Stephen Whitehead takes on new role as HCA President from 2013

Hannah Blake


The Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) has announced that Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI, is to take up the newly-created role of HCA President in 2013.

This new appointment underlines the importance of communications within the pharma industry and marks a new era for HCA, as it diversifies to focus on new and emerging disciplines that reflect the changing healthcare environment.

“Healthcare communications has grown in maturity and stature and must be recognised as a key contributor in the industry mission to ensure that the healthcare profession and patient organisations get the latest and most reliable information on changing medicines and the value they offer. The NHS is under huge pressure to deliver more with less, modern medicines prove their value endlessly in the ongoing battle against disease and the very sustainability of the NHS relies on innovations that reduce secondary care admissions, keep patients well at home and enable healthier longer lives.

“I am privileged to be nominated as the first President of the HCA and to represent a vibrant, exciting and talented group of professionals”.

Stephen Whitehead comments on his new role as President of the HCA.

The HCA is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that was formed in 2001 with the stated aim of promoting excellence and best practice in the field of healthcare communications.

Over the last decade, healthcare communications has diversified dramatically, as the importance of medical education, digital communications, market access, policy and public affairs have evolved. This is increasingly reflected both in the focus of HCA activities and in the make-up of the new Executive Committee, which will in future also include specialist representation from these various different disciplines that together constitute modern healthcare communications.

“We are delighted that Stephen has agreed to take on this new role. It further underlines the pivotal role that healthcare communications has to play in the pharmaceutical sector and will help facilitate closer collaboration going forward between the HCA and ABPI, which can only benefit the industry in general. Stephen is ideally suited to the new role, bringing a wealth of experience in healthcare communications – including 10 years at GSK and Lilly at UK, European and international levels – as well as key insights from leading roles in other industry sectors. He has already demonstrably changed both the nature and extent of communications at the ABPI”.

Julia Cook, Chief Executive of the HCA.

As he embarks on his new role as President, Stephen is asking for comments or feedback on what the biggest challenges for communicators in the changing healthcare environment are and what priorities the HCA should be focusing on to be sent to




Reference links:

HCA official press release

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