Few people have served the healthcare communication industry as unselfishly as Jim Dougherty. Over the past 30 years he has served in and/or contributed to virtually every organization in the industry, devoting his time and effort unstintingly. His hand is always first in the air when support and leadership are requested.
Jim’s entry into the business was a family affair as his older sister was Peg Dougherty, formerly Media Director at Lavey, Wolff & Swift and a founder of the HBA. She convinced him that pharmaceutical advertising sales was a good fit with his talents.
Jim entered the business as an advertising sales representative for the venerable dermatology journal, Cutis. He moved to Postgraduate Medicine at McGraw-Hill in 1980, and soon became a fixture in the medical publishing industry.
Wanting to become active in industry affairs, Jim became program chairman for the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council (PAC, now the HMCA). As program chairman he was intimately involved in providing educational services for all in our industry. Eventually Jim was named to the Board of Directors of the PAC and, in 1990, he became its youngest President.
One of Jim’s major contributions to our industry was his leadership in the founding of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication. Working with Jane Townsend and Ken Berkowitz, Jim helped put together resources from several branches of the industry to address a very aggressive FDA headed at the time by Commissioner David Kessler. The purpose of the organization was to support and defend the free flow of information about healthcare products. Thanks in no small part to Jim’s unstinting efforts, The Coalition was successful in its campaign to protect the free flow of information. Jim’s support in the birth and development of The Coalition was a significant factor in its success, allowing it to continue its good work today.
In 1989, Jim joined and took an active role within the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA – later renamed PhRMA). He was an active speaker for the PMA concerning marketing and legal issues, and also had popular role in organizing social activities at the annual meeting. Jim was one of the first associate members to serve on the PMA board of directors. One of his major accomplishments, working with Harry Sweeney and Al Nickel, was the creation of an advertising program informing doctors about the PMA Patient Assistance Programs. Jim reached out to the Association of Medical Publications (AMP) to donate advertising space in support of the program, and was a major factor in its success in providing assistance to needy patients.
In large part as a result of his work on the PMA Patient Assistance Program, Jim was named President of yet another industry organization, the Association of Medical Publishers (AMP, now the Association of Medical Media). He continued his good work on behalf of the publishing industry, helping to create and communicate information on the role and importance of medical publications and medical advertising in distributing drug information to physicians. Under his leadership, studies were commissioned to quantify the value of medical publications in communication information to healthcare professionals, and promotional campaigns created to convey the information to the industry.
Jim was an early member of the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame Executive Committee. His solid and extensive support was crucial in the success of the organization, assisting with organization and seat sales for the annual Awards Dinner, and contributing numerous concepts and ideas for the growth and advancement of the organization, including hosting tables at the Awards Dinner to introduce people to the event and the organization.
For more than three decades whenever the industry has needed support, Jim Dougherty has always been first in line. We cannot think of a more deserving, unselfish, self-effacing professional.