H&K's Reineke leads comms in interim role at Cigna

PHILADELPHIA: Hill & Knowlton's Gene Reineke is leading communications at health insurer Cigna, including the company's post-health reform PR strategy, until the health insurer hires a chief communications officer.

PHILADELPHIA: Hill & Knowlton's Gene Reineke is leading communications at health insurer Cigna, including the company's post-health reform PR strategy, until the health insurer hires a chief communications officer.

Reineke, chief operating officer at Hill & Knowlton, first began working in-house at Cigna in 2009 before taking the interim CCO position at the start of 2010. Wendell Potter, former VP of communications at Cigna, retired in 2008, later becoming an outspoken critic of industry efforts to fight healthcare reform.

The search for a CCO is ongoing, said Gloria Barone Rosanio, director of corporate communications and PR at Cigna.

The company's team of 12 external communications professionals currently reports to H&K's Reineke, who created a hybrid team of staffers from communications, legal, government affairs, marketing, sales, training, and IR, to handle the company's post-reform efforts.

“We wanted to approach this in a very thoughtful and organized way,” said Barone Rosanio.

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed in March, Cigna has focused its reform-based communications on employer groups and employees, including the development of a new microsite and an internal mailbox for employees to ask questions about reform.

“Reform is not a one-time event,” said Barone Rosanio. “It's about the law and how we will implement the law.”

Also this week, Chris Curran left his position as a director of corporate communications at Cigna to take a position at ServiceMaster. Curran, who was named director of PR and issues management at ServiceMaster, reports to Peter Tosches, SVP of communications at the company. He started in the new role August 9.

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