Former Mayo Clinic social media expert joins national communications firm

Lee Aase, the communications executive who led Mayo Clinic’s early entry into the world of social media, has joined a national public relations firm that specializes in health-care clients.

Aase has signed on “in a counsel role” with Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, one of Nashville, Tenn.’s largest public relations firms. His addition to the Jarrard team was announced on Tuesday, the same day Aase retired from Mayo Clinic.

He worked at Mayo Clinic in communications for 21 years and was an early adopter of social media. Aase became a national expert on health care and social media. He was a founder of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media in 2010. The center later merged with the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, which Aase led as its director.

“As a pioneer in the field for two decades, Lee’s extensive background in digital strategy is indispensable for our clients, whether their needs are related to patient acquisition efforts, issue navigation or seizing new opportunities to make the delivery of healthcare more accessible and equitable,” stated Jarrard Inc. President and CEO David Jarrard in the announcement of Aase’s hiring.

Aase has joined an organization that has an increasingly large presence in the booming medical communications industry. The Nashville Business Journal reported that the Tennessee firm collected $11.92 million in professional services fees in 2019.

Jarrad Inc. was purchased in November 2020 by The Chartis Group, a prominent Chicago health care analytics firm.

As one of the first to focus on social media in the medical industry, Aase has spoken as an expert at many national and international communications conferences.

In 2009, he spoke at a small event in Rochester, where he extolled the possibilities of social media.

“Social networking changes everything,” Aase said in 2009. “Don’t pitch the media, be the media.”

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