Bringing sound science to all citizens is central to the mission of the Centers for Disease Control. That’s why the CDC is focusing on ensuring that its environmental health assessments comply fully with Section 508 accessibility requirements. Under a new subcontract, Akoya is enthusiastic about working with Guidehouse to support the CDC in this effort.
Nothing less than the best solutions of American industry, competitively sourced and rapidly deployed, will keep our nation ahead of pressing homeland security problems in an ever-changing threat environment. Akoya is proud to be contributing to ongoing procurement innovation efforts of the Department of Homeland Security under a new contract awarded in September by the DHS Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO). Through a dedicated onsite team, Akoya will be providing a range of communications and marketing services, including communications planning, writing and facilitation, graphic design, event planning and management, and webinar management.
We look forward to supporting the OCPO in cultivating a learning organization and in promoting innovative procurement approaches. Overarching goals are to help the OCPO leverage innovative approaches for the benefit of DHS program and contracting organizations, engage industry partners, train and empower employees, and position DHS as a leader among federal agencies in piloting and validating new models.
Terry Welch joins Akoya, bringing more than 15 years of experience developing and executing communications strategies and multimedia campaigns for industry, government, and the military. A veteran of the U.S. Navy and Kansas National Guard, Terry organized and coordinated print and broadcast press conferences and analyzed national and international media coverage while stationed in Afghanistan. While working at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, he helped create the award-winning podcast, The TBI Family, which offers information, resources, and tips for caregivers of service members with traumatic brain injuries.
Terry will be part of the Akoya team of experts at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia. As communications account manager, he’ll focus on planning for Force Health Protection & Readiness; Research, Development, and Acquisition; and Global Health.
Since 2016, Akoya has worked with the DesignLights ConsortiumTM to plan and execute its annual Stakeholder Meeting — a marquee event that draws 250 attendees for three days of education, collaboration, and networking. This year’s meeting, held this past July, had particular significance, as the host city was none other than Boston, MA — the DLC’s hometown.
Planning for the 2018 meeting began last summer with an extensive, city-wide venue search, where we worked closely with the DLC to select the beautiful and historic Boston Park Plaza for the meeting itself and the unique Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum for the offsite reception. From there, we handled all aspects of pre-event management, including negotiating contracts, coordinating over 20 exhibits and sponsor stations, tracking registration, developing a comprehensive food and beverage package, and managing the space plan and schedule for more than a dozen meeting rooms. On site, we were the liaison between the DLC and the hotel to oversee all behind-the-scenes details and problem-solve as needed.
It’s safe to say that this year’s DLC Stakeholder Meeting was “wicked awesome” — we’re already hard at work on the site search for 2019 and look forward to our continued partnership with the DLC.
To keep their skills in top form, military surgeons need a sizeable and clinically complex caseload. That’s why “recapturing care”—encouraging TRICARE-eligible military personnel, families, and retirees within driving distance of a military treatment facility to seek care there first rather than at civilian medical facilities—is a strategic priority for the Defense Health Agency .
Akoya recently wrapped up our engagement supporting a successful recapture pilot program at the Puget Sound Military Health System (MHS). Our integrated marketing campaign emphasized the superb care the system provides to patients and its unique strengths in serving the military community. One of our challenges was creating a unifying brand for the consolidated Puget Sound MHS, which includes Army, Navy, and Air Force facilities that were traditionally operated independently. Another was supporting internal communications to convey the new business plan and processes that are driving high quality, effectiveness, and efficiency across the system.
The new brand, along with a suite of patient-centric marketing tools, has raised the profile of the system as a preferred provider for TRICARE beneficiaries. Many thanks to our project lead, Carrie Petershagen, who has accepted a permanent position at the Puget Sound MHS starting next month to continue the good work!
Transforming one of the largest health care delivery systems in the world entails monumental communication challenges, even in a disciplined structure like the U.S. military. Leaders responsible for standing up the Defense Health Agency (DHA) in 2013 had just two years to reach full operational capacity, integrating the management of functions previously executed by the individual services. In 2014, Akoya was honored to be selected by DHA as prime contractor for strategic communications during this start-up period. We continue to support the agency by effectively engaging all the diverse constituencies vital to its mission success.
The Department of Defense recently expanded Akoya’s contract for DHA to include health communications support in the National Capital Region and to support the broad policy and operational issues within the Military Health System by driving more integrated communications across the enterprise. Under this expanded contract, we are thrilled to be working more closely with the Military Health System to communicate health policy and services to military members, family members, and retirees in the Washington, DC, and surrounding areas.
Kudos to our dedicated Akoya team in Falls Church, Virginia!
Does government investment in research really make a difference? It is hard to find a more successful example than the solid-state lighting field. In just under a decade, modest yet strategic investments spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have been instrumental in moving LED lighting from the lab to a position of strength in many lighting niches—an achievement recently praised in a July 2017 assessment by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In our program support role for the DOE Solid-State Lighting Program, Akoya has been a partner in this ongoing work to revolutionize lighting technology.
