NEW YORK—Veteran healthcare communications professional Doug Petkus has been named senior counselor in the issues and crisis management group at Ketchum.

Petkus was most recently senior counsel at Washington, DC-based public affairs firm Widmeyer Communications and president of Petkus Communications Consultants, who offered strategic communications and issues management counsel with a particular focus on healthcare and consumer products, including regulatory issues and litigation support.

Earlier, Petkus was vice president, corporate communications, at pharmaceutical company Wyeth until its acquisition by Pfizer. He served as the chief corporate spokesperson and handled all financial communications. His experience included managing media relations on landmark clinical study results such as the Women's Health Initiative.

Prior to joining Wyeth in 1996, Petkus held senior communications positions at Abbott Laboratories and Schering-Plough (now Merck) and also spent 10 years at New York-based public relations agencies including Hill & Knowlton. He started his career as a TV news anchor at an ABC affiliate in Wisconsin.