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Associate Vice President, Issue and Crisis Communications – Health Services

Our Health Services practice is seeking an Associate Vice President to lead Issue Navigation and Crisis Communications for clients in this growing segment. The work requires a strong communications foundation, excellent writing skills and demonstrated expertise in navigating a range of issue and crisis campaigns.

Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock is proud to serve the healthcare industry, with a mission to make healthcare better. We’re a strategic communications consulting firm devoted to helping healthcare leaders in the provider space succeed in high-stakes moments – such as the one we’re living through now – having helped leaders in more than 500 healthcare organizations across the country tackle the toughest challenges and transform their organizations.

Our firm is skilled in serving the unique needs and challenges of industry segments which include large, national health systems and academic medical centers, regional and community health systems and groundbreaking health services companies.

Our Health Services practice is seeking an Associate Vice President to lead Issue Navigation and Crisis Communications for clients in this growing segment. The work requires a strong communications foundation, excellent writing skills and demonstrated expertise in navigating a range of issue and crisis campaigns. The work is fast-paced and high-stakes and requires the ability to take command of the situation, to lead clients successfully through the issue or crisis, protecting and at times, repairing, their reputation. Successful candidates will be able to interact with client executives, prepare communications strategies to reach internal and external audiences, lead strategy implementation and manage client teams to execute the work .

There is a media relations strategy component to this role as it relates to mitigating and communicating about the issue or crisis. The person in this role must understand the media landscape well, so for that reason, a journalism or agency background is likely helpful. Creating media statements, guiding clients on how to navigate social media, preparing clients to engage with media directly and building both reactive and proactive crisis communications plans are part of the duties for this role.

Additional aspects of the role involve the ability to facilitate alignment among diverse stakeholders, strong client-service experience, knowledge of, and perhaps relationships with leading media outlets, in particular healthcare and tech sectors. Candidates should have demonstrated experience while also being willing to apply Jarrard’s proven process for client service. All the while, managing client teams, budgets and team resources.

Primary Responsibilities:

Client Service

  • Lead and counsel clients, primarily who are in crisis or navigating a high stakes issue, to a mutually agreed upon outcome, helping to protect their reputation and in some cases, rebuild that reputation.
  • Help identify and realize full potential of a client engagement (meeting objectives, delivering on time/quality work within budget, managing client expectations).
  • Work with Practice Lead to create and finalize strategic communications and engagement efforts as crafted by your team.
  • Establish relationships with senior-level clients in order to further the agency’s standing and reputation within the client. Assist in parlaying project work to additional work with the firm.
  • Develop key client strategy and plan, while contributing to the budget development, working with Practice Lead
  • Identify opportunities to grow existing crisis/issue clients by serving as a trusted advisor and a strategic resource for clients. Listen for opportunities and utilize resources within the firm to capitalize on such opportunities.
  • Assist in overseeing strategies and programs for clients managed by the people who report to you.
  • Be aware of team utilization and capacity opportunities by engaging with your direct reports and communicating with supervisors.

Internal Client Team Management

  • Identify opportunities for continuous quality and client service improvement within the team.
  • Daily team advising and supervision.
  • Monthly/weekly staff planning/tracking including timely communications to internal leaders.

Business Development

  • Participate in and play role in, new business pitches including pitch strategy and proposal development.
  • Identify new opportunities with existing clients for the firm to contribute additional value for a client, and work with Practice Lead to bring those opportunities to fruition.
  • Ensure clients are aware of our full set of high-value services where appropriate, for new opportunities for growth.
  • Participate in and contribute ideas for firm thought leadership activities.

Firm Management

  • Capture and transfer best practices in key client management.
  • Actively participate in appropriate firm management meetings and/or discussions.
  • Accomplish daily billable goals and help ensure your direct reports do as well.
  • Contribute ideas for Jarrard Academy based on growth and development needs of your team.

People Development

  • Demonstrate and nurture Jarrard’s Vision, Mission and Values.
  • Mentor the colleagues who report to you, guide career development.
  • Ensure teams are adept at all firm high-value services.
  • Assist in recruitment and retention of the best talent for the firm.
  • Participate in Jarrard Academy and encourage the participation of people who report to you.
  • Actively support JQ, our talent development competency platform, for those who report to you, through development of a Growth Plan and annual review.


  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s a plus)
  • 10+ years’ experience in a preferred combination of a Communications role, professional services firm (healthcare focus is preferred) and/or journalism.
  • With offices in Chicago and Nashville, this position is offered in either location.
  • Proven expertise in crisis and issue navigation and management.
  • Demonstrated media relations successes and relationships.

What you can expect from us

  • High-stakes work that makes healthcare better.
  • A great, collegial workplace with understanding, innovative co-workers who care as much as you do about getting the work right.
  • Encouragement to ask probing questions and openness to new ideas.
  • Creative problem solving alongside clients who see you as a partner, not a vendor.
  • Investment in your growth and development via our competency-based talent development platform.
  • Competitive pay and benefits.

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