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HCA announces new Chair

Julia Cook is to be the new Chair of the Healthcare Communications Association after receiving unanimous backing from the HCA Executive Committee.

Julia Cook is to be the new Chair of the Healthcare Communications Association (HCA). Veteran of the healthcare PR industry, Cook comes with over 16 years of agency experience following 13 years in the pharmaceutical industry. She received unanimous backing from the HCA Executive Committee as the new Chair.

Cook was previously managing director of specialist consultancy Lowe Fusion Healthcare and set up independent consultancy, StepBack Healthcare, in 2002.

She takes over the role from Stuart Rose, who stepped down at the Association's AGM at BMA House last week, after a year's tenure, to focus on a new role at clinical diagnostics company Oxford Immunotec. He remains a member of the HCA Executive Committee.

Commenting on the new role, Cook said: "I am absolutely delighted to be the new Chair of the HCA and am looking forward to consolidating what's already been established in the role, as well as developing the organisation to meet the evolving needs of the membership and the pharmaceutical industry in general.

"My experience in both agency and the pharmaceutical industry will hopefully help ensure that both partners can work together better to achieve common goals."

Asked what she felt she could personally bring to the role, Cook said: "I can bring a mix of both strategic overview and pragmatic organisation. This will be especailly important in relation to a key focus for the HCA in 2005, namely Return on Investment (RoI) where we have to ensure that both the general value and RoI of healthcare communications is clearly demonstrated and communicated."

In general, the HCA promises to promote the highest standards in healthcare communications and will offer a wide variety of support services for its growing membership, including specifically-tailored and quality training for staff and regular news briefings.

"In addition, we will be leading industry-wide initiatives such as the in-depth focus on RoI in healthcare communications, as well as providing practical implementation tools for effective evaluation," added Cook.

2nd September 2008

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