Cori McKeever Ashford has been appointed Director of the American College of Surgeons Division of Integrated Communications. Ms. McKeever Ashford has more than 20 years experience in health care communications and integrated marketing.
A career in communications
Ms. McKeever Ashford joins the College from Weber Shandwick, an integrated marketing agency. At Weber Shandwick, she served as executive vice-president, overseeing its health care practice in the central region, including Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; and St. Louis, MO. She also oversaw one of the firm’s largest client engagements, leading a multidisciplinary team of 70 people across 14 geographies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Prior to Weber Shandwick, Ms. McKeever Ashford spent more than a decade working at the Chandler Chicco Agency in its New York, NY; London, U.K.; Washington, DC; and Chicago offices. While at Weber Shandwick and Chandler Chicco, she had a strong record of developing and implementing integrated communications campaigns that improved business performance, including for blue-chip and startup biopharma companies, diagnostics businesses, hospitals, and professional associations.
Accomplishments in the field
Ms. McKeever Ashford routinely interacts with health care practitioners, translating complex clinical data into clear, straightforward messages to generate widespread awareness. Recently, she counseled Physician-Scientist Support Foundation board members, including two Nobel laureates, on strategy to create awareness of the lack of physician-scientists and the need for increased funding to drive more people into this field.
As a member of the Health Care Council of Chicago, she is actively involved in building a foundational initiative for the organization that supports community health and well-being programs for Chicago area populations at risk for violence.
Ms. McKeever Ashford received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in political science from Ohio University, Athens. In 2019, she received the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Rising Star Award. She participated as a judge in the 2020 ShareCare Awards, a National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Award program for best-in-class communications campaigns that promote well-being. She has been a panelist at an American Board of Medical Specialties Annual Meeting and Health Care Council of Chicago events, and she served as a moderator for an ExL Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Strategies Summit.
The communications and health care landscapes are changing rapidly and navigating this terrain requires up-to-the minute knowledge of the latest platforms; an understanding of the convergence of different forms of media; and, critically, how to harness insights about key audiences to drive programs that will make an impact. Ms. McKeever Ashford looks forward to implementing such initiatives for the College.