SPOTLIGHT: JENNIFER BENDER
Jennifer Bender is a public relations and strategic communications leader with 12 years of experience across the healthcare industry for major public and private organizations such as Pfizer and NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest public health system in the country serving more than one million New Yorkers annually.
She excels in key disciplines, particularly in crisis communications and strategic media relations. Most notably, in 2014, Jennifer played a critical role in controlling the narrative around New York City’s first and only patient with Ebola. Here, she managed a 24/7, unchartered and highly sensitive, multi-agency response, which included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayor’s Office, and City and State Health Departments. As part of the crisis response plan, she managed hundreds of media requests, coordinated press conferences, managed social media responses, and drafted and issued press statements.
In addition to her acumen as a crisis communications professional, Jennifer excels in her partnership with the media to develop compelling, informative and breaking healthcare stories for the general public. She successfully garnered hundreds of positive stories in mainstream, ethnic, and community press, telling the health system’s story through the voices of NYC Health + Hospital’s leadership, clinical staff and patients. She worked with leadership, executives and staff from across the system’s 11 hospitals, more than 70 community health centers, and its health insurance plan to find stories to help elevate and enhance the health system’s reputation.
Jennifer recently joined Pfizer as Senior Manager of Strategy & Commercial Operations (StratCO). In this role she provides internal and external communications support for the business unit, which includes critical business functions and services for the company, as well as executive leadership communications support. She also serves on Pfizer’s Corporate Affairs Culture Committee where she works with colleagues to help plan events and engagement activities for Corporate Affairs staff.
Earlier in her career, Jennifer worked for public relations agencies providing strategic counsel, coalition building for national organizations, and business-to-business communications support for clients in a range of therapeutic areas, in addition to animal health.
Jennifer serves as Secretary on the board of The Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society of Greater New York (HPRMS), where she helps plan and promote events for members, and has served as moderator for a variety of panel discussions, including a “meet the media” panel with high profile reporters. She has contributed to award-winning campaigns, resulting in two PRSA Big Apple Awards for raising awareness about the need for children to be vaccinated against the flu, and a Shorty Award for the innovative use of emojis to reach adolescents in New York City with educational messages about sexual health.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from the State University of New York at Oswego.