Global Healthcare Communications Summit 3

23-24 April, Toronto

Book Now

About the Event


Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19) and in accordance with health guidance from the WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to postpone the Global Healthcare Communications Summit that was scheduled to take place from 23-24 April at Delta Hotels in Toronto.

We have tried our best to make sure that the event is happening but with travel bans for our speakers and delegates and the growing concerns around the coronavirus, it is now clear that cancellation is unavoidable in order to meet our obligation to protect the health and safety of our attendees and speakers.

Please note that the new dates for the Global Healthcare Communications Summit are 21-22 October at the Delta Hotel in Toronto.  

Please kindly note that we understand that this change might come with a certain level of disappointment to some of you, and it does break our hearts for the fact that we will not be able to soon meet and greet all of you and share two days of remarkable and memorable learning, sharing and networking experiences, but the health and safety of all of you has to be the top priority at all times. 

In case you cannot make it to the new dates, please note that you can use your registration fees to sign up for any of our events around the world in the next 12 months.

Looking forward for meeting you all of you very soon!


The third edition of the Global Healthcare Communications Summit will focus on PR and communications tactics and trends that will help you stay on top of the latest developments and technology trends.

Benefits of attending:

  • Understand how social media is changing health care
  • Make an impact in a world of information overload
  • Identify the five megatrends to inform your PR strategy until 2025
  • Use brand journalism to boost results across channels
  • Develop media and social strategies to capitalize your efforts
  • Use social media to prevent a crisis
  • Master the latest trends in employee engagement 
  • Promote work-life balance in your workplace
  • Protect and maintain your reputation in a world of constant crisisMaster the latest trends in crisis and reputation management
  • Connect with hundreds of colleagues who are dealing with the same challenges as you
  • Explore new ideas for launching your next generation communication and online strategies
  • Leverage the experience of others in the field


Meg Aldrich Keck Medicine of USC Marketing and Communications, University of Southern California

Lorenzo Benet Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Lili Shalev-Shawn Women's College Hospital

Amy M. Wicks Massachusetts General Hospital

Lori Spadorcia Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Lori Davison SickKids Foundation

Agnes Bongers St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

Lee Aase Mayo Clinic

Maliha Aqeel, PMP Director of Global Communications, Fix Network World

Patrick Bartosch Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute San Diego, California

Robert Mackle The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Nicole Wise Yale Medicine

Donald Steel FCIPR FRSA Former Chief Communications Adviser, BBC

Taya Jarman, APR Virginia Department of Health



Registration and Morning Coffee


Opening Remarks


How Social Media is Changing Health Care 
In this keynote, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network Director Lee Aase will describe how social media has metamorphosed from an interesting add-on to an essential ingredient in health care communications and marketing. Beyond its public relations and marketing applications, he’ll share the importance of training and equipping both front-line staff and patients to be effective ambassadors, and how to help stakeholders apply social media strategies in their work. Finally, he’ll share resources Mayo Clinic has developed to guide its staff in safe and effective use of social media. 
Lee Aase, Communications Director, Social and Digital Innovation, Mayo Clinic


Moving From Insight to Action - How Communications Can Help Guide Business Transformation
With higher demands on employees, the 24/7 connectedness of the digital world, increasing expectations for continuous innovation and growing levels of stress and anxiety – work is becoming more difficult. And the role of Communications professionals has evolved, they are no longer just content creators and crisis managers. So let’s talk about how communications leaders can become central to business transformation by helping their teams, and themselves, develop deep insight and implement effective actions. 
Lili Shalev-Shawn, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, Women's College Hospital


Driving Social Change: A Case Study in Building a Movement for Mental Health
When the goal is as large as eliminating stigma and discrimination, public affairs teams must use everything in their toolkit: corporate communications, media relations, government relations and even crisis communications, to change attitudes and break through societal norms. This is a case study in building a movement for change and the jagged line to progress.

Lori Spadorcia, Vice-President, Communications and Partnerships, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health


Interactive Discussion with Speakers and Delegates


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Five Megatrends to Inform Your PR Strategy Until 2025
The rise of the empowered consumer—and importance of trust—has disrupted every public-facing industry. And there are no signs of this trend reversing. The best PR strategies are focused on the long term, much like your organization’s three- or five-year strategic plan. Anticipating market trends is one of the hallmarks of a sustainable PR program and also how you demonstrate the strategic value of your function. 
This session explores five megatrends and how they can, and should, inform your communication planning. From increased accuracy and authenticity in messaging to new ways of working due to technological shifts, it’s a brave new world for PR professionals. And they’ll have to expand their skillsets and toolbox to stay relevant and valued for the next five years. 
Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications, Fix Network World


Finding Voice and Fueling Velocity in Your Content Marketing Strategy - ​​Employing a Content Marketing Strategy Makes Sense in Today’s Digi-centric Environment – but How do You Make an Impact in a World of Information Overload?  
- Evolution of content planning process
- Using metrics to manage internal and external performance
- Sputters and spikes in our growth curve
- Generating organizational support (getting leadership on our side)
- Lessons learned
Nicole Wise, Executive Editor, Yale Medicine


SickKids VS Apathy: A transformational shift in brand strategy to attract new audiences and drive new levels of giving
This case study will detail the development of a category-busting brand strategy for Toronto’s The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) which was designed and executed in order to achieve an audacious fundraising goal.
The case study provides clear insight into the rationale behind the strategic shift,  the barriers that were encountered and details of results in terms of brand metrics, social sentiment and fundraising achievements.
A key learning from this session will be insight into effective stakeholder relations and how collaboration breeds support and courage, even in the face of controversy.

