The 2017 Symposium is History!

Thanks for helping us make it a huge success.

Now that the 2017 Symposium is complete, we have archived each of the presentations. As you scroll below, you’ll find that you can download PDFs and videos of each presentation. One of our primary values is the importance of sharing what we learn with others in the field. Please feel free to share this content with your healthcare marketing and communications colleagues.

We’d like to once again that our sponsor who made the 2017 Western New England Healthcare Marketing Symposium possible: Jennings Healthcare Marketing, Market Street Research and SilverTech. We would also like to thank our phenomenal speakers!

Click here to look back at the 2017 Conference Overview


9:00am Registration Opens
9:00am  - 9:30am Breakfast & Morning Networking
9:30am  - 10:30am Opening Presentation
10:30am - 10:45am Break
10:45am - 12:45pm Morning Sessions
12:45pm - 2:00pm Lunch & Afternoon Networking
2:00pm  - 4:00pm Afternoon Sessions/Closing

A Look Back at 2017 Sessions & Speakers

(View full presentation videos & download PDFs of each presentation.)

The Digital Future of Physician Relations Marketing

Increasingly, physicians are finding value in interacting with other physicians via social platforms. Physician-only online communities like Doximity, QuantiaMD, Sermo, and Medscape Physician Connect have become the leading digital gathering places for doctors seeking professional camaraderie, support, and guidance. Within these online communities, physicians can securely collaborate on diagnoses and patient treatment.

As more physicians gravitate toward digital platforms, healthcare marketers, communicators, and strategists are taking advantage of the opportunity to strengthen their physician marketing efforts through digital approaches. Additionally, as digital tools are integrated into physician marketing programs, a key challenge is emerging for the physician relations department. Specifically, how will the availability of, and the need to distribute, large quantities of digital content impact the structure and function of the physician relations team, and in particular, the physician liaison?

In order to handle the growing volume of content and the addition of new digital channels, roles within the physician relations department may need to evolve or change. One new position that seems likely to develop is that of the digital physician relations content marketer: a point person within the department responsible for aggregating digital content and disseminating it across numerous digital channels.

In Dan’s presentation, he will share his vision for the future of physician relations and referring physician marketing. You will learn about early efforts to engage referring physicians by way of a blending of digital and traditional media. Dan will share a case study of a pilot program where MD Anderson Cancer Center trained liaisons on the effective use of Twitter as a marketing tool and then used Twitter to engage community physicians. He will also share additional examples from Cooper University Health System and Tufts Medical Center.


Dan Dunlop
President & CEO, Jennings

Dan is a principal of Jennings, a leading healthcare marketing and audience engagement firm. He is a healthcare marketer, innovator, brand consultant, blogger, author, and sought-after speaker, regularly serving on the faculty of national and regional healthcare conferences.

Dan is extremely active as a thought leader in the field of healthcare marketing. He serves on the editorial board of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends. He is a contributor to a number of healthcare marketing publications and news services including Ragan’s Health Care Communication News, SmartBrief for Health Care Marketers, Strategic Health Care Marketing, Healthcare Strategy Alert, and Healthcare Marketing Report. Dan serves on the judging panels of the Web Health Awards and the National Health Information Awards. He is a board member of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) and a member of SHSMD’s 2017 Digital Engagement Taskforce.

It’s a Brand Journalism World – We’re Just Living in It

We’re living in a brand journalism world. But, what exactly does that mean? What’s the best way to define it? How important is it? You might already be using it and not even know it. If so, how can you do it better? If not, what’s keeping you? More importantly, why should you start? We’ll talk about all of that and more during this presentation.


Michael O’Farrell
Director of Communications, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital

Michael O’Farrell is the Director of Communications at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. In this position, he oversees all public relations, social media and internal communications efforts for L+M Hospital and Westerly Hospital, the Rhode Island hospital acquired by L+M in 2013. L+M Healthcare is now part of Yale New Haven Health, having received affiliation approval in September 2016. O’Farrell also serves as the primary spokesperson for both hospitals and handles all media outreach and inquiries. He’s also the editor of the hospital’s quarterly magazine. Prior to joining L+M, he served for 10 years as the Director of Public Relations at Mystic Seaport, one of the leading tourist attractions in the state. Prior to that, he worked for a full-service agency in Burlington, VT, and at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. O’Farrell graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, with a degree in Communications/Journalism.

The Role of Video in Content Marketing

Marketing your brand with video is the most important tool you can use to reach your target audience. But a video without the proper message and story will fall flat on the viewers. It’s no longer good enough just to deliver information to your audience they expect to be entertained and informed. This session will take you through what to expect when managing a video project, the strategy that goes behind a video project, how you can implement your videos on-line for the best results and much more. In North America 70% of all internet traffic is from video.


