, corporate social responsibility,
strategic partnerships, brand positioning, change management and community

“There is no doubt that our health team’s cumulative experience is second to
none. With this new leadership in place, the scope of our health-care offering
positions us as the benchmark for best-in-class health-care communications in
Canada,” adds Coates.

This announcement follows the recent appointment of Michelle McLean in H+K’s
Ottawa office. Michelle returned to H+K after nearly three years as
vice-president public affairs at the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada

With nine offices across the country, Hill+Knowlton Strategies is a leader in
both public relations and public affairs. The company is the No. 1-rated
strategic communications firm in Canada. It specializes in corporate
communications, public affairs, marketing communications, crisis, energy,
technology, health care, digital communications, financial communications and
transactions. The only communications firm to have earned the Order of
Excellence from Excellence Canada, it is also recognized as one of the 2012
Best Workplaces in Canada. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc.,
has 89 offices in 52 countries as well as an extensive associate network and
is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s largest communications
services groups.


Hayley Judge
Hill+Knowlton Canada
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