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April 17, 2014

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Names Public Relations Director

Skokie, Ill., resident joins international medical education association team

ROSEMONT, Ill.—Melissa H. Leeb, a longtime resident of Skokie, Ill., joins the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) as director of public relations.
Leeb, a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, has an extensive background in public and media relations. In her early career, Leeb worked in broadcast journalism as a television reporter, weekend anchor and news producer. She later developed public relations, public affairs and marketing communications expertise at several Chicago-based public relations agencies specializing in healthcare communications.
Most recently, Leeb was director of public relations for the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS). During her tenure, Leeb increased awareness and built strong support for the society’s mission, programs, advocacy issues and events. She was instrumental in the ACS’s efforts on passage of The Smoke-free Illinois Act in 2008. The Act, still in effect today, prohibits smoking in virtually all public places to protect residents, workers and visitors from the harmful and hazardous effects of secondhand smoke. Leeb was recognized with the PRSA Chicago Skyline Award for leading strategic communications efforts for the statewide campaign.
“Melissa joins the Academy with a wealth of expertise from the nonprofit and consumer healthcare sectors,” says AAOS CEO Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE. “Her roots in broadcast journalism, and notable accomplishments with medical and health-focused nonprofits, will be a tremendous asset to the AAOS’s strategic public relations initiatives.”
Leeb will spearhead the Academy’s orthopaedic public awareness and public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, and lead all strategic communications efforts on behalf of the Academy and its 38,000 members.


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