October 6-8, 2021
Milwaukee Marriott Downtown


The 2021 WHPRMS Annual Conference, Bridging Healthcare Marketing: Then –> Now, will be held October 6-8, 2021, at the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The conference will feature lively keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities, an exhibitor showcase, and a grand awards ceremony.


Public relations, marketing, and business development professionals looking to further their healthcare knowledge and expertise should consider attending. Members and non-members are welcome to attend the conference.

*Register by September 8th to receive the early bird rate!


The health and safety of our conference attendees and exhibitors is our priority. Click here to read the safety precautions we’re taking for our in-person conference.


2021 WHPRMS ANNUAL CONFERENCE AGENDA (subject to change)

Wednesday, October 6

4:00 – 6:00 pm – Conference Registration

6:30 – 8:00 pm – Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 7

7:30 – 8:30 am – Breakfast and Exhibitor Showcase

8:30 – 9:00 am – WHPRMS Annual Meeting

9:00 – 10:30 am – Don’t Just Meet the Moment, Beat the Moment!
Speaker: Dr. Kevin Sansberry II, MBA, SHRM-CP, SPHR (He/Him)

This signature keynote focuses on “beating the moment.” As we examine the current state, how can we go further than simply meeting the expectations of today.

This is a keynote that challenges the status quo of how we need to show up related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and places emphasis on organizations to make proactive shifts to honor today but also to be proactive for tomorrow.

10:30 – 11:00 am – Break and Exhibitor Showcase

11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1.1 – An Integrated Approach in Owned, Earned, and Paid Strategies
Speaker: Emily Hartzog, Vice President, Chartwell-Agency

Websites, direct mail, Facebook, Twitter, radio, digital advertising, media relations…oh, my! Marketing and advertising for health care is more challenging than ever, especially given the diverse needs and changing behaviors of health care customers. With limited resources, your organization needs an integrated approach of owned, earned, and paid strategies to get the most out of every opportunity.

Breakout 1.2 – Using Communication and Collaboration to Make Your Organization’s Values Come Alive
Speakers: Samantha Andrews, APR, MBA, Senior Digital Communications Specialist, Froedtert Health; Brenda Fairfull, MA, OD, Organizational Development Change Consultant, Froedtert Health; Erin Wichtoski, BA, Senior Strategic Project Manager, Froedtert Health.

In fall 2020, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network embarked on a journey to redefine its values. The new values replaced prior values developed in 2013. The new values better reflect our health network’s mission and vision of who we really are for 20,000 staff and clinicians.

We created a communication plan, in partnership with Human Resources and Change Management teams from Froedtert Health and MCW to create awareness, excitement, and eventual behavior adoption for these new values. Our goal was to first create awareness of the values despite the stressful times of COVID-19. This awareness will successfully lead us to an actionable staff and provider engagement roadmap and change management to reinforce behaviors.

Breakout 1.3 – Rural Healthcare: The Value in Re-branding
Speakers: Emily Gall, Co-Founder, Owner, North of Eight Design & Marketing LLC and Kassie Dalsveen, Co-Owner, North of Eight Design & Marketing LLC.

Rebranding a rural healthcare entity has a whole host of challenges – but as our community demographics shift and patients are finding new ways to connect with the services they need, it’s important to put your best foot forward.

Rebranding doesn’t have to be scary, and there are ways to elevate your healthcare brand without alienating your community, your staff, and your key stakeholders.

12:00 – 1:00 pm – Lunch and Exhibitor Showcase

1:00 – 2:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

Breakout 2.1 – Making Your Message Count: The Path to Consistent Brand Messaging
Speaker: Emily Hartzog, Vice President, Chartwell-Agency

If you asked 10 people on your team to identify your organization’s brand, would the message be the same? It’s essential to develop clear messaging, communicate those themes frequently, and make sure everyone within your organization understands his/her in delivering upon that brand promise. Develop your message so it is clear, compelling, authentic to you and resonates with everyone from internal staff to the community at large. Learn how to identify what matters most to your patients, how to craft and share that message effectively with various audiences (baby boomers to millennials), and gain tips and tricks to drive consistency and help everyone stay on message.

Breakout 2.2 – Pro-Tips: How Your Peers Recovered Lost Revenues from COVID-19
Speaker: Jaci Haack, Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Welltok

Life after a global pandemic will never quite be the same as before, but your peers have found effective ways to reach out and engage patients and prospects to help their health systems recover from COVID-19. Join this interactive discussion to get insider tips from a healthcare strategist on what’s been working, so you can adjust your plans and drive more revenue and recover strong as you head into 2022. You’ll get tips and tricks from real-world campaigns, including ones from a Wisconsin-based health system.

Breakout 2.3 – Why and How to Run Effective Social Media Ads
Speaker: Eagan Heath, Digital Marketer and Agency Owner

With organic reach for your free posts in the sub-two percent range, the major social media platforms are now pay-to-play, so how can you advertise effectively for your organization? Learn directly from digital marketer and agency owner, Eagan Heath what he and his team see working for their clients with inexpensive and accessible ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2:00 – 2:30 pm – Break and Exhibitor Showcase

2:30 – 3:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

Breakout 3.1 – Web Writing – How Effective Copy Has Changed in the Post Pandemic World
Speakers: Stella Hart, Senior Web Writer and Content Strategist, Geonetric

This session offers an overview of the mechanics and art of writing compelling content for healthcare consumers. Well-written content that answers user questions and helps them complete tasks is essential to a successful digital strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the importance of clear, actionable, consumer-friendly content that not only meets your organizational goals and stands out from competitors and market disruptors — but also helps improve health outcomes.

