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MS&L hires biotech expert

MS&L has hired Matt Gardner, recent president and CEO of life sciences trade group BayBio, to lead the agency's Western US region healthcare team

MS&L has hired Matt Gardner, who was most recently president and CEO of the Northern Californian life sciences trade group BayBio, to lead the agency's Western US region healthcare team. Gardner will serve as a senior vice president in the San Francisco office, reporting to Jeanine O'Kane, North American healthcare practice director, and Joe Carberry, president of the western region.

"Our partnership with the management team of a life science company is changing. More and more, we find ourselves in a longer-term dialogue with management, providing advice that keeps all stakeholders looking and rowing in the same direction," Gardner said in an interview on MS&L's corporate blog. "When we partner with a company, they need us just as often in their boardrooms as they do in their press rooms. That's why I am here."

Asked to outline the most pressing communications issues in the healthcare sector, Gardner put reputation at the top of the list. "Whether you're talking about the traditional pharmaceutical industry, or looking at public awareness of biotech, there are long-term challenges there," he said.

"Second, I would say that our industry has more to do to embrace digital technologies in a way that helps and empowers patients and satisfies regulators. Finally, I think the consumer ultimately drives everything else in the system," Gardner added. "Patients will continue to have increasing information at their fingertips, and will participate much more directly in their health decisions and actions."

While Gardner was with BayBio, the organisation partnered with MS&L on the BayBio IMPACT campaign, which won a Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America.

In addition to his new role at MS&L, Gardner is co-founder and director of the Florida-based consulting firm Cornerstone Integrated Solutions, which offers a range of services to biotech and life sciences companies, from start-up preparedness to clinical readiness. He also serves on advisory boards for research universities including the University of California at Davis and the University of Maryland College Park.

17th August 2010

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