Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), Canada’s No. 1-rated public relations and public affairs firm, today announces two appointments in the national health practice. Leslie McGill joined the firm as senior vice-president and Francine Beck has been promoted to senior vice-president. Both share leadership of the company’s health practice. “Our most distinguishing feature is that we can seamlessly integrate public affairs and public relations from coast to coast – there isn’t another agency in Canada like us,” says Mike Coates, chairman and CEO of H+K Canada. “We’ve put tremendous focus on building a strong health team with diverse talents so we can address the ever-evolving needs of our growing roster of health clients; and we’re illustrating that from the top down with Leslie and Francine’s appointments.” Francine Beck is a 20-year health-consulting veteran. She has extensive communications and marketing expertise, supporting domestic and global clients in the life sciences (pharmaceutical), consumer health, environment and physical activity sectors. A former journalist, she is a seasoned media relations strategist with expertise in stakeholder engagement, sponsorship amplification, social marketing campaigns and health-care professional communications. Prior to joining H+K, Francine worked in a senior capacity at another international agency playing a lead role in business development for health-focused clients. In addition to her work in health and pharmaceuticals, she was also lead agency counsel for TO 2008 – Toronto’s bid for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games – and mobilized support for Toronto, working with government leaders and journalists from around the world. Leslie McGill is a seasoned health-care strategist who joins H+K directly from the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association where, as vice-president strategic development, she integrated the communications, partnerships and membership functions of the Association and led several complex projects including multi-partner communications for the province-wide roll out of pharmacists’ increased scope of practice. As senior vice-president for Medbuy Corporation, Canada’s leading health-care group purchasing organization, Leslie developed a deep understanding of both the Canadian and U.S. landscapes for bulk purchasing – not only for pharmaceuticals, but also medical capital equipment, medical devices and medical/surgical consumables. During her 25 years in health-care communications, marketing and public affairs she has consulted to a wide range of public- and private-sector organizations, providing counsel on product launches, fundraising, reputation management, corporate social responsibility, strategic partnerships, brand positioning, change management and community relations.