Jason Stepanek
Web Content/Video Manager, Jennings Healthcare Marketing

Jason is a web content creator and video manager of Jennings, a leading healthcare marketing and audience engagement firm.  A film and video production veteran, Jason has more than 20 years of experience, with 7 years in the concentrated field of physician and healthcare marketing with video.  As a Jason of all trades his ability to produce, direct, film and edit original content in the technology and healthcare industries is second to none.  Recently Jason added certified drone pilot to his list of abilities.  Prior to joining Jennings over a year and a half ago, Jason served as a producer, videographer, director and editor for Binary Pulse Technology Marketing in Irvine, California, where he produced digital video content for the agency’s clients. Jason worked with a number of healthcare clients including InTouch Health, Patient Safe Solutions, Awarepoint, Hanger, Innovative Neurotronics, Medsphere, Tandem Diabetes Care, USGI Medical and ReWalk.

Doctor, Doctor Give Me the News: Insights from Three Decades of Research with Referring Physicians

Physicians remain the key gatekeepers to healthcare use. While consumers increasingly take an active role in managing their own healthcare, we consistently find that consumers’ major source of information about which specialist or hospital they will use is their primary care physician.
In this presentation, Julie will talk about the main insights she has had from over 30 years of conducting qualitative and quantitative research with referring physicians, including:

  • How physicians decide which specialists and hospitals they refer their patients to
  • The importance of the relationships between referring physicians and specialists
  • The role of the physician liaison
  • What’s important to referring physicians in making a referral
  • What makes physicians satisfied and dissatisfied with the referrals they make
  • How to improve the referral process
  • What opportunities there are to gain more referrals from physicians

Julie Pokela
President, Market Street Research

Julie Pokela, Ph.D., is the president of Market Street Research., a national marketing research firm she founded in 1978 (she claims to have been a young child at the time). She has extensive experience in conducting healthcare marketing research, including for many of the largest and best known hospitals and health systems in the country.

Julie is a speaker at national and regional conferences and has authored many articles about marketing research, as well as a manual for conducting marketing research. Julie received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts.

Engaging with Patients: How to Create Valuable Personas that Drive Digital Consumer Success

Does your healthcare organization use personas?  If not, you could be missing the boat.
Personas are the foundation of personalized, one-to-one communication. They are fictitious representations of your audiences – who they are, what they like, and most importantly, what they don’t like. By identifying your persona’s ideal online experience, your organization can create targeted content, navigate an ever-shifting digital landscape, and surpass marketing goals.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to create personas
  • Tools that help you identify what your consumer wants
  • How your personas translate to your digital content, website presentation, social media channels, and other digital marketing efforts
  • How personas make your healthcare organization successful

Session attendees will also receive a step-by-step worksheet to start creating their own personas.


Samantha Maltais
Senior Digital Strategist, SilverTech, Inc.

Samantha Maltais is the Marketing Manager and Principal Strategist at SilverTech, Inc.  A seasoned digital strategist and marketer, Samantha has the innate ability to merge business and marketing requirements into top-notch digital strategies.  As the marketing manager at SilverTech, she is responsible for the strategic oversight of all of the agencies marketing efforts, which includes content generation, effective email campaigns, social media, search engine optimization and enticing events.  Samantha carries this knowledge into her dual role as the agency’s Principal Strategist, where she has coached many respected healthcare organizations to achieve their goals by targeting audiences with the right messages. Prior to joining SilverTech, Samantha implemented a regional tourism branding initiative aimed at economic growth.  

Registration Is Closed!

Video of the 2016 Symposium




Jennings is in the business of healthcare marketing. They live it and breathe it. Their clients are hospitals, health systems, physician practices and other organizations that share their mission of making the world a healthier place. Within Jennings you’ll find a culture of smart people driven to find answers to your marketing challenges. Focused on staying ahead of the curve, they’re constantly working to improve their knowledge of the evolving healthcare environment. Hospitals and health systems around the country have come to rely on them for fresh, creative, unexpected, strategically sound solutions that generate measurable results. Offices in Boston, MA and Chapel Hill, NC.


Market Street Research is a marketing research company with almost 40 years of experience conducting customized, premium-quality marketing research within the healthcare industry. The Market Street Research team is passionate about understanding their clients’ needs and dedicated to performing custom market research that delivers actionable information and drives effective business and organizational decision-making. They have worked with hospitals and health systems nationwide, from large academic medical centers to small community hospitals, on a wide variety of research studies.


SilverTech is a digital marketing and technology company; redefining how healthcare providers engage with and understand their audiences. Founded in 1996, SilverTech was built on the belief that connected data can yield strategic, actionable insights. Our custom, integrated solutions give a 360-degree view of even the most complex prospective patient journeys. From our headquarters conveniently located in Manchester, NH, we have helped national and international clients transform their business for the digital age and unlock new possibilities for growth. Go to for further information.

Union Station, The Home of the 2017 Symposium!


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