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March 09, 2011

Canadian Communicator Takes Top Prize in PRSA Health Academy/Quinnipiac University Competition

Winner to Present Findings at 2011 Health Academy Conference
NEW YORK (March 9, 2011) –
Detailing how effective community engagement provides health care institutions with better information about a population’s values and needs, Heather Pullen, MCM, APR, has won the 2011 PRSA Health Academy/Quinnipiac University Paper Competition. Pullen, a public relations manager at Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, submitted the winning paper, “Keeping it Real: A Canadian How-to Guide on the Development of Community Engagement Programs.” Her winning entry explains why better community engagement also protects the public interest by encouraging public debate and accountability.  
“Community engagement has become an imperative as hospitals and health care systems try to meet the challenge of rising public demands and expectations,” said Pullen. “I am very pleased that my research in this field has been recognized by PRSA and Quinnipiac, and I look forward to sharing my findings.”
The paper competition, now in its third year, is designed to encourage research that enhances the practice of health care public relations. Held with the support of Quinnipiac University, the competition invites professors, doctoral students and doctoral candidates to submit papers on a variety of topics, including health care management, hospital public relations and pharmaceutical public relations.
“The competition offers the Health Academy a valuable opportunity to incorporate public relations research into our conference program,” said Nancy Hughes, APR, 2011 PRSA Health Academy chair and assistant vice president, communications and marketing, National Health Council. “By bringing academic and corporate communities together, we can learn from each other and advance the public relations profession. We appreciate the ongoing support from Quinnipiac University, and look forward to this presentation from Ms. Pullen during the conference.”
Pullen’s original research and complete study results will be presented at the upcoming 2011 PRSA Health Academy Conference, “New Rules of Engagement: Communicating Transparency, Quality and Healthy Lifestyles.” The annual event will be held April 27–29 at the Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. For more information and to register, visit the PRSA Health Academy conference website. Registrations received prior to March 26 qualify for the conference saver rate, which saves attendees $100 off of regular registration rates.
About the PRSA Health Academy
The Health Academy is the largest Professional Interest Section within PRSA. Through the convergence of health care and public relations, the Academy promotes excellence in communications and an educational dialogue across the entire health care industry for the professional enhancement of its members.  

About Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University is a private, coeducational university with more than 5,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. Quinnipiac is located in Hamden, Conn., 90 minutes from New York City, and two hours from Boston. 
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 112 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 12 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.
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