Joyce Lofstrom was heading up the PR department for HIMSS when the Ritz team approached her with a memorable pitch.
It was 2008, a few months before the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was enacted to promote adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. With the health tech community headed to Chicago in April 2009 for HIMSS09, a global health IT conference, the Ritz team pitched Joyce on a media tour of Chicago-based Swedish Covenant Hospital, which was ahead of the curve on electronic health record implementation.
“It was so timely,” Joyce recalls. “Ritz was not only attuned to the legislation, but they also had established trust with their client. It was remarkable that a hospital would invite a group of reporters to come in and view their new EHR.”
Along with the EHR demonstration, the reporters met with several hospital representatives, including the CEO. The media tour was such a success that Joyce, the Ritz team, and the hospital’s PR leader partnered again on a PRSA Health Academy seminar in 2011 to teach other PR professionals how to put together a similar event.
“Our team was very excited about creating a story that made an unfamiliar technology accessible to a wider audience,” Elisabeth Ritz recalls. “Joyce helped raise the story to another level with her experience as a former reporter and her extensive industry knowledge.”
Joyce and Elisabeth kept in touch over periodic lunches and at professional events. When Joyce retired from HIMSS in 2018, she brought her health IT expertise—and her longstanding relationships with the health tech media—to Ritz. Joyce feels right at home leading health IT client work and collaborating with her supportive team.
“Elisabeth recognizes her teams’ strengths and brings out the best in people,” Joyce says. “That to me speaks very strongly of the organization.”
As for Ritz, the team admires Joyce’s acumen and enthusiasm for the topic. “Joyce is always modest about her accomplishments and contributions, but the team feels very lucky to have her contributing her expertise and vision.” Elisabeth says.