Centron / HealthSTAR Communications (US)

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Centron is the main advertising unit within independent healthcare communications group HealthStar. The group has undergone a series of restructurings in recent years. In 2015, the HealthStar name was dropped, and all the group's various units adopted the main Centron brand, except satellite agency LehmanMillet which was sold to management. Another change of strategy led to the re-launch of the HealthStar brand in 2016 for the parent company, with Centron as its lead unit. Following the rebrand, Centron now specialises in healthcare advertising, and there are separate medical education, PR and market access units under the HealthStar name. There is also a global partnership with Vivactis, a European healthcare network. Former CDM executive Celine Vita was named as president of Centron in 2017, and initiated another restructuring to focus the agency's attention on just a few sectors, primarily rare diseases and oncology. Carolyn O'Neill is chief creative officer. Centron was named as Agency of the Year (revenues under $25m) for two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017 by Med Ad News. MM&M estimated revenues of $12m in 2019. The company was originally conceived by entrepreneur Jerry Brager in 1999, based around his New Jersey agency Strategic Medical Communications. He sold the business in 2001 to private equity fund HIG Capital (still Centron's owner), and the group acquired its first four units that year, buying or launching a string of additional agencies over the subsequent years. Founder Jerry Brager stepped away from the main HealthStar business in 2007 to become chairman & CEO of healthcare advice and referrals service 1-800-Doctors.

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Capsule checked 24th December 2020

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