Washington, D.C.-based healthcare and life sciences agency Spectrum has opened a new office in Chicago.

SpectrumSpectrum’s new Windy City digs, located on Clark Street in the heart of the Loop, will officially open in October. Agency officials told O’Dwyer’s that the new Midwest outpost will house teams representing all of the Spectrum’s practice areas and has a capacity for more than a dozen employees, “with contingencies for growth.” The healthcare and public affairs firm is actively recruiting for positions at the VP, account supervisor and senior account executive levels at the new location, agency officials told O’Dwyer’s.

David ZitlowDavid Zitlow

“We decided to expand our operations to Chicago in the second quarter of this year to better serve our existing clients and because of the continued investment in and growth of health technology in the region,” Spectrum president Jonathan Wilson said. “We also wanted to offer Spectrum’s unique brand of independent, health, science and technology agency experience and ‘One Spectrum’ culture to the considerable talent pool that exists in Chicago.”

The new Chicago office will be led by David Zitlow, who has been appointed to the role of executive vice president and will spearhead the firm’s health technology practice.

Zitlow joins Spectrum from Burson-Marsteller, where he served as chair of that WPP unit’s U.S. healthcare practice. Prior to that, he was the chief marketing and communications officer for biotechnology company CBR Systems and was formerly executive vice president and healthcare practice leader at GolinHarris.

When asked what impact a Trump or Clinton presidency could have on the healthcare communications landscape and how that industry’s professionals serve their clients, Zitlow said he hopes the presidential debates beginning tonight provide some much-needed clarity regarding how each candidate plans to address the needs for advancements in research and increased access to medical care.

“Clearly, one candidate stands for universal coverage and the other is advocating for wholescale reform. But both plans are lacking on specifics. In my opinion, the challenge each candidate needs to address is how he or she will balance the need for increased access to care with the importance of investing in technology and research that will deliver new and better approaches to treatment,” Zitlow told O’Dwyer’s. “There’s no question that innovation is disrupting every aspect of healthcare — from how diseases are diagnosed to how new drugs are developed to how and where care is delivered. Our clients are on the forefront of innovation and will benefit from a President who understands the importance of working with industry on new solutions to the complexity of the healthcare marketplace.”

Spectrum, which also maintains a New York location, opened an office in Atlanta last year. That outpost is led by executive VP Amanda Sellers.

Spectrum in 2015 accounted for more than $14.8 million in net fees, revealing 83.5 percent year-over-year growth. The agency celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.