H&K hires Winkless for med ed revamp

Hill & Knowlton has named the first comms director for its med ed arm, Medical Knowledge Group (MKG).

In a move which it says ­reflects a ‘blurring of lines ­between PR and medical edu­cation', the agency has hired Sarah Winkless - a freelance PRO who has worked for ­Ast­ra­Zeneca and Visa International. The agency also plans to bring in more PROs as acc­ount directors for MKG.

Winkless has taken the newly created role with a ­remit to look at the way clients' medical education work is presented to stakeholders such as journalists. This type of work used to be aimed solely at medical professionals and patient groups.

Winkless, who reports to Nick May, H&K's MD of healthcare and wellbeing, said: ‘Traditional med ed and PR used to be separate but they increasingly cross over. Patient advocacy groups have to illustrate the effects of disease on patients, for ­example. We work in stroke, mental health and a number of disease areas where it is very science-based.'

She will work on interpreting data and explaining to the media what it means in layperson's terms. ‘It will also be a case of making sure scien­tific data supports consumer campaigns,' Winkless said.

Winkless freelanced over the past 10 years for corporate and healthcare clients.

MKG currently has eight staff inclu­ding client services director Tracy Paul, new business direc­tor Antoinette Shallue and various medical writers.

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