Recent Placements

Rochester Regional Health System

Melissa Sears was selected for the role of senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Rochester Regional Health System in Rochester, New York. Rochester Regional is an integrated health services organization that encompasses five hospitals, 66 primary care locations, 936 long-term care beds, eight senior living facilities, 54 patient testing sites, and 2,300 medical staff members, with total revenue of nearly $2 billion. It has been named among "America's Best Employers" by Forbes, with a 16,000-member employee base that makes it the second-largest private sector employer in the Rochester area. Since its inception, RRH has been diligently working to establish a coordinated, highly integrated, community-based healthcare system with the objectives of improving quality, increasing access, and lowering the cost of health care. In her role, Melissa will be a key member of the health system's senior executive team, providing coordinated leadership, direction, and guidance in the areas of communications and public relations, brand management, internal and external marketing and communications, and physician liaison services for all components of Rochester Regional Health. She will be charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive, proactive, and consistent strategy that will elevate RRH's brand, reputation, and perception throughout the communities it serves, and will support its vision for the future.

Before joining Rochester Regional, Melissa served as the vice president of marketing and strategic planning for Sparrow Health Systems in Lansing, Michigan, a $1.2 billion health system of 980 inpatient beds that encompasses the region's largest primary and specialty care physician network; five acute care hospitals; a large, regional clinically integrated network; a 30-bed LTACH; a health insurance division; a home care and hospice division; a retail pharmacy network; and a medical staff of over 1,100. There, she was responsible for all aspects of marketing and communications (both internal and external), media and public relations, and strategic planning. She introduced a cutting-edge digital and social media strategy to modernize the marketing and communications function, created a system-wide marketing and planning team that reduced overhead costs and optimized the performance of the function, introduced a CRM platform that drove growth, and led efforts to launch a common corporate intranet platform. Melissa also served as the inaugural head of the marketing and communications committee of the Michigan Federated Care Network – six large health systems that formed the first and largest clinically integrated network in the state.

Previously, Melissa served as the vice president of strategy and business development for St. Joseph Healthcare in Nashua, New Hampshire; as the director of marketing, communications, and strategy for St. Joseph; as the manager of marketing and community and media relations for Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire; and as the senior director of strategic marketing and client services for Thompson Financial in Boston, Massachusetts. She began her career as an interactive product manager for Revlon Consumer Products.

Melissa is originally from Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree in business administration and marketing from Mount Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles, and her MBA in health administration from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Society of Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development. Melissa and her husband are the parents of two young children. Outside of work, she enjoys travel and skiing.

QLK's Sharman McGurn and Jamie Cassedy led the search to recruit Melissa to Rochester Regional, where her duties will begin on May 8, 2017.


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