Stroke Association poaches Korner to head comms

The Stroke Association has hired Muscular Dystrophy Campaign director of corporate affairs Joe Korner as its director of communications.

The appointment comes as the body seeks to strengthen its campaigning profile and gain more influence with the Government to push stroke higher up the agenda of health and social services.

It also intends to use debates in the media about causes of strokes, such as obesity and binge drinking, to drive awareness among the public that stroke is the third-biggest killer and the biggest cause of disability in the UK.

Korner will lead a comms team that has increased from 15 to 19 people in the last year.

The team’s expansion marks a decision by chief executive Jon Barrick to ensure the full weight of the charity, which Korner described as a ‘sleeping giant’, is felt by the Government. ‘As stroke-preventative messages about drinking and eating healthily become more high profile, we want to be more proactive and responsive,’ said Korner. ‘I intend to ensure stroke is as well known as cancer and heart disease.’

Korner plans to lobby the Government to improve care for sufferers of strokes, both at the emergency treatment stage and during rehabilitation.

With responsibility for public affairs, internal and external relations, information services and the charity’s helpline, Korner replaces Jerry Doyle, who left in November 2003 due to ill-health.

Following Korner’s appointment, interim head of comms Gregg Vines has taken the newly created role of deputy head of comms.

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