Bashe Joins Catalyst as President and CEO
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Bashe Joins Catalyst as President and CEO

Healthcare public relations veteran Gil Bashe is leaving Health!Quest Global Communication Partners, and will join low-profile healthcare marketing firm Catalyst Communications as president and chief executive officer.

Paul Holmes

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, January 31—Healthcare public relations veteran Gil Bashe is leaving Health!Quest Global Communication Partners, the private equity-funded agency he launched two years ago, and will join low-profile healthcare marketing firm Catalyst Communications as president and chief executive officer. Rod Mehling, previously the agency’s president, has been named to the new positions of chairman and chief operating officer (COO).
Bashe says the fact that nearly 20 percent of Catalyst’s client service staff hold MDs, PhDs and PharmDs was one of the factors that attracted him to the firm. “At a time when reporters are more skeptical of corporations, those qualifications give reporters a high degree of confidence in the credibility and authenticity of the information they’re receiving.”
 
“Catalyst was among the first firms to recognize that establishing ‘brand value’ with physicians and patients required harnessing the power of science-driven communications and integrated positioning services,” says Rod Mehling, who cofounded Catalyst in 1996. “Gil joins a group of almost 100 specialized communicators with backgrounds in the sciences, healthcare advertising, education, and now healthcare public relations and public affairs.”
 
Catalyst has traditionally offered three divisions: advertising, medical education and professional relations, which included a small PR group. The PR group will be led by Steven Immergut, who joins Catalyst as senior vice president for professional and public relations from Health!Quest, where he was managing partner. 
 
“Combining the professional and public relations capabilities with Catalyst’s science-oriented talent provides our agency with unique depth in these areas,” says Mehling.
 
Bashe says he was also excited by the firm’s culture, which combines a strong client service mentality with a workplace environment that encourages employees to balance their work and life. “It’s the kind of place where there’s no pressure on people to work incredibly long hours, but while they are in the office people are totally focused on client service.”
 
Catalyst clients include Andrx Laboratories, Berlex Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hemosol, Johnson & Johnson, Pharmacia, Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi-Synthelabo and Schering-Plough.
 
Prior to Health!Quest, Bashe was CEO of CommonHealth, WPP Group’s network of global healthcare communications companies. He also served as executive vice president and worldwide health practice director at public relations giant Hill and Knowlton, and held management positions at Medicus and Sutton Healthcare Group.
 
He will continue to serve as a limited partner at GTCR Golder Rauner, which funded Health!Quest.
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