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Former Cedars-Sinai CMO joins consultancy as it expands growth, media and digital marketing teams

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., and Chicago National healthcare strategic communications consultancy Jarrard Inc. has added eight new professionals to its roster, including prominent healthcare marketer Pattie Cuen as a Senior Vice President in the firm’s Academic Health Systems Practice. Cuen’s experience further enhances the firm’s unique value it brings to clients: A deep understanding of the complex communications challenges healthcare providers face, which is the result of 17 years focusing exclusively on the provider segment of the industry.

Pattie CuenCuen most recently served as Chief Marketing and Communications officer at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. There, she increased the organization’s national and international reputation and visibility while leading a team of 100+ marketing and communications staff members and external consultants operating on a $60 million+ budget. Previously, Cuen served two decades at UCLA, establishing the medical center’s digital strategy team and first internal communications team and orchestrating an award-winning branding campaign. An educator and leader with deep roots in her community, Cuen has been an active board member and chair to several foundations dedicated to the betterment of public health.

Also joining the firm is strategy and development expert Crista Stark, who has been named the firm’s Chief Growth Officer.

Prior to joining Jarrard, Stark was an original founder and served as Chief Strategy and Development Officer at HealthPRO Heritage where she led the organization’s overall strategy, business development and marketing initiatives and served on its executive committee. While there, she helped drive the post-acute therapy and wellness company into an enterprise with revenues of a half-billion over 15 years.

Jarrard Inc. President Anne Hancock Toomey said these leaders will be pivotal in helping the firm anticipate clients’ needs during a momentous time in healthcare – and provide solutions that optimize today’s change, challenges and opportunities.

“Pattie has led communications and marketing for some of the country’s most respected health systems through countless moments of transformative change,” Toomey said. “Her seasoned insight leads to sharp, practical counsel for our clients.

“Similarly, Crista’s industry acumen and success in growing healthcare brands is exactly what Jarrard Inc. needs in this moment as we anticipate where the industry is headed and chart the best growth path forward as a firm.”

Six additional hires join the firm in parallel with a reorganization under a new practice structure grouping client services teams into the areas of:

  • National Health Systems
  • Academic Health Systems
  • Regional Health Systems
  • Public & Community Health Systems
  • Health Services Companies

“As the needs of provider organizations have become more nuanced, so has our firm,” Toomey said. “Our clients deserve an experienced, deep bench of strategic advisors who have no learning curve on the unique environment in which they operate and what it takes to be successful in carrying out their respective missions.”

In addition, a newly launched Digital + Design Group will work across practices and clients to offer full-service digital marketing and creative services to healthcare organizations.

Additional new hires:

Samantha Fisher, Associate Vice President, National Practice.

With two decades in broadcast journalism and government media relations, Fisher has an insider’s knowledge of the changing media landscape and how to craft clients’ stories for maximum impact. Before joining Jarrard Inc., she served as communications director for the Tennessee Attorney General. Previously, she was a national correspondent with CNN, where she was on the political team that won a Peabody Award for Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Primary Campaign and Debates.

Megan Glass, Associate Vice President, Health Services Practice.

Glass is a strategic business developer and multimedia marketer. Adept in building and leading teams to execute strategy, Glass recently served at Healthmap Solutions, a Tampa-based healthcare technology startup. There, she grew the business development team from 10 to 75 employees. Glass notably leverages her deep understanding of customer service and client relationships to build connections and grow business.

Lauri Kerns, Senior Managing Advisor, Public & Community Practice.

Kerns is an expert in healthcare communications and media relations. With an extensive portfolio of high-stakes issue and crisis navigation, Kerns’ previous career includes serving as a supervisory public affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and as a director of marketing and communications for Ballad Health, a regional health system serving parts of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Katie Cunningham, Strategist, Digital + Design Group.

Cunningham offers a sharp aptitude for strategic planning and project management to the firm. Prior to joining Jarrard Inc., she used her keen organizational mind at Chicago-based information technology company, Collabera, as an associate account manager.

Rachel McKechnie, Administrative Assistant, Professional Services Team.

McKechnie has a knack for dynamic management and offering energetic support to leadership teams. McKechnie joined Jarrard Inc. from Franklin, TN-based Ramsey Solutions where she served as an administrative assistant, coordinating and managing administrative operations for four direct leaders.

Shoshana Overstreet, Associate Advisor, The Advisor Group.

Overstreet joins the firm following a yearlong fellowship. Her notable attention to detail, exemplary communication skills and passion for the work make her a valuable asset to the advisor team. Prior to the firm, Overstreet worked in K-12 education.

About Jarrard Inc.

With offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Chicago, Jarrard Inc. is a U.S. Top 10 strategic communications consulting firm that specializes in working with healthcare leaders during high stakes moments of change, challenge and opportunity. Founded in 2006, the firm has come alongside leading healthcare provider organizations across the country. In those 17 years, the firm has served more than 1,000 clients in over 45 states and served as a communications advisor on more than $75 billion in announced M&A and partnership transaction communications. The firm uses the power of communications, marketing and political strategy to guide provider organizations in the areas of change management, issues and advocacy and strategic positioning. Jarrard Inc. is a division of The Chartis Group, one of the nation’s leading comprehensive healthcare advisory firms.

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