NEW YORK—Porter Novelli has restructured its global healthcare practice, with new roles for several senior executives and new hires in New York and London. Barbara DeBuono, Porter Novelli’s chief medical officer, will lead the practice as global director of health and social marketing. She will oversee development of the practice, with special focus on the convergence of advocacy, issues, policy, digital and social marketing.
DeBuono will continue to work closely with Shipra Singh, who leads health care for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to build the practice globally. DeBuono has also assumed management responsibilities for Porter Novelli’s health practice based in New York. She reports directly to president of global clients Julie Winskie.
Prior to joining Porter Novelli in 2009, DeBuono was executive director, public health and government for Pfizer, where she was responsible for creating and managing public-private partnership programs in public health innovation, health policy, education and research.
According to Winskie, “The health influencers, consumer engagement and brand integration requirements will continue to change radically and at a quicker pace. Defining this sector more broadly and hiring leaders who know health communications beyond traditional PR is at the heart of what health care clients need today.”
In addition, Susan Hayes has joined Porter Novelli for her second stint with the agency and will serve as a partner in New York, managing the agency’s Novartis business. Hayes joins from her own firm, S. Hayes Consulting, and previously worked at Cooney Waters, Ogilvy & Mather and Porter Novelli.
Cheryl Nigro also joins Porter Novelli from her own firm, Rethink, to become executive vice president and lead the agency’s Merck business from the New York office. Kimberly Santiago has joined Porter Novelli’s London office from Hill & Knowlton as associate director. And Sarah Schapira has rejoined Porter Novelli’s London office from Tonic Life Communications as an account director, working primarily on women’s health brands.