Fleishman taps HHS vet Sorian to lead DC healthcare

FleishmanHillard has hired Richard Sorian, who led communications for the Department of Health and Human Services through much of 2010 and 2011, to lead its Washington office's healthcare division.

WASHINGTON: FleishmanHillard has hired Richard Sorian, who led communications for the Department of Health and Human Services through much of 2010 and 2011, to lead its Washington office's healthcare division.

Sorian, who will serve as SVP and partner, was most recently director of communications, education, and outreach for the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority, where he helped to establish the organization's brand, communications, and marketing strategy.

“Healthcare continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy,” Fleishman Washington GM Kris Balderston said, in a statement. “Healthcare leaders face new opportunities and challenges to expand coverage, control costs, and continue the remarkable progress in treating, curing, and preventing illness and disability.”

Sorian could not be immediately reached for comment.

Before joining the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, the organization that oversees enrollment to the insurance exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act, Sorian was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS. There, he was the chief adviser to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on all major communications strategies and was responsible for leading public affairs strategy through the department. A recess appointment made by Obama in August 2010 who was never confirmed by the Senate, he left the position as dictated by law in December 2011.

Sorian was ranked number 43 on the 2011 version of PRWeek's Power List.

Sorian also spent seven years as VP for public policy and external relations at the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an organization that works to improve healthcare quality.

He began his three-decade-long career as a journalist at McGraw-Hill's Medicine & Health and later served as a senior adviser to former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala during the Clinton Administration. He is also the author of The Bitter Pill: Tough Choices in America's Health Policy.

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