Lori Davison, Vice President, Brand Strategy & Communications, SickKids Foundation


Interactive Discussion with Speakers and Delegates


Networking and Refreshment Break


Engaging Your Audience with Experts: Harness the Power of Podcasts to Broaden Your Footprint
 Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University’s oldest and largest teaching hospital, is a large institution filled with many impressive people—and stories. Inspired by a treasure trove of remarkable female leaders, we launched our in-house podcast “Charged,” to bring those stories to life and shine the light on the women leading the industry. Each episode gives voice to one of the many women driving health care innovation at Mass General and speaks to a host of challenges and opportunities facing us in health care—and in the workplace more broadly. Learn how we’ve built a podcast that includes content that tells important stories  while also promoting our brand to a wide audience. 
Amy Wicks, Marketing Manager, Digital Content Massachusetts General


Engaging and Managing Celebrities: From Newscasters, to Sports Figures and Teams, to Hollywood Stars and Studios
- How to you develop media and social strategies to capitalize and what channels work best?
- What ways can you engage celebrities and sports heroes who want to help promote the hospital brand?
- How do you manage all the different expectations and needs internally – foundation interests, vs. media and marketing interests
- Impact on the hospital floors providing care, protecting the hospital’s reputation and brand from celebrities wanting to capitalize on it, and managing the expectations of hospital leaders who want to be involved intimately in celebrity visits
Lorenzo Benet, Director of Public Relations, Children's Hospital Los Angeles


A Jack of All Trades: Using Brand Journalism to Boost Results Across Channels
Robert Mackle, Sr. Dir. of Brand Journalism and Media, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center


Interactive Discussion with Speakers and Delegates


End of Day One


Morning Coffee


Opening Remarks


Extreme Engagement- How to Embed Staff Participation to Get Real Buy in
Agnes Bongers, Director of Public Affairs, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton


Developing an Executive Visibility/Thought Leadership Program for C-suite Executives
Meg Aldrich, Director, Media Relations, Keck Medicine of USC Marketing and Communications, University of Southern California


How Not to Burn Out in a 365/24/7 PR World and the Future of Work-life Balance for Communicators
Patrick Bartosch, Senior Director, Communications, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, San Diego, California


How to Use Social to Prevent (or Mitigate) a Crisis for Your Healthcare Brand or Nonprofit
Social media can be a minefield for your brand, or it can be your best early-warning defense system—or both at the same time! Hear case studies from organizations that use social both to spot potential crises early and to manage to brushfires that may have already broken out.
Taya Jarman, Population Health Communications Director, Virginia Department of Health


Interactive Discussion for Speakers and Delegates


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Interactive Crisis Communications Workshop with Donald Steel, Former Chief Communications Adviser at BBC
The cameraphone is rapidly enabling the public to dominate the conversation. We explore how crisis communications is changing, and how you must adapt your crisis plan to meet these new challenges and ensure your reputation is protected. Delegates will be invited to work on a fictitious, very challenging, but engaging scenario. You will come under pressure as a very serious scenario develops and you will leave with take homes that will ensure your crisis communications plan is ready for today’s new challenges. Donald Steel is uniquely placed to lead this workshop. He began his career in Britain’s National Health Service, and after qualifying as an RN, worked in regional and national neurosurgical units in Scotland. He went on to develop a career as a presenter, chief spokesman of the British Broadcasting Corporation and now a widely admired global expert in crisis communications.
In this session we will explore:
- Practical ways you can respond very quickly to avoid losing control of the narrative
- The need for rapid visibility of the Chief Executive or senior clinicians
- How we can communicate visually in the age of the smartphone
- Handling media aggression in a crisis 

Our partners


Delta Hotels Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Delta Toronto
Address: 75 Lower Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5J 3A6, Canada
Phone: +1 416-849-1200

Stay, play and explore one of Canada's most vibrant cities at vibrant Delta Hotels Toronto. You'll find everything you need for a memorable stay in our premium accommodations, which boast waterfront and downtown Toronto views - as well as key essentials like complimentary Wi-Fi. Extend your visit in our pet-friendly long stay suites, which offer fully equipped kitchens. Work out in our modern, 24/7 fitness facility or relax in our heated indoor pool. Those planning to host a business meeting or special celebration in Toronto can choose from over 21,000 square feet of inspiring spaces, for everything from seminars to Bar Mitzvahs to vow renewals. Let our specialists take care of the details, ensuring a seamless event. Sample our hotel's popular food and beverage outlets, including one of the area's premium whiskey bars. Interested in exploring? Metro Toronto Convention Centre is on our doorstep, while downtown attractions such as the CN Tower and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada are in easy reach for all to enjoy.