Let’s Talk

Devaney & Associates Wins Top Prize for Public Relations at 2023 MASHSMD Conference

Devaney & Associates Wins Top Prize for Public Relations at 2023 MASHSMD Conference


Devaney & Associates was a winner at this year’s Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (MASHSMD) Conference! Held May 9-11, 2023 in Philadelphia, the conference’s signature program–the 2022 Marketing Excellence Awards–celebrated the most exceptional work in healthcare marketing and public relations from agencies and organizations in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

MASHSMD awarded Devaney & Associates the first-place trophy in the “Public Relations/Social Media” category for its public relations campaign carried out on behalf of client Baltimore Medical System (BMS). The Maryland organization is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center system in Maryland. Operating eight health centers, four pharmacies, and eight school-based health sites in Baltimore, BMS serves more than 60,000 patients annually, including those who are underserved and uninsured.

Wanting to further engage with their patients and community, BMS hired Devaney & Associates in 2021. The organization aimed to take advantage of earned media opportunities to achieve greater visibility and generate new awareness in the local community. Baltimore is home to many renowned and leading hospital systems and healthcare organizations, and BMS wanted its executives and providers to be recognized among them.

The main goals of the campaign were to increase awareness for BMS, including its programs, services, and providers, and the critical role it serves in providing high-quality, affordable healthcare for Baltimore residents. D&A created a strategy to meet BMS’s objectives. The Maryland-based agency immediately began researching media outlets, contacts, and upcoming editorial and award opportunities that could benefit BMS. The three main tactics D&A focused on were distributing press releases to announce BMS news and increase the frequency of mentions in local media; nominating BMS representatives for award opportunities to amplify their medical expertise and contributions to the community; and pitching timely story ideas and offering BMS subject matter experts for interviews about current community health topics.  

D&A’s methods proved successful as they generated 33 media placements for BMS in local print, online, and broadcast outlets from May 2021 to December 2022. News coverage featured BMS efforts to treat COVID-19, hypertension, diabetes, and substance use disorder, as well as administer mammograms. BMS CEO Shirley Sutton received two major awards from local newspapers while four other staffers received honors for achievements in caring for Baltimore’s Hispanic population, pregnant/new mothers, and school-aged children. Media also covered BMS’s expansion and modernization with stories on the opening of a new community health center in Rosedale and a new facility opening at Yard 56 in 2023. BMS’s rise in reputation and visibility has sharpened its image in the community.

View a sampling of media coverage secured for Baltimore Medical System: