Roche Diagnostics brings on Johnny Smith to lead comms strategy

Smith has worked at Encompass Health and Ascension.

Smith previously worked as VP of marketing services for Encompass Health.

INDIANAPOLIS: Roche Diagnostics has hired Johnny Smith as VP of communications. 

Smith, who has two decades of experience working in communications for healthcare systems, joined Roche Diagnostics in October. The U.S. headquarters of the Swiss company, which produces diagnostic equipment for cancer, cardiac health and infectious diseases, among other sectors, are in Smith’s hometown of Indianapolis. 

“This presented a great opportunity to reunite with family back in Indianapolis but also tackle a new side of healthcare, more on the diagnostic side,” Smith said. “This gives me the opportunity to really zero in on diagnostics solutions and the role that diagnostics plays in the overall patient-care journey. So I’m really looking forward to joining a very established, incredible and amazing organization.”

Smith will manage public relations, media relations, internal communications, community engagement, creative services and digital communications, according to a biography from the American Lung Association, where Smith serves on the board. 

He will oversee Roche’s communications strategy and execution, reporting to Matt Sause, president and CEO of Roche Diagnostics, North America. 

Smith previously worked as VP of marketing services for Encompass Health, which operates rehabilitation hospitals, and as national senior director of marketing and communications for Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. He was also a member of PRWeek’s 2018 40 Under 40 class.

When asked which campaigns or products he would work on, Smith said he was still on a listening tour.

“I have had a deep, deep rich background on the healthcare provider side,” Smith said. “Now I just get the opportunity to lean in from a diagnostic standpoint and learn much more about how we support our laboratories, how we support healthcare providers and how we support patients across the country.”

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