Advancing Medical Technology

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Advanced Medical Technology Association, known as AdvaMed, wants to raise the profile of its industry in the nation's debate on the future of health care. And to do that in Washington generally means new staff and a pricey national public awareness campaign.

"We want to be sure we're explaining" to the public the value of health-care technology, said Stephen J. Ubl , who was appointed chief executive of the trade group in July. He was the top lobbyist for AdvaMed until late 2004, when he went out on his own.

AdvaMed is particularly interested in Medicare coverage for its members' medical devices, diagnostic products and high-tech procedures. Ubl said they are "very concerned" that federal regulations and legislation might limit patients' access to the medical technology they need.

Part of AdvaMed's strategy is a $1 million public education campaign being developed by Edelman . It will include ads featuring celebrities, athletes and ordinary people talking about what medical devices, such as artificial heart valves and aneurysm coils, have meant to the quality of their lives. There will also be promotional events and a Web site.

Among those featured in the campaign: Edelman executive and former Reagan official Michael K. Deaver , who colleagues say is "passionate" about his knee replacements.

On the Edelman team: Heather E. Kowalski , Tish Van Dyke and Ingrid Allen . Blair Childs , who used to work for AdvaMed, is also working on the project with Edelman.

The new, and relatively new, folks added to bolster AdvaMed's efforts include: Michael J. McGarry , executive vice president for public affairs, who used to work for Shell Chemicals Ltd.; David Nexon , senior executive vice president, former senior health policy adviser for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.); Ann-Marie Lynch , executive vice president for payment and health-care delivery, a former House Ways and Means staffer; Madeleine T. Smith , senior vice president for payment and health-care delivery, also a former Ways and Means staffer; Christopher L. White , general counsel; and Kenneth Mendez , senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Building Up the Practice

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman continued its quest to build a top lobbying practice, hiring a senior aide to Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The law firm, which raided Patton Boggs earlier this year for eight people for its public policy practice, is also bringing on board Joseph H. Lanier , legal counsel in McConnell's office. He starts Monday.

Lanier also worked at Patton Boggs earlier in his career. In addition, he served as legislative director for then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).

"We simply want to be recognized as one of the premier public policy practices," said Joseph A. Cannon , head of Pillsbury's public policy practice.

It's also important to the firm that the practice be bipartisan, added Cannon, who is head of the Utah Republican Party and brother to Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah).

Some of the other new hires included Florence Prioleau , a former domestic policy aide in the Carter administration, and former Clinton administration officials Thomas P. O'Donnell , Peter D. Robertson and Joseph "Jody" Trapasso .

Lanier is barred from lobbying McConnell's office for one year.

Former Lobbyist Sentenced

Former veteran lobbyist William "Art" Roberts was sentenced last week to six months of home detention with electronic monitoring for "false personation" of Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee members. He also received two years probation and 250 hours of community service and fined $20,000.

A former principal of Jefferson Government Relations , Roberts pleaded guilty in January to the charge of "false personation of an officer or employee of the United States."

According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein, Roberts's lobby firm was hired in 2004 by a German bank in litigation in London arising from the collapse of Enron Corp. to get a letter from the subcommittee "attesting to the thoroughness" of its investigation into Enron. Subcommittee staff agreed to provide a transcript of the panel's hearings but not a cover letter. Roberts then devised a phony subcommittee document and sent the false transmittal letter and transcripts to a British court.

Roberts said yesterday he had made a "stupid, stupid" mistake. He said he is doing "strategic consulting" and is no longer lobbying.

Here and There

Anna Schneider , who headed Mitsubishi Motors North America's government relations office for 13 years, is motoring over to Toyota Motor North America, where she'll serve as executive director and deputy to Josephine S. "Jo" Cooper , group vice president of government and industry affairs.

Marcia Hale has joined McKenna Long & Aldridge as managing director of the law firm's government affairs practice. Most recently, she was a consultant and earlier worked for Universal Access and Monsanto Corp. She served as assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs at the Clinton White House.

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