Kristen Hellmer: 40 Under 40 2013

PR Director, UnitedHealthcare

Kristen Hellmer has been instrumental in shaping the corporate reputation of one of the nation’s leading healthcare companies during a period of great change.

As director of PR at UnitedHealthcare, a business that provides health benefits and services to more than 40 million Americans, she oversees communications in the Western US region, covering 10 states. Her role involves handling the unique challenges of each individual state’s health system amid significant reform and creating and implementing communications strategies for the company’s multiple programs and initiatives in these areas. She oversees communications for the company’s commercial business – UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual – which provides health benefits to 3.7 million people, as well as providing direct support and guidance to other lines of business, such as UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans.

Key achievements include managing communications for the launch of Accountable Care Organizations in Arizona and Colorado – physician-led groups pioneering a new model for the payment and delivery of care. Hellmer also drove communications around the launch of UnitedHealthcare’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance in the state of Washington – a joint initiainitiative with the YMCA and Safeway pharmacies aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

Hellmer has previously held key roles at the State of Arizona’s Commerce Authority and energy giant ExxonMobil, and served as lead spokesperson and communications adviser on environmental and energy policy for President George W. Bush at the White House. She meets the challenges of her job with "energy and dedication," according to Tyler Mason, VP of communications at United-Health Group.

"Her experience working in both corporate communications and the policy arena has given Kristen’s work at UnitedHealthcare a particular edge when it comes to tackling the complex issues facing today’s healthcare industry."

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