HCA announces new board to execute exciting vision

HCA announces new board to execute exciting vision

[July 1st 2020] The HCA has announced its new board structure and board members as it looks to achieve its vision of becoming the leading professional association uniting and championing all those in healthcare communications.

“Firstly, we wholeheartedly thank everybody from our existing executive committee who has contributed so much, some over many years, to get the HCA to where it is today.” Said Mike Dixon, CEO and continued: “Although some now step down from their executive positions, we still look forward to their active participation and continued valuable input to all our work.”

In announcing the new board members, Alice Choi, HCA Board Chair explained “As we looked at our fresh and ambitious plan for the future of the organisation, we needed to ensure our structure adapted to help us fulfil our exciting vision.  We have been delighted by the wealth of interest shown by the membership to volunteer their time and experience and support the HCA in moving the organisation, and its work, forward.  We are pleased to now be able to announce the industry leaders who, as board members, will chair our key committees.”  

Board Chair:

Alice Choi, Chief Operating Officer, McCann Health Medical Communications

Board Members and Committee Chairs:

  • Emma Kenny, Partner and Operations Director, Axon Communications – Professional Development Committee

  • Edel McCaffrey, Independent Communications Consultant – Member Engagement Committee

  • Annabelle Sandeman, Global Head of Commercial Strategy, Huntsworth – Nominations Committee

  • Alister Sansum, Director, Scientific & Medical Communications, Publicis Health – Standards and Best Practice Committee

  • Jo Taylor, Director of Cello Health Communications, Europe – Foresight Committee

Annabelle Sandeman, chair of the Nominations Committee adds: “We are also very grateful to the many other experienced and talented members who have already volunteered to work as part of these new committees. The nominations committee welcomes any other members who wish to step forward and get involved in our work with the sector in helping shape healthcare communications now, and for the future.”

Mike Dixon continues as CEO to lead the day-to-day work of the organisation alongside Central Co-ordinator, Romilly Cook.  Neil Crump, Co Founder & Owner, Aurora, moves to a Non-Exec position as Governance Lead.

- Ends -

About the Healthcare Communications Association (HCA)

The HCA is a not-for-profit organisation, with membership comprising in-house teams, agencies, third sector and individuals working in national and global healthcare communications across diverse business sectors.
Our mission is to proactively represent and support those involved in global, regional and national healthcare communications by:

  1. Driving best practice and quality standards
  2. Providing education and professional development support
  3. Offering networking and mentoring opportunities
  4. Co-ordinating business intelligence opportunities and sharing knowledge

For further information please contact:
Email Mike Dixon.     HCA telephone: 01784 664 124

Board Chair:

alice-(2).jpgAlice Choi – Board Chair
Alice is the Chief Operating Officer of McCann Health Medical Communications and is the current Chair of the Healthcare Communications Agency.  She is a Certified Medical Publication Professional (CMPP), having served previously as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the International Society of Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP).  She currently serves as a Public Governor for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, one of Europe’s largest oncology centres, is a mentor for Cancer Research UK’s Women of Influence programme and sits on Marketing Manchester’s Internationalisation and Marketing Advisory Board.  Alice has been listed in the Northern Power Women Top 50 Power List and is very active in this group, providing guidance, support and cross-sector mentorship.  In 2019, Alice was named as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in the UK by Pharmaceutical Market Europe (PME).

Board Members and Committee Chairs:

emma-kenny.jpgEmma Kenny – Professional Development Committee
Emma, Partner and Operations Director at AXON Communications, has been in healthcare communications for over 20 years and has been supporting the HCA for the last 9 years. Emma is passionate about professional development and, through her day-to-day work at AXON, the work the work she has done with the HCA and her work with not-for profit organisations, she has led countless medical education and professional development programmes of all shapes and sizes.

