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April 22, 2016

PRSA Health Academy Named Gil Bashe, APR, and Mary-Fran Faraji the Winners of Its 2016 Excellence in Public Relations Award

NEW YORK (April 22, 2016) -- The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Health Academy announced the two winners of its 2016 Excellence in Public Relations Award last evening, Gil Bashe, APR, and Mary-Fran Faraji. The awards were presented last night at the PRSA Health Academy conference in Washington, DC.
The Excellence in Public Relations Award was established in 2015 to recognize leaders in health care public relations and communications. Nominees are evaluated based on how they have advanced and elevated the practice of health care public relations, facilitated the discovery of innovative strategies and tools, and represented enrichment, leadership and excellence in the practice of public relations.
“We are delighted to present our 2016 Award of Excellence to Gil and Mary-Fran,” said PRSA Health Academy Chair Ellen Beth Levitt. “They both have forged a unique and diverse career path and have served their clients and organizations with excellence. Their outstanding leadership and innovation in health care public relations and communications can serve as an inspiration to us all.”
Gil Bashe, APR, is the Managing Partner and global head of the health practice at New York-based Finn Partners. He was nominated based on his 30-year track record of success in healthcare communications, his diversity of experience in the field and, in the words of one nomination, his longstanding role as “innovator, counselor, leader and role model in the field of healthcare communications.” Bashe has been a PRSA member for more than 30 years and has served on the executive committee for the PRSA Counselors Academy and chaired the PRSA Health Academy conference in San Diego.
Mary-Fran Faraji is Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, for City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in Duarte, California. She was chosen for the 2016 Excellence in Public Relations Award based on her ability to bring innovation and a customer-focus to her work, especially within pharmaceutical companies.
One of those who nominated Faraji said she is “known for her servant leadership, her emotional intelligence, her compassion and her coaching of individuals.”
The awards program was led by Candace Steele Flippin, the 2015 Chair of the PRSA Health Academy. The first winner of the Award of Excellence, in 2015, was Jeffrey Winton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and Chief Communications Officer of Astellas.

About the PRSA Health Academy
The Health Academy is one of the largest Professional Interest Sections within PRSA.  Its members strive to fulfill the Section’s vison to improve the health status of the communities they serve by advancing and elevating the practice of health care public relations. As an indispensable partner to the success of its members, the Health Academy facilitates the discovery of innovative strategies and tools as well as access to peers and communications leaders throughout the health care continuum. PRSA Health Academy: Enrichment. Leadership. Excellence.
About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 110 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.
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