(Banner graphic of PRSA 2019 Health Academy Conference logo)

PRSA 2019 Health Academy Conference

April 24–26 | Phoenix, Ariz.

The 2019 Conference Program

Wednesday, April 24

10 a.m.–6 p.m.


15 p.m.

Pre-Conference Event* 
 Info to come soon!

*Additional Fee Required

6–8 p.m.

Meet the Health Academy Reception

Welcome to the beautiful Southwest as you join members of the Health Academy Executive Committee and other conference attendees for cocktails and appetizers at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix to network with your colleagues as we kick off this year’s conference in the Valley of the Sun.

Thursday, April 25

7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration
7:30–8:45 a.m.Breakfast
8:45–9 a.m.Welcome
9–10 a.m.

Keynote Breakfast Plenary
“Telling Your Health Care Story”
Lulu Miller, contributing editor and co-founder of the NPR program, “Invisibilia”

10:15–11:15 a.m.  

Breakout Sessions: Set I

“Mice Are Not a Story:  Developing Clinical and Research Stories That Land” 
Ronna M. Charles, NA,
director of marketing and communications, Morehouse School of Medicine

“Patient Stories That Touch the Heart...and the Kidney, Pancreas and Liver”
Jason M. Carlton, APR, marketing & communication manager, Intermountain Healthcare

“Rural Reach: A Strategic Communication Approach To Reaching The Rural Poor”
Deanna Haworth
, chief operating officer, Hirons

11-45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.

Luncheon Plenary

“Making the Connection: How Health Care Communicators Can Lead and Effectively Promote and Breathe Life Into Their Brand”

Tracey D. Brown, MBA, BChE, Chief Executive Officer, American Diabetes Association® (ADA)

1:45–2:45 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set II

Category 5 Alert: Lessons Learned From Hurricane Irma
Anne C. Smith, corporate director, marketing & communications, Baptist Health South Florida
Valeska Valencia, Baptist Health South Florida
Georgi Pipkin, Baptist Health South Florida

Not Just a Ribbon-Cutting: Turning Opening Events Into Strategic Messaging
Stacy Porter, public relations manager, Dayton Children’s Hospital
Julie Cannon, event coordinator, Dayton Children’s Hospital

Meet Your Number 1 Salesperson: Reputation
Alexi Venneri, co-founder, CEO, Digital Air Strike

3:15–4:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set III

Measuring Communication Outreach to Health Care Professionals Drive Go-Forward Strategy
Speaker: Christina M. Nicols
, MPH, MS, senior vice president, director of strategic planning & research, Hager Sharp Inc

Why Your Health Care Brand Isn’t Getting Enough Exposure & How to Change It
Lisa Arledge Powell
, president and co-founder, MediaSource
Robert Mackle, senior director of brand journalism and media relations, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

How to Infiltrate Change With an Employee Brand Ambassador Program
Kristen K. Bowser, APR
, corporate communications manager, Dayton Children’s
Kelly Kavanaugh, vice president and chief strategy officer, Dayton Children’s Hospital

5–7 p.m.

Health Academy Networking Reception 

Friday, April 26

7:30 a.m.–2 p.m.Registration
7:30–8:30 a.m.Breakfast
8:30 –9:30 a.m.

Breakfast Keynote Session

9:45–10:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set IV

Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management
Speaker: Bill Coletti
, CEO, Kith

Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions With Strategic Communications
Giselle Hecker
, public relations director, Ochsner Health System
Nicole O’Malley, director of partnership communications, Ochsner Health System

Have Courage! Social Justice in a Polarized Media Landscape
Speaker: Michelle Strier, executive vice president, head of biotech, Spectrum Science

11 a.m.–Noon

Breakout Sessions: Set V

Partnerships to Make a Difference: Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico
Laura Poe
, account director, digital and health tech PR, Uproar PR
Lilly Graziani, CCWS, certified corporate wellness specialist, director of corporate development, Florida Hospital Nicholson Center

Engaging A Camouflaged Population: Veterans and Be Connected, an Upstream Model for Suicide Prevention
Thomas Winkel, MA, LPC, NCC,
director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families
Wanda Wright,
director, Arizona Department of Veterans Services
Dr. Maureen McCarthy, c
hief of staff, Phoenix VA Health Care System 

Creating Executive Communications Campaigns That Work
Alex Kepnes
, corporate communications director, Humana

12:15 -1:45 p.m.

Keynote Luncheon Session

1:45 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Closing Remarks

2 p.m.Conference Ends

Programming may be subject to change.