How Creativity Propels Healthcare Forward: Clio Event Roundup

5 min read
Apr 30, 2024 9:59:25 AM

Last week's inaugural Clio Health Catalyst Conversations Event was a focused -  and inspiring -  exploration of the intersection between creativity and healthcare. With sessions rich in discussion and innovative thinking, we delved into how creativity isn't just embellishment but a core component in the evolution of healthcare services. Here's a recap of the pivotal moments and core themes:

Breaking Through the Clutter: The Power of Purpose-Driven Marketing

In the first session, speakers Scott Goodson (Strawberry Frog), Ramon Soto (Northwell Health), Dr. Jose Prince (Northwell Health), and Michelle Hillman (Ad Council) showcased how Northwell Health, as New York's largest healthcare provider, is leveraging its reach to tackle pressing issues such as gun violence, a top concern for New Yorkers. Ramon captured the essence of their strategy:

“"No one is interested in heart surgery or lung surgery—until they need it. We want them to know us before they need us”
Ramon Soto

Northwell Health


The highlight was a clip from "Emergency NYC," a Netflix series featuring Northwell, which depicted the immediate impact of gun violence through the eyes of a family dealing with a 17-year-old victim. As the mom of a 17 year old, this was incredibly powerful and moving – and there was clear emotion in the room.


Collaboration was a key theme. In the face of some overwhelming statistics (post pandemic, youth gun violence in NYC rose around 350%), Dr. Prince also referenced his hope that society could address complex problems, and referenced the great successes seen in the reduction in deaths due to vehicle accidents and the banning of smoking as examples of where we work together, success is possible.

Michelle and Scott talked about how the Ad Council is working with others to bend the curve on key issues, including gun violence, in a way that transcends political policy and uses humor and entertainment to connect, not chastise.

Changing the Script: Creativity at the Intersection of Health Equity & Entertainment

This session was packed with bold statements, bold action and heavy hitters, including Eric Weisberg, Global Chief Creative Officer at Havas Health & You, Dr Olajide Williams, Professor of Neurology, Vice Dean, Columbia University Medical School and co-founder of Hip Hop Public Health, Damien Escobar Havas’ Global Chief Music Officer (and Emmy-Award winning violinist). Phew. We started with level-setting on health equity - for Dr Williams, treating everyone equally can be inadvertently unfair, as giving a $20 coupon for someone living in a food desert won’t have the same impact as giving it to someone who benefits from easy access to healthy food. For Damien Escobar, health equity means access to quality healthcare for everyone – and for Eric Weisberg, it means everyone has access and also equal representation. 

“the greatest driver of life expectancy in the US is zipcode"
Dr Olajide Williams

Columbia University & Hip Hop Public Health

At its heart, this session was about using marketing fundamentals – really deeply understanding your audience and developing content that resonates – to the trickiest health challenges, so that we can meet people where they are. A fantastic example with Dr William’s side project (he’s president and co-founder of Hip Hop Public Health who create research-based educational resources by harnessing the power of music and culture to improve health in communities that are underserved). He shared examples of previous collaborations with Doug E. Fresh, revolutionary hip hop artist, to create memorable, sticky content that really resonates with the audience to drive action. Check out their work at

He also talked about the healing power of music – (did you know that 532 MHz is where healing takes place? Me either) …and that music occupies 2x the real estate in the brain than language? So now you have a scientific reason for that ear worm….thanks, Rick Astley

Eric talked about the challenges of addressing health equity as a brand, in a world where 55% of media consumed is not ad supported – so how do you reach people in a world where ad spend alone won’t work? He talked about the critical importance of creative storytelling, and the need to be realistic – one single piece of creative can’t do it all (functional and emotional, brand and demand). He shared the Havas Backseat Hotseat campaign:



He also talked about the need for authenticity, which requires being inclusive of diverse perspectives and warned that where brands try to control the narrative, authenticity suffers  – and how giving up control leads to far more creative work. 

"The more people that come to the party, the more interesting the work is"
Eric Weinberg

Global Chief Creative Officer at Havas Health & You 

As if being an Emmy award winning violinist is not enough, Damien Escobar was part of the conversation as Havas’ Global Chief Music Officer. For him, success is when something a brand does moves in culture, and is used for things beyond it’s scope. But that means inviting culture in – and that work for that community should be done by that community. 

Challenging Convention: Building a Fast-Moving Consumer Health Brand

The final session was led by (fellow Canadian) Andrew Laucks and Claudine Patel of co-sponsor Sanofi Consumer Healthcare. At times I had to remind myself that this was consumer healthcare, as it felt fast, fresh and very different from the consumer healthcare industry I started my career in (way back when). More consumer, less healthcare. Much of the conversation was (rightly) focused on celebrating Sanofi Consumer Healthcare’s recent achievement of B Corp status – as a B Corp ourselves, we know that this is not easy, but is it so needed and fantastic to see larger organizations up for making some (B)old moves (their words!) to drive scale.


Andrew talked about ‘leading and leapfrogging’ to craft tomorrow’s fast-moving consumer health company, to drive healthcare change at scale in a very fragmented industry. Claudine showed examples of where they are challenging norms, breaking conventions and moving with speed, including livestreaming with former The Real cohost Jeannie Mai to spotlight the partnership with Dulcolax.

And a final rallying cry from Claudine to get out there and just talk to people, and how critical it is for marketers to ‘continue to build a culture of curiosity’ – something important to us too as we endeavor to unlock curiosity in organizations 

This first Clio Health Catalyst Conversations Event demonstrated that when creativity meets healthcare, the potential for meaningful and impactful innovation is immense. We left the session energized and inspired - so huge thanks to the Clio team and all the fantastic panelists for a great session, and if you're in NYC around September, look out for the next one. 

About the authors

Lisa Davies is a member of Oxford’s leadership team. She specializes in helping organizations to build high performing teams that deliver business results and encourage individuals to maximize their potential.


Lisa Davies_2023


Doug Nelson is a consultant specializing in omnichannel transformations at Oxford. His passion is in omnichannel strategy, helping organizations navigate the ever-evolving digital world to deliver business results

Doug Nelson_2023

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