February 16, 2012 08:00 ET

WCG Hires Diverse Healthcare Communications Veterans to Expand and Enhance Global Integrated Offering

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 16, 2012) - WCG, an independent global strategic communications consulting firm, announced today that it has hired four senior professionals to strengthen its ability to provide leading-edge strategy and delivery for its healthcare clients. These hires include Leslie Wheeler, practice leader; Courtney Walker, group director; Cira Montreys, Ph.D., group medical director; and Shelley Parsons; group director, creative.

"These hires underscore our philosophy of hiring the best people with real-world, hands-on experience in diverse business sectors and disciplines to ensure we are delivering the most relevant, impactful and integrated communications solutions to our clients," said Jim Weiss, chairman and CEO. "These four leaders have proven track records with leading healthcare clients and the analytic and creative skills they can apply directly to help them achieve their business goals. They will add immediate value by helping our clients formulate communications strategies, launch and position their products and services competitively and sustainably, extend brands, grow sales, forge collaborative alliances and protect their corporate and product brand reputations."

Wheeler, a 15-year veteran of international and integrated biopharmaceutical communications, joins WCG from DNA Medical Communications, a division of Weber Shandwick, where she served as general manager and executive vice president. She led the Celgene account and was instrumental in executing Celgene's global communications strategies -- from product launches and data milestones to crisis communications -- in over 25 markets worldwide. As the client relationship leader, she provided corporate communications and brand PR support as well as support in digital and social. She has deep oncology experience, having worked at Ruder Finn supporting Novartis Oncology and at AstraZeneca's global headquarters, where she served as a global public relations manager. Her experience in market conditioning, strategic planning, regulatory approvals, product launches and U.S. and global media relations will help WCG's teams deliver relevant and practical communications solutions to its healthcare clients.

Walker, an experienced communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device/diagnostics and biotechnology sectors, joins WCG from Edelman. She was on the senior leadership team for the Pfizer business at Edelman and led the Emerging Markets work and provided strategic counsel to the Prevnar 13 team as it prepared for an FDA approval for pneumococcal pneumonia in adults. She has extensive experience partnering with companies that are focused on rare diseases, including resistant chronic myeloid leukemia, follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and primary IGF-1 deficiency. At WCG, she will work with teams to help healthcare companies of all stripes address complex scientific challenges.

Montreys has a Ph.D. in neuroscience/psychopharmacology and more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare arena, including diverse clinical and research activities as a neuropsychologist, a background in healthcare administration, and significant achievements in medical education. She joins WCG from Evolution Medical Communications, where she served as chief medical officer and played a significant role in building and executing Evolution's business over the last five years. She led innovations in thought leader profiling, targeted physician education and interactive learning. Experienced in a number of therapeutic areas, Montreys has expertise in market appraisals and scientific strategy development, clinical and educational needs analyses, and thought leader identification and profiling. She also has an extensive background in directing and creating content for live events and enduring materials and supporting publication strategies. At WCG, she will strengthen the agency's medical and scientific rigor and expand its scientific strategy, content development and communications offerings to healthcare professionals and thought leaders.

Parsons is a seasoned art director, designer and champion of the big idea. She has 20 years of experience creating award-winning campaigns for global advertising agencies and clients in Sydney, London, New York and San Francisco. She spent her early career as an art director at D'Arcy Worldwide / Publicis New York, working across a wide range of consumer categories -- from packaged goods to non-profit, electronics and technology, food and beverage, banking and finance, fashion and beauty. She joins WCG from DDB Remedy, where she focused on consumer and professional healthcare, patient education and market development. Her category experience includes diabetes, obesity and bariatrics, spine, plastic surgery and aesthetics, infection prevention and vascular surgery. She will work with WCG's creative leadership team Director Client Services at IC Axon to develop truly integrated ideas across a variety of media channels -- from broadcast, print, radio, identity, digital, environmental and collateral to social media.

About WCG Companies
Founded and led by chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, WCG is focused on integrated business solutions in the areas of innovation, change and growth for the world's leading companies and brands. WCG serves clients through a network of offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles and London. For more than a decade, WCG's seasoned professionals have specialized in providing analytics, content, engagement and strategy to a diverse set of clients across the consumer, technology, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, please visit

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  • Aaron Strout