Interpublic Group’s McCann Health has appointed Amar Urhekar to the newly created position of President McCann Health Americas. He’ll be based in New York and report to John Cahill, global CEO of McCann Health.
The appointment is the latest move by the unit which is expanding on a number of fronts in response to changes in the consumer and healthcare communication environment that is partly related to healthcare insurance reforms in the U.S., the agency said.
The expansion plans include investment in talent, improved digital health communications platforms and better healthcare professional-patient information management programs.
The agency also said it was adding health data and analytics capabilities focused on improving outcomes for clients which include Novartis, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, GSK, KOWA, Lundbeck and Takeda.
“We are seeing dramatic changes in the healthcare industry within the Americas,” said Cahill. “There is an increasing confluence of stakeholders, with regulators, payers, providers and patients/ consumers all encountering each other’s messages on a daily basis. Additionally, the advent of the empowered health consumer in both the U.S. and Latin America is creating greater opportunities to expand community health services and a new orientation towards the patient as a customer.”
In his new role, Urhekar is tasked with oversight of the group’s North and South American healthcare operations. He most recently served as McCann Health’s Executive VP based in Singapore, leading its Asia Pacific network of 14 offices in nine countries.
Urhekar joined McCann Health in 2000 when he founded the agency’s India operation. In 2004, he moved to become Managing Director of McCann Health Greater China, and in 2009 moved to President of Japan McCann Health group. In 2010 he was made head of the Asia Pacific region.