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Adds new professionals and names Chief Client Experience Officer

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. and Chicago – Jarrard Inc., a leading national healthcare strategic communications consultancy, has expanded by 10 percent, adding seven new professionals to address the increasing demand for its healthcare advisory services. The team now includes 81 full-time colleagues across 19 states and eight who serve in an Of Counsel role.

As Jarrard continues scaling to meet the needs of its vast network of clients, it also has introduced a new executive position and expanded its partner team.

Lauren McConville, a longtime partner and former lead of the firm’s health system practices, continues her focus on delivering best-in-class partnerships with Jarrard’s clients through her new role as Chief Client Experience Officer. McConville now captains all the firm’s client work – from health systems to health services companies – driving transformative growth strategies. She also continues to serve as a trusted advisor and coach to senior executives and their boards.

“No one cares more about delivering an unforgettable, high value experience to our clients than Lauren McConville,” said Jarrard Inc. President Anne Toomey. “As she approaches her 10th anniversary with us, she continues to significantly develop key areas of our business, demonstrating mastery in navigating complex executive dynamics and serving as a respected model for leading leaders.”

Meanwhile, Jarrard Inc. Academic Health Systems Practice Lead Tim Stewart has been named a partner in the firm.  Throughout his nine-year tenure, Stewart has guided scores of health systems through their most significant moments of growth and transformation, incorporating his expertise in crisis communications, partnership transactions and strategic change management.

“Tim is a gifted counselor, and his leadership is a cornerstone of the firm’s success,” Toomey said. “His effortless rapport with both colleagues and clients underscores his ability not just to guide our firm as a partner, but also to navigate client executives through periods of change and adversity.”

Since its founding in 2006, Jarrard has consistently experienced surging demand from healthcare organizations experiencing moments of transformative change, challenge and great opportunity.

“As the complex healthcare industry continues to evolve, our firm remains dedicated to ongoing investment in our team,” Toomey said. “We prioritize developing seasoned advisors while embracing new talent, whose exceptional gifts further enrich our firm’s capabilities.”

Recent additions to the Jarrard team are:

  • Richard Wells, Vice President, Regional Health Systems Practice
    Wells is a seasoned communications professional with expertise spanning internal and external communications, public affairs, public relations and marketing. He joined the firm from Tower Health where he served as system director of corporate communications and government relations. Previously, he was vice president of public affairs at Main Line Health and founded The Wellynn Group, a consulting practice in communications, public affairs and marketing.
  • Travis Dray, Associate Vice President, Public & Community Health Systems Practice
    Dray is a seasoned leader in mergers and acquisitions, business operations and brand development and brings diverse industry experience to Jarrard. As former director of business operations at Adventist Health Columbia Gorge, Dray led successful communication strategies during the system’s integration. His track record includes building brand affinity strategies and driving event management at a national level.
  • Scott Shepherd, Associate Vice President, National Health Systems Practice
    Shepherd is an accomplished communications leader with extensive experience in the healthcare industry. He previously served as vice president of communications and marketing at ScionHealth, where he oversaw all communications and marketing activities for the national health system. Shepherd specializes in internal and external media, public relations, crisis and reputation management and executive communications.
  • Ava Jones, Senior Managing Advisor, Academic Health Systems Practice
    Jones brings a wealth of experience in health system communications and a passion for addressing health disparities, allowing her to meaningfully connect with our clients. She joined the firm from University of Texas where she served as a senior communications specialist.
  • Elea Levin, Advisor, The Advisor Group
    Levin brings clients a strong background in public affairs and journalism, along with a passion for health equity. She is a former account executive at Resolute Public Affairs.
  • Katie Breck, Advisor, The Advisor Group
    Breck offers meticulous work with a passion for empowering healthcare organizations and digital storytelling. Prior to joining the firm, she was an events and graphic design associate at Becker’s Healthcare.
  • Ben Harris, Advisor, The Advisor Group
    Harris joined the firm with experience in both public affairs and project management. Previously, he served as a chapter leadership associate at the American Planning Association.
  • Also, the firm has retained Rick Toller, Of Counsel:
    Toller has over two decades of experience in leadership roles at full-service marketing communications agencies and health systems. He is the founder of Centerline Strategic Communications Group, LLC, where he provides advisory services in communications and marketing, crisis management, branding and more. Previously, Toller served as chief communications and marketing officer at Wellstar Health System.

About Jarrard Inc.

With offices in the healthcare hubs of Nashville and Chicago, Jarrard Inc. is a specialized healthcare consulting firm devoted to helping leaders during high-stakes moments of change, challenge and opportunity. We use the power of communications, marketing and political strategy to help our clients achieve their most important goals. Our mission is to make healthcare better through our work. Founded in 2006, the firm has worked with more than 1,500 clients in 45+ states and served as a communications advisor on more than $75 billion in announced M&A and partnership transaction communications. The firm focuses on change management, issues and advocacy, and strategic positioning. Jarrard Inc. is a division of Chartis, one of the nation’s leading healthcare advisory firms. For more information, visit or follow us @JarrardInc.