GCI Health hires Fleishman vet Kirsten Whipple to lead wellness, nutrition practice

Whipple led FleishmanHillard's health and wellness practice since 2013.

Kirsten Whipple
Kirsten Whipple

CHICAGO: GCI Health has hired Kirsten Whipple to head its wellness and nutrition practice.

Whipple started in the newly created EVP position on April 15 and reports to Kristin Cahill, GCI Health’s president of North America. She doesn’t yet have any direct reports. A GCI representative said Whipple was hired to help the agency expand its business in the wellness and nutrition space.

Whipple said healthcare comms doesn’t always strike the right balance between the technical and the human.

"I decided to make the move after seeing so many examples of the great inspiring work that GCI Health has been delivering for clients, especially where they put such a strong focus on putting people at the center, which is so important in the wellness and nutrition space," Whipple said of why she joined GCI.

Prior to GCI, Whipple had worked at FleishmanHillard as SVP and partner. She joined Fleishman in 2011 as an SVP, but had led the agency’s health and wellness practice since late 2013.

Fleishman had no comment on Whipple’s exit. A Fleishman representative said that after Whipple left, the firm hired Stephanie Tortorici as SVP and partner in Chicago to lead growth of that office’s healthcare group. However, Tortorici is not a direct replacement for Whipple, a rep said.

Previously, Whipple was director of marketing at Sears Holdings, focusing on integrated communications and marketing. 

In January, GCI Health opened an office in Singapore, its first in what the firm said will be an expansion into Asia.

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