And the work continues! DOE recently exercised another option year on our contract, which makes 10 years of Akoya supporting the emergence of this game-changing technology. Fully tapping the potential of LED and organic LED technologies to save energy and improve lighting performance will not only mean cultivating the existing SSL lighting partners in industry and academia, but also reaching new diverse audiences. Cheers to Akoya’s remarkable SSL team.
We’ve had the pleasure to welcome several talented individuals to our team over the past few months. Get to know our newest Akoyans.
Senior writer Laura Stassi joined us this spring as the newest member of our writing team supporting the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia. Drawing on her past experience at ARMY magazine, C-SPAN, and NPR, Laura develops engaging stories for the DHA audience of active duty service members, retirees, and their families. Her recent series for National Nurses Week included profiles of combat medic Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks (a self-described “ornery patient”) and Air Force Col. Erwin Gines, the only emergency care nurse in the initial 2003 Iraq invasion. Laura is the author of almost two dozen nonfiction children’s books and an active volunteer for the Yellow Ribbon Project.
Now serving the Air Force Medical Service as a communications planner, Angelica Lopez joined our Falls Church office by way of the Lone Star State, where she executed multi-faceted public information campaigns as the League City, Texas, Director of Communications and Media Relations. As a civilian, she previously served as Public Affairs Chief for the 87th Air Base Wing in Lakehurst, New Jersey, as well as in public affairs and community relations positions for the Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, the McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, and the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
When it comes to keeping millions of beneficiaries up to speed with their health plan options, Katie Walker is a go-to resource for the Defense Health Agency. Before joining our team in April, Katie was the Public Relations Manager for King Arthur Flour in Vermont, rejuvenating the media and digital strategies of the nation’s oldest flour company. Her prior experience included positions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs division, Newseum Productions, the National Academy of Sciences, Discovery Communications, and National Geographic Society Television and Film.
Thanks to Annie Brown, our outreach efforts to increase life-saving organ donations just got a boost. She recently wrapped up a month at our Pittsburgh headquarters, getting oriented to our Workplace Partnership for Life campaign for the Health Resources and Services Administration (and checking out the best purveyors of espresso). Now Annie is supporting the campaign from our office in Falls Church, where she will put her writing and editing capabilities to work for a variety of clients and head up our social media outreach.
Akoya is excited to welcome Robert Sens, J.D., to our strategic communications team supporting the Defense Health Agency, where he will serve as Senior Communications Planner and Operations Lead. He previously held senior positions at Bulletin Intelligence in Reston, Virginia, and at the Defense Intelligence Agency, including while deployed to Afghanistan. Robert’s earlier experience includes prosecutorial duties with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as sports reporting for the Associated Press.
Our event logistics team recently returned from a week in Denver, where they provided onsite event management for the DesignLights Consortium’s annual stakeholder meeting. Held at the historic Brown Palace Hotel, the meeting boasted over 250 attendees, 17 sponsor exhibits, and two networking receptions, including one at the Denver Aquarium. Work on the meeting began over six months ago and involved near-daily communications with the client and hotel on tasks as diverse as site visits and negotiation, vendor selection and coordination, materials development and printing, menu selection, and budget monitoring. Congratulations to the team and to the client on a successful event!
We are pleased to announce that our “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” video produced for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank was selected as a winner at the 37th annual Telly Awards! With over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.
“Neighbors Helping Neighbors” was shot at the Food Bank warehouse and other locations around Pittsburgh and includes on-camera interviews with CEO Lisa Scales and members of her staff as well as people in the community who rely on the Food Bank when times are tough. The video has been used for fundraising purposes since its completion in the summer of 2015.
Check out the video here.
Last week, a team of Akoyans traveled to Santa Clara, California, to provide event support for the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting program’s second annual Connected Lighting Systems Workshop, held June 8–9. The workshop is the culmination of six months of preparation on Akoya’s part—from agenda planning to speaker coordination, and from materials development to marketing e-blasts. A leading-edge phenomenon that cuts across multiple technologies, connected lighting is already starting to transform the very definition of what lighting is and could be, and Akoya has created an exciting new section of the DOE solid-state lighting website that’s devoted to the topic. Featuring an Akoya-created animation, it can be found at http://www.energy.gov/eere/ssl/connected-lighting-systems.
Akoya is pleased to welcome three new staff members to our Military Health System (MHS) team. Carrie Petershagen joins the MHS team as the Communications Director of Puget Sound Military Health System in Washington State. Carrie brings 14 years of communications, marketing, and project management experience. In her new position she’ll provide support for the Department of Defense’s Enhanced Multi-Service Market and develop communications campaigns about health care services.
Karen Lewis recently joined our MHS team as an account manager in health care operations. Karen has a diverse background in business development and sales. As an account manager in health care operations, she’s part of a multidisciplinary team supporting MHS strategic communications.
Another recent addition to Akoya’s MHS team is Jennifer Benitz. As a staff writer for health.mil, Jennifer researches, writes and edits a wide range of content related to the Military Health System for internal and external audiences. Before joining Akoya, she worked as a staff writer for ARMY Magazine.