SHSMD Announces 2017 President, President-Elect, Directors


The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) of the American Hospital Association has announced the election of Ruth Padilla Portacci, principal of Healthcare Strategy Partners, Inc., as president of the SHSMD Board of Directors for 2017.

Portacci has more than 25 years of strategy, marketing, communication, physician relations and business development experience. Prior to starting her own consulting firm based in Nashville, Tennessee, she served as senior director of strategy and marketing for Community Health Systems (CHS), one of the nation’s largest health care systems. In this role, Portacci was responsible for overseeing strategic planning, marketing, service excellence and communications for 30 hospitals in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Earlier in her career with CHS, Portacci was regional director of marketing with responsibility for hospitals in nine western states and also held the role of corporate director of public relations and marketing with responsibility for crisis, merger and acquisition, and other strategic communications for 125 hospitals. Before joining CHS, she held business development, marketing and communication positions in both not-for-profit and for-profit hospitals and health systems.

Portacci has been a member of SHSMD since 1992 and has served on the board since 2010. She also has led and been a member of numerous other society committees and task forces.

Portacci succeeds Larry Margolis, SHSMD’s president in 2016, who will remain on the board. Margolis is a managing partner at SPM, a La Grange, Illinois-based brand and marketing communications firm specializing in health care.

Ben Dillon, chief strategy officer for Geonetric, Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was elected president-elect for 2017. Dillon has more than 20 years of experience in health care, marketing, digital technology and business. In his current role, he guides Geonetrics’ research initiatives, oversees the development and implementation of thought capital, and writes and presents on eHealth topics for numerous publications and associations. He also manages the growth, development and strategic direction of the firm’s health care offerings and provides strategic consulting for health care clients on a wide range of digital marketing and communications priorities.

The society also announced the election of Dean Browell, executive vice president and co-founder of Feedback in Richmond, Virginia, as a new board member beginning in 2017. Reelected to the board were Ryan Gish, managing director, Kaufman, Hall & Associates, Inc., Skokie, Illinois; Rose Glenn, senior vice president, communications and chief marketing officer, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan; and Holly Sullivan, director, strategic partnerships, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Also returning as SHSMD board members for 2017 are:

  • Rick Ayers, vice president of public relations and marketing, Wellspan Health, York, Pennsylvania
  • Kriss Barlow, principal, Barlow/McCarthy, Hudson, Wisconsin
  • William Hennessey, vice president–mission, Mercy Springfield Communities, Springfield, Missouri
  • Lisa E. Henry, director of marketing, Mary Washington Healthcare, Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Jeff Kraut, executive vice president of strategy and analytics, Northwell Health, Manhasset, New York
  • Lisa Schiller, vice president, communications and marketing, Rex Healthcare, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Alan Shoebridge, marketing director, Providence Health & Services, Portland, Oregon
  • Camille Strickland, senior director, marketing and communication, Orthopaedic Institute for Children, Los Angeles, California
  • Donna Teach, chief marketing and communication officer, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • Jennifer Wilkerson, vice president, strategic and business planning, Baltimore, Maryland

The elections were announced at SHSMD’s annual conference in Chicago.

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development is the premier organization for healthcare strategic planning, marketing, public relations, communications, and physician relations professionals. A professional membership group of the American Hospital Association, SHSMD serves more than 4,000 members. The society is committed to helping its members prepare for the future with greater knowledge and opportunity as their organizations work to improve health status and quality of life in their communities. For more information, visit

Brian Griffin
(312) 422-3736