NEW YORK—Helen Ostrowski, former chief executive of Porter Novelli and a veteran healthcare communication leader, is joining APCO Worldwide as a senior advisor.

Further strengthening the firm’s healthcare credentials, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, former chief medical officer for England and chief medical adviser to the UK government, has joined APCO’s International Advisory Council .

Prior to her role as chairman and CEO of Porter Novelli, Ostrowski was managing director of the firm’s New York office, head of the healthcare division, head of global practices and president of the Americas.

Earlier in her career, Ostrowski served as president of Wang Associates Health Communications, a large independent public relations agency that specialized in healthcare. She was also public relations manager at Schering-Plough, a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company.

From 1998 to 2010, Donaldson was chief medical officer for England and the United Kingdom’s chief medical adviser. During his 12 years in the position, he produced a series of reports and policy programs that helped shape public health, National Health Service care and clinical practice, including initiatives such as smoke-free public places, regulated stem cell research, and creation of the concept of clinical governance.

Internationally, he served as member and vice-chairman of the World Health Organisation’s executive board and founded and led the World Alliance for Patient Safety, an initiative that moved action on safety to a global scale.