Breakout 3.2 – Start with Story: How to Influence the Stories People Tell About You
Speaker: Steven Meyer, Principal/Chief Strategy Officer, The Karma Group

Word-of-mouth has long been the elusive golden ticket for healthcare marketers. Whether shared over coffee between friends, passed between coworkers, or posted on social media, it has tremendous influence over new patient acquisition and brand reputation. As a result, public relations and marketing professionals work feverishly to stay in front of and influence the narrative because underneath it all is a simple reality: story is everything.

Through nearly 800 focus groups and hundreds of interviews with healthcare consumers, we have listened to several thousand individual stories of healthcare encounters. We know how these stories are built, how they’re shaped, how they’re told, and what’s retained, highlighted, and emphasized when they’re shared online and off.

This presentation explores: 1) how the relationship between expectation and experience shapes stories; 2) how public-facing messaging tints the lenses through which consumers encounter and create the stories they tell; 3) how internal-facing messages influence the public narrative; and 4) how belief drives story, story drives belief, and together they define your brand.

Breakout 3.3 – Strength in Services: How to Build a Stronger Service Line Marketing Plan
Speakers: Jennifer Horton, MBA, VP Strategy, Ten Adams and Jimmy Phillips, MBA, VP Network Marketing & Communications, Kettering Health

Digital advertising has opened unprecedented opportunities for marketers to provide the right message, at the right time, to the right audience. For many though, determining which digital strategies and spend level are appropriate for the audience and market is still a mystery. In this session, we will decode some of the most popular digital strategies including search engine marketing, display ads, retargeting, social media marketing and direct e-mails. Attendees will have a better understanding of each strategy, how they work independently or in combination with other tactics and reasonable expectations for results.

3:30 – 4:00 pm – Break and Exhibitor Showcase

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

Breakout 4.1 – Welcome to Fun: Finding Value in Employee Events
Speaker: Travis Baumgarten, Communication Coordinator, Mile Bluff Medical Center

Just like no one wants to sit through a boring presentation, employees don’t want to work in a dull environment. Too often, leaders think that all work and no play is the best way to maximize productivity. However, studies have shown that when you add a little bit of fun into the workplace, employees are happier and feel more satisfied with their jobs.

Fun in the workplace is an easy way to keep people feeling part of the organization. It can help raise employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Not to mention, it can be a great opportunity for you to enhance your marketing strategies.

Breakout 4.2 – How to Manage Your Brand Through the Patient Experience
Speakers: Randy Jacobs, President, Tag Team Agency and Brian Irby, Vice President of Strategy, Tag Team Agency

There are thousands of touchpoints that happened in your healthcare environments every day. These touch points are sometimes managed by experienced marketing and communication experts, but the vast majority are not.

During this presentation, we will walk you through the ways to identify key branding touchpoints throughout your patient experience, build a plan to help manage them more effectively and support your efforts through culture and training. We will present some best practices used throughout healthcare, but also give you some thought provoking ways that companies around the world are using touch points for branding opportunities you might not have thought of.

Breakout 4.3 – How to Prioritize Your Brand in Your Website Content Strategy
Speaker: Colin Deval, Sr. Communications Strategist, Core Health

By engaging leaders at all levels – executive, administrative, and clinical – you will create a content strategy that captures your brand story and reinforces it throughout your website so it’s felt by your community. We’ll detail the steps you need to create a content strategy that guides your website overhaul, keeping your brand front and center and providing key differentiators for a competitive marketplace, so you better communicate the advantages you know to provide.

6:30 – 7:30 pm – Cocktail Hors d’oeuvres Reception with Exhibitor Showcase

7:30 – 9:30 pm – Dinner, Leadership Recognition, and Awards Ceremony

9:30 pm – Explore Downtown Milwaukee on Your Own or with a Group!


Friday, October 8

7:30 – 8:30 am – Breakfast

8:30 – 9:15 am – Wisconsin Hospital Association Update
Speaker: Kelly Lietz, Vice President, Communications, WHA

9:15 – 11:15 am – Panel Discussion (2 Parts)

Wisconsin Healthcare COVID Discussion Panel
Speakers: Heather Sullivan, Regional Director of Marketing, SSM Health; Kim Sveum, SSM Health; Stephanie Burton, APR, Director of System Communications, Froedtert Health

HealthyMKE – Authentic Voices Case Study – Ensuring Vaccine Access for Multicultural and Multi-lingual Audiences
Speakers: Mara Lord, SVP Communications and External Affairs, Medical College of Wisconsin and Aziz Abdullah, Founder, INPOWER.

11:15 am – Conference Concludes



*For WHPRMS members, please be sure to log into the website before registering.
**Not a member? Click here to join now!



*Sponsors and exhibitors, click here to get registered.