Healthcare communications firm JPA Health Communications has appointed Michael O’Brien to serve as the agency’s newest executive vice president.

Michael O'BrienMichael O'Brien

O’Brien comes to JPA from MedImmune Communications, an R&D arm of biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, where he was global head of corporate communications. Besides handling communications duties for the agency, O’Brien was in charge of MedImmune's reputation management and branding services, as well as corporate citizenship and community relations. He served on the agency’s executive leadership team, as well as AstraZeneca’s global corporate affairs leadership team.

Prior to his tenure at MedImmune, O’Brien was senior vice president and healthcare practice leader at PR agency IMRE. He also served as executive VP and partner at MGH Inc., and was vice president of FleishmanHillard’s global healthcare practice. He has fielded campaigns for clients such as Weight Watchers International, the American Psychological Association, Merck, Teva Neuroscience, GSK, Pfizer, Susan G. Komen, Sheppard Pratt Health System, the National Disability Rights Network and the American Dental Association.

O’Brien will now lead JPA’s Washington, D.C. office as the agency expands its domestic and international health capabilities. JPA principal and managing director Carrie Jones said O’Brien’s “ability to understand industry issues and reach key opinion leaders makes him a great asset to JPA.”

Washington, D.C.-based JPA Health Communications accrued more than $4.6 million in healthcare net fees in 2014, according to O'Dwyer's rankings of PR firms. The agency has additional offices in London and Boston.