Join the conversation as it happens at #PRSAHealth!

General Session, 9–10 a.m.

"Ethics and Today’s New World of Health Communications: An Interactive Look at What’s Right, Wrong and Just Depends"

Sponsored by the PRSA College of Fellows

Social media vehicles, such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Whrrl and Foursquare, are undoubtedly changing the practice of health care communications. At the same time, traditional media are losing ground. In this changing communications world, many new situations are arising that do not have clear-cut answers. Moderator Judith Turner Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, PhairAdvantage Communications, along with Panelists Michael M. Durand, senior health care communications counselor; Diane Gage Lofgren, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior vice president, brand strategy, communications and public relations, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.; and Tom Vitelli, APR, Fellow PRSA, assistant vice president, communications, Intermountain Healthcare will examine:

Judith Turner Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA, is president of PhairAdvantage Communications, the public relations and marketing agency she founded in 2002. Phair is a senior public relations executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, branding, worldwide public relations and marketing, media relations, fundraising and government relations. She has recently returned to full-time to her firm after serving from 2006-10 as vice president, communications, for the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®), an association of 182 top graduate business schools around the world that also owns the GMAT examination. The Council is among Phair’s clients, which have also included the American Council on Education, University of Southern California, Bucknell University, University of Richmond, Drexel University, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, University System of Maryland, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and many others. Previously, she was vice president for public affairs at the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, nonprofit association of corporate chief executives, university presidents and labor leaders; vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute; assistant dean of external relations at the School of Professional Studies, Johns Hopkins University; and vice president for public relations at Goucher College. Phair held public relations positions at the University of Michigan, University of Cincinnati and PHH Group, and was an adjunct faculty member at Goucher College and Towson University for several years. Phair was 2005 president and CEO of the 31,000-member Public Relations Society of America, the largest organization of public relations professionals and students in the world.  She is a frequent speaker on public relations and marketing issues, with appearances in China, Italy, the United Kingdom, Croatia and the United States, and she has written extensively on public relations issues. She is immediate past chair of PRSA’s prestigious College of Fellows and co-chair of the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee.

In October 2010 Phair received PRSA’s highest individual award, the Gold Anvil.  It is considered PRSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is presented to an individual “whose work significantly advanced the profession and set high standards for those engaged in the practice of public relations.” The PRSA Maryland Chapter honored Phair with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, and she has won numerous other awards in public relations, marketing, and crisis communications. She  has been a member of the University of Maryland Alumni Association Board of Governors; chair of the University of Maryland Arts and Humanities Alumni Association Chapter Board; and member of the board of directors, American Red Cross, Central Maryland Chapter.  She has been active in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), chairing events at the district and national levels and continuing to serve as a judge for its national awards program. She received her Bachelor of Arts in communications from Simmons College in Boston and Master of Arts in American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Michael M. Durand, senior health care communications counselor, responsible for senior-level client counseling, strategic planning and business development for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. A specialist in biopharmaceutical marketing and health education, Durand has been responsible for market preparation, launch and ongoing public relations for many landmark pharmaceutical products including Aranesp and Vectibix for Amgen; Taxol and Glucophage for Bristol-Myers Squibb; Vytorin for Merck/Schering-Plough; Asenapine for Schering-Plough; and Prevenar for Wyeth. In addition to product-marketing assignments, Durand has counseled clients in regulatory affairs and public affairs issues affecting the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He has also conducted corporate-branding and issues-management programs for Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association and other health care enterprises. Durand believes that public relations must be convergent with other communications and marketing disciplines, and works closely with medical advertising and education agencies. In addition to domestic work, he frequently works on multinational and global assignments. Durand spent two decades at Porter Novelli where he was the founding director of its global health care practice. He also served as managing director of strategy and planning for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. An honors graduate in political science at Long Beach State University in California, Durand has completed graduate work in public relations at UCLA. He is also a graduate of the Omnicom Group’s Senior Management Program. Durand has written numerous articles about pharmaceutical marketing, international affairs and how health care companies can best tell their stories. He is a member of PRSA, Health Care Marketing Association and the Drug Information Association. He is the 2008 recipient of the PRSA Health Academy’s Frank J. Weaver Lifetime Achievement Award.

Diane Gage Lofgren, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the senior vice president, brand strategy, communications and public relations for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. In this role, she leads the critical work of positioning Kaiser Permanente in the hearts and minds of key stakeholders, and all work associated with stewardship and oversight of the company’s brand. Lofgren is responsible for managing national communications, issues and brand management and public relations functions. She is a leader with a passion for building a strong employee culture, and her group has been named a “Best Place to Work in PR” two years in a row by PR News. In addition, in order to ensure a unified brand identity for Kaiser Permanente, she oversees marketing and Internet services in conjunction with another senior leader. She also takes an active role in supervising service quality initiatives for the company. Lofgren also supervises the regional communications leaders, who maintain a dual reporting relationship to her and to their regional leaders. In 2010, Lofgren co-founded Kaiser Permanente Women Embracing Life and Leadership (KP WELL), a business resource group. Prior to joining Kaiser, Lofgren was senior vice president of marketing and communications at Sharp HealthCare. In this role, she was responsible for the strategic oversight of all marketing and communications, in addition to The Sharp Experience, a performance improvement initiative designed to make Sharp HealthCare the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care. Before joining Sharp, she was vice president of customer and market strategy for Catholic Health Initiatives’ national office in Denver. Prior to that role, she oversaw marketing and communications for CHI’s 17-hospital Western Region office in the Pacific Northwest. Earlier, she worked for the company as vice president of corporate communications and also served at other San Diego area hospitals, including Paradise Valley, Mission Bay, and Children’s Hospital & Health Center. For 10 years, she also owned The Gage Group, a full-service public relations and marketing agency. A 2009 inductee into the PRSA College of Fellows, Lofgren is on the national board of directors for the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, a member of the Arthur Page Society and a board member of “Keep Oakland Beautiful.”

Tom Vitelli, APR, Fellow PRSA, is assistant vice president, communications, for Intermountain Healthcare, a Salt Lake City-based organization with 32,000 employees combining doctors, 23 hospitals, and health plans. He has more than 30 years of experience in corporate public relations and marketing.  Since joining Intermountain 22 years ago, Vitelli has helped build the organization’s reputation locally and nationally. Intermountain has been cited as a national benchmark organization by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and has been praised by national leaders across the political spectrum as an exceptionally effective provider of care. President Obama has referred to Intermountain as “an island of excellence” in American health care. Vitelli is a native of New York state and graduate of Vassar College. He is an active PRSA member, having served as a board member, national officer and chair of several committees. He is a former chair and longtime board member of the PRSA Health Academy, and also the author of “Public Relations in the Integrated Health Care Organization” and other books. He writes and speaks frequently on public relations and marketing topics.