NEW YORK—Healthcare public relations veteran Gil Bashe has joined leading New York independent firm Makovsky & Company as executive vice president in charge of its health practice. At the same time, Makovsky has changed the name of the practice to health from health sciences to reflect a broader focus on pharmaceutical, device and diagnostic, biotech and health infomatics sectors.

Prior to joining Makovsky & Company, Bashe was a senior executive at Catalyst Communications, a medical education firm. In 1999, he launched Health!Quest Global Communication Partners, obtaining $60 million in support from GTCR Golder Rauner, one of the nation’s largest private-equity firms. Health!Quest was merged into another equity-sponsored enterprise in November 2002.

Says Bashe, “It is my belief that communication enables medical advances to make their biggest impact by connecting patients’ needs with physicians’ desire to heal. Makovsky’s leadership in professional and patient advocacy programs for clients such as the American Journal of Nursing and the Scleroderma Foundation clearly demonstrates that our interests are aligned.”   

Added Ken Makovsky, the firm’s president, “Gil is truly one of the leaders and innovators of the health public relations sector.  In addition, his experience in the financial community from having worked with a private-equity leader for a number of years will greatly strengthen the firm’s service to biotech, medical device and diagnostic clients by combining the best of the firm’s health public relations and investor relations talents.”

Earlier in his career, Bashe was CEO of CommonHealth, the health-marketing consortium of WPP Group, having served as its vice-chairman for strategic planning and was executive vice president and worldwide director of the health and pharmaceutical practice at sister-company Hill & Knowlton.