Clinton Global Initiative

Former Porter Novelli CEO Joins APCO as Senior Advisor to Firm’s Global Health Care Practice

Helen Ostrowski New York (July 27, 2011) – Helen Ostrowski, former CEO of Porter Novelli and established leader in health care communication, joins APCO Worldwide as a senior advisor, Robert Schooling, worldwide chair of APCO’s health care practice, announced today.

With more than 40 years of experience in corporate and agency public relations, Ostrowski has worked with CEOs, chief communication officers and other C-Suite executives from major health care companies and associations to successfully position their companies and products to internal and external constituencies.

“As we continue to expand our integrated service capabilities, Helen will be crucial to moving our global health care practice in new directions,” said Stig Albinus, APCO’s New York health care practice lead. “Helen’s wise, forward-looking counsel and deep understanding of the market will provide clients with the insight they need to navigate even the most difficult challenges that lie ahead.”

Prior to her role as chairman and CEO of global public relations firm Porter Novelli, Ostrowski was managing director of the firm’s New York office, head of the heath care division, head of global practices and president of the Americas. Throughout her tenure, she specialized in health care and worked with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Earlier in her career, Ostrowski served as president of Wang Associates Health Communications, a large independent public relations agency that specialized in health care. She was also public relations manager at Schering-Plough, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company (now Merck & Co.) that manufactured leading allergy drugs Claritin and Clarinex. In this position, she directed programs for new drug entities in the company’s international pharmaceuticals division and worked with the global CEO and senior management team to successfully reposition the company to internal audiences.

“APCO is a respected pioneer in health care communication and continues to be an innovative leader in the sector. The company’s integrated offering across services and geographies is a strong competitive advantage to clients,” said Ostrowski. “I’m excited to become part of APCO’s health care team and look forward to expanding their growing expertise in marketing and consumer-focused work.”

Ostrowski served as chair of the Council of Public Relations Firms, president of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and board member of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) New York chapter and Women Executives in PR, among others. Currently, she is a trustee and treasurer of the Arthur W. Page Society, the professional organization for chief communication officers, and a PRSA member.

She joins other talented health care communication practitioners, including: Colin Mackay, former communication and partnerships director for the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations; Courtney Piron, former director in the economic and policy research group at Pfizer Inc.; Stig Albinus, former chairman of Burson-Marsteller’s health care practices in Europe and the United States and former head of public affairs for the Danish Medical Association; Dr. Linda Distlerath, former vice president of global health policy and health policy, Asia Pacific, at Merck & Co., Inc.; and Wayne Pines, former associate commissioner of public affairs at the FDA.


About APCO Worldwide

Founded in 1984, APCO Worldwide is an award-winning, independently owned global communication consultancy with offices in major cities throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., APCO clients include corporations and governments; industry associations and nonprofit organizations; and six of the top 10 companies on the Fortune 500. APCO offers services related to business, industry and finance; media, public opinion and society; and government and public policy. The firm is a majority women-owned business. For more information, please visit