Healthcare: Firstlight role for top health PRO Pearson

Healthcare comms heavyweight Pat Pearson is setting up a health practice with former colleague Paul Davies, after stepping down as health MD of The Red Consultancy.

As reported earlier this year, Pearson announced he was leaving Red after four years (prweek.com/uk, 9 June). PRWeek can now reveal that Pearson will be joining Davies to create a healthcare offering at corporate PR consultancy firm Firstlight.

Firstlight was launched in 2009 by Davies, who was formerly head of corporate comms at Red. Pearson and Davies will become co-MDs of the new division.

Describing it as a 'break-away' rather than a 'start-up', Pearson said the new offering would provide comms support for pharmaceutical, medical devices and healthcare not-for-profit clients.

Pearson said the division would move away from the traditional agency model 'that struggles to keep pace with evolving client needs'.

'Firstlight has a clear focus on providing clients with the right blend of expertise and seniority to meet the challenges being faced by healthcare organisations and patients,' claimed Pearson.

Davies said: 'We see this as a very logical step. During the past couple of years, we have concentrated on building a very different business to that of our peers.'

Pearson is a former deputy MD at Ruder Finn and media adviser at the Department of Health. He joined Red Health in 2007 to lead the practice, going on to play a pivotal role in making the agency a key player in the healthcare space.

Paul Gittins, currently director of ethical healthcare at Red Health, has taken on Pearson's role as MD.

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