NEW YORK—Helene Ellison has been appointed global chair of the healthcare practice at Burson-Marsteller. Ellison is a veteran of the healthcare and pharmaceutical communications industry with expertise in corporate positioning, product lifecycle and regulatory communications, media relations, strategic alliance building and crisis management.
Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller, Ellison founded and was president and CEO of HealthStar Public Relations, an independent healthcare PR agency with clients including Bayer Consumer Care, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Glaxo-SmithKline Consumer Health and Teva. Prior to joining HealthStar, Ellison was an executive vice president, general manager and head of healthcare at Edelman-owned PR21, now Zeno Group. She has also led healthcare divisions at Edelman, Stratis/KPR and Wang Associates.
In her new position, Ellison will be responsible for building and managing a global practice that has staff in every region of Burson-Marsteller's global network and will also have direct responsibility for oversight of the U.S. healthcare practice. She will be based in New York and report to Mark Penn, Worldwide President & CEO and work closely with U.S. CEO Patrick Ford on managing the U.S. practice.
Ellison started her career at Burson-Marsteller in the firm's media relations practice where she worked on projects including the Tylenol crisis and the first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She later returned to Burson-Marsteller as a vice president in healthcare.
During her career, Ellison has successfully launched more than 30 brands in primary, specialty care and over-the counter markets. Some of her clients have included Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, Glaxo-SmithKline, Schering-Plough, Sepracor and Roche and has worked in a variety of disease categories including allergy, asthma, cardiology, dermatology, diabetes, infectious disease, insomnia, mental health, nutrition, ophthalmology, obesity, oncology, respiratory disease and women's health.