CHICAGO: GolinHarris has named Farah Speer as its North America healthcare practice leader.
Speer will be responsible for aligning and expanding the group across its North American offices, particularly Chicago, New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.
She will work closely with the agency's global healthcare practice co-leaders, Angie Wiles and Sarah Matthew, on strategic growth initiatives for Golin's US offices.
Speer most recently led the Interpublic Group agency's Chicago healthcare practice in her 13-year career at the firm. She has worked with consumer health and pharma giants such as Johnson & Johnson, GSK, Takeda, Teva, Baxter, and Novartis. Speer also worked with Ketchum in New York and Chicago for six years.
The promotion comes on the heels of other GolinHarris healthcare moves around the world.
Last July, the firm bought Virgo Health, a UK-based communications firm. Wiles and Matthew, Virgo's co-CEOs, were brought into the fold at Golin at the time. It also launched Go Digital Health, a global digital specialty practice in January.
In March, Omega Pharma moved its entire portfolio into Golin's UK healthcare practice. It had previously worked with Virgo.
In PRWeek's 2013 Agency Business Report, CEO Fred Cook noted that its acquisitions of Virgo and other firms “improved our digital and healthcare capabilities.” Virgo, in particular, “worked on a business and a client level,” he said.