Boston’s P+S Bows Health Practice

BOSTON Independent agency Partners + Simons here has established a dedicated health practice, complete with a new microsite.

Tony Cotrupi, a principal at P+S, heads the practice, which will utilize about two-thirds of the agency’s 70 overall staffers.

The agency is well versed in the health sector, and this month is launching integrated communications campaigns for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Capital District Physicians Plan of New York. P+S is also unveiling new Web sites for Charles Rivers Labs and Genzyme’s Seprafilm unit.

P+S’ range of expertise and “quantifiable success measuring our marketing efforts across the healthcare continuum” made the health practice a viable extension of its business, said Tom Simons, agency president.

In a related development, P+S has named Deborah Hernandez director of health professional marketing. She has held senior posts in the biotech and pharma sectors at firms such as Abbott Labs, Biogen, Stemcyte and TAP. She began her career as an oncology/bone marrow transplant nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Northern California.

The P+S initiative comes at a time when many consumers are deeply divided about healthcare marketing, particularly ads from Big Pharma, which the public generally tolerate but also dislike.