Aug. 2, 2018 – Roughly 27 years after the Coalition for Healthcare Communication was established, Jack Angel – one of the Coalition’s founding members and the current executive director of the Coalition’s Education Foundation – is retiring on Aug. 17.
Angel was the Executive Director of the Coalition from its beginning in 1991 to 2004, and most recently has been the Executive Director of the CHC Education Foundation, a position he held for 14 years. Angel has been the President of Greenwich Communications, a healthcare consulting firm, since 1991. Prior to that, Angel served as Executive Vice President of Medical Economics Company; as President of Patient Care Communications Inc.; as President of International Thomson Technology Information Inc.; and as Publisher of Physicians Desk Reference and Drug Topics.
In addition to his involvement with the Coalition, Angel has been active in several other industry organizations; he served as President of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council and the Association of Medical Publications and on their respective boards. He was one of the original members of the Working Group on Communication of Ethical Guidelines for Gifts to Physicians from Industry, and was active on the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
According to Angel, the CHC “was created by a small group of concerned communicators who feared unwarranted and onerous regulation could affect patient care negatively, and at the same time, could lessen the amount and value of the communications.” He notes that this group “has devoted time, money and passion to improving the environment in which we work and preventing bureaucracy and politics from fouling the vital systems that communicate the importance and the value of medicine to practitioners and the public alike.”
Perhaps the best way to understand the impact that Angel has had on the healthcare communications industry is through the words of those who have known him and interacted with him over the span of his long and illustrious career.
John Kamp, Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director:
“Jack is smart, steady and strong — all the things you could ask for in a leader.”
Karsten Risch, M.D., Ph.D, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Havas Health & You; Chair, Coalition Executive Committee:
“Jack just loves our business and has always shown a level of enthusiasm that I haven’t seen in many. He is a gentleman and has always been very kind and supportive.”
Sharon Callahan, Chief Client Officer, Omnicom; CEO, TBWA\WORLDHEALTH; Chair Emeritus, Coalition Executive Committee:
“When we look back on the history of the CHC, many different people contributed to our success over the years, and yet, there is one person who has been there from the beginning: Jack Angel.
Jack has steered the CHC through times of great change, from the early days of protecting our industry’s right to free speech through our most recent success in bringing more young people into the Coalition.
Jack is firm, fair, and consistent–you know where you stand with him. And I’ve never met anyone who didn’t agree that his last name perfectly describes him—he’s been an angel to our industry and to many of us personally.
I guess that using your talents and leaving a legacy is something we all desire to do and Jack has succeeded over and over again. And yet he’s almost self-effacing in receiving recognition for his achievements. CHC is a better place to be because of Jack’s efforts. Let’s hope we can all say that when our time for retirement comes.”
Matt Giegerich, CEO, Inception Companies; former Chair, Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Committee:
“I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Jack Angel and working with him closely at the Coalition for the better part of the past two decades. Jack was a sage-like mentor for many in the industry and I was always honored by his thoughtfulness, responsiveness and insightful understanding of how the world turns best — with people, kindness and compassion at the heart of the machine. I wish Jack all the best in his full retirement and hope he knows how much he has meant to me and all those he touched over the course of his long and storied career.”
Nick Colucci, Chairman, Publicis Health; Chair Emeritus/Member, Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Committee:
“I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with Jack Angel for 20 years, most closely while Chair of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication. Jack’s knowledge and perspective on the healthcare industry is deep and wide, and he is always willing to share what he knows, freely. He was never the loudest voice in the room, yet usually the wisest, and we always listened carefully when he talked. Jack, for me, has always been a voice of reason and a confidant. Jack is a man of high ideals, and he always lives up to them—he’s a wonderful role-model and a gentleman, in the truest sense of the word. We all should be forever grateful for the impact he has had on our industry, and many of its leaders. Enjoy your retirement, my friend; you have more than earned it!”
Donna Murphy, Global CEO, Havas Health & You; Member, Coalition Executive Board:
“I have known Jack for many years both professionally and personally and he lives both the ethical and transparent values that CHC exemplifies. He has made a tremendous contribution to our industry and his legacy will have an enduring impact.”
John Swift, former CEO, BBDO Health and Medical Communications; Co-founder, Coalition for Healthcare Communication:
“Jack is one of the great guys in pharma marketing. He had a great career with Medical Economics and his own consulting firm. We worked on many industry pro bono projects, including the creation of the Coalition.”
Kenneth P. Berkowitz Former Assistant General Counsel; Vice President of Public Affairs, Drug Safety and Drug Regulatory Affairs, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.; Past President, MC Counsel:
“It is my sincere pleasure to offer some comments regarding Jack Angel and what he has meant to the pharmaceutical industry and particularly its marketing and communications efforts.
I have known Jack for over 40 years as a colleague, friend and counsel beginning when he became a director, officer and then President of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council (later to be called the HMC Council). Jack was one of the few industry leaders who recognized early on the need to demonstrate and defend the value of our marketing and communications functions and how they are an integral part of professional and patient understanding of how to appropriately use health care products.
He also was an important force in the need to educate our industry to fully understand both regulatory requirements and appropriate standards of behavior. This was at a time when there was very little support for these efforts from the rest of the industry. Ultimately, Jack’s efforts led to he and a few others founding the Coalition for Healthcare Communication and to his tireless efforts to defend our industry in the states, Washington, D.C., and the news media. Jack’s outstanding contributions were appropriately recognized several years ago with his election to the Advertising Hall of Fame. His voice and contributions will be greatly missed by all in our industry.”
Irwin Gerson, former Chairman and CEO William Douglas McAdams Healthcare:
“I remember Jack with fondness. I first met him when he was a space rep and I was most delighted when he invited me to be an early member of the Coalition. The efforts and accomplishments under his leadership would not have been possible without him. I wish him all the best in his retirement and my only advice is to find something to do — it is boring at times, and so many people and nonprofits out there can use his skills and dedication.”
Harry Sweeney, Unreformed Copywriter, Friend, Dorland Global:
“Medical media reps of the 1960s, 70s and 80s were the human ‘LinkedIns’ of the day. They traveled the pharma-world circuit not only peddling their space and time wares, but also sharing the news of the day. They best shared something else – the friendships, street-smarts and wisdom they’d accumulated in their own careers.
Jack Angel was one of the best. So, it was no wonder that he was a sought-after consultant, an active volunteer, officer or director of several different industry associations and a co-founder of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, where he’s served with distinction for nearly 30 years.
Jack was at the infamous AMA meeting in Chicago with us at which a young FDA lawyer inadvertently disclosed FDA’s intention to take-over (ahem, “regulate”) continuing medical education. He also was a participant at the American Association of Advertising Agencies meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., where we enlisted the aid of the 4A’s in defending the medical communications industry’s First Amendment rights. And, Jack’s been there ever since until his recently announced retirement.
Congratulations, Jack. And, may your retirement last as long as your outstanding service and friendship.”