“I am so excited to be taking on the role of Chair of the HCA Professional Development Committee. I am looking forward to supporting our members, wherever they are located geographically, by delivering initiatives that inspire people to want to remain in the industry and become the leaders of the future and that go beyond knowledge transfer to truly drive improvements in the performance of our industry overall.”

edel-mccaffrey.jpgEdel McCaffrey – Member Engagement Committee
With over 25 years of corporate and healthcare communications experience, Edel has spent the majority of her career as an in-house communicator within the global pharmaceutical industry.  Edel is currently an independent communications consultant and is a former member of the HCA Executive Committee.  She has been actively involved with the association for many years, most recently driving the HCA Innovation initiative and leading on social media engagement.   

“Throughout my healthcare communications career, I always valued being a member of the HCA, not only for the networking opportunities it provided, but also for driving shared learning and best practice through pertinent initiatives such as Innovation and Sustainability.  As we look to the future, with a robust strategy and vision in place, this is an exciting time for the HCA.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the new HCA Board and chair the Member Engagement Committee, ensuring it continues to grow, evolve and add value for our members over the years ahead.”

annabelle-sandeman.jpgAnnabelle Sandeman – Nominations Committee  
Annabelle is Global Head of Commercial Strategy for Huntsworth. She brings more than 20 years of experience across HCP advertising, Medical Communications, and PR. During Annabelle’s career, she has been responsible for building and managing global, European and domestic brand/medical strategy across multiple stakeholders, regions, countries, and medical and marketing disciplines. As an integrated strategist she has worked across multiple therapeutic categories, including immunology (biologics and biosimilars), ophthalmology, GI, virology, orphan and rare disease, cardiology, neurology, and more. She started her career at Abbott Laboratories in the United Kingdom as a primary and secondary sales representative before moving to the agency side of the business when she joined VB Communications and Jago Pearce (now part of Huntsworth Health). Annabelle graduated from Edinburgh University with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree specialising in physiology and cardiovascular pharmacology in 1995. Annabelle gained her Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is a Co-Chair for the Communiqué awards in 2019 and 2020.

“The HCA, like many not-for-profit organisations, needs the support of membership volunteers to help shape its direction and contribute to its work.  The Nominations Committee has the important remit to identify and recruit the best talent from the membership to fulfil these roles now and succession plan for the future. I am delighted to be chairing the dedicated committee supporting the HCA in this endeavour and we are very grateful to the experienced and talented members who have already volunteered to work as part of our new board and committees. We also welcome any other members to contact us who wish to step forward and get involved in our work with the sector in helping shape healthcare communications now, and for the future.”

alistair-sansum.jpgAlister Sansum - Standards and Best Practice Committee
Alister is currently the Director of Scientific and Medical Communications at Publicis Health based in London. In his role he works with clients and agency teams to develop communication programmes that support healthcare brands, medical education initiatives, and new services for healthcare professionals and patients. Prior to this Alister was General Manager at Real Science Communications, a medical education agency and part of Publicis Health, that he co-founded in 2008. Before joining the medical communications industry Alister gained a BSc in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Southampton and a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of Cambridge.

“The healthcare communications industry through its activities and initiatives, plays an important role in helping to improve people’s health and well-being. As such it is imperative that the industry operates with integrity and professionalism to build trust and engagement with our work. I am delighted to be chairing the HCA Committee on Standards and Best Practice and providing HCA members, and the wider healthcare communications community, with the support and guidance they need to operate at the highest professional standards. In turn this will lead to the creation of best-practice communications that have the power to make a meaningful difference and positively transform people’s lives.”

jo-taylor.jpgJo Taylor – Foresight Committee                                             
Jo, Director of Cello Health Communications, Europe has worked in healthcare communications for over 25 years and in that time has been a long supporter of the HCA throughout her various roles in-house and in-agency.
Most recently Jo has been working with the HCA on a series of roundtable discussion groups concerning the sustainability of Pharma.
Jo is passionate about making a difference to society and sees the role of healthcare communications as fundamentally important in this.

“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Chair of the HCA’s Foresight Committee:  Predicting the future trends that will impact our industry and the role of the healthcare communicator within it, is an essential element for success in these turbulent times.  Through the work of the committee we want to ensure that HCA members aren’t just aware of these trends but that they are fully equipped to successfully embrace them personally and as organisations.  I can’t wait to get started!”