235 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103


In an unprecedented merger of Life Science agencies, Star Group combines Calcium NYC, Vox Medica, and Star Life Sciences to offer clients even greater resources to effectively market brands in today’s dynamic healthcare environment

Philadelphia, PA (April 17, 2014) – Star Group, the largest independently owned marketing communications firm in the Philadelphia region, and the nation’s largest woman owned WBE marketing communications agency, announced its merger with Vox Medica and its parent company, Independence Healthcom Strategies Group (IHSG). On a parallel track, Star Group also merged in Calcium NYC, a full service healthcare agency created by the former founding partners of Wishbone, the MedAdNews “2009 Healthcare Agency of the Year”, before it’s acquisition.

The combined group has entered the market as Calcium.

Star Group will be the holding company, combining Calcium NYC and Vox Medica with its healthcare division, Star Life Sciences, and creating an independent healthcare marketing communications company with an unprecedented blend of talents and capabilities. Steven Michaelson will be the group CEO with a management team that includes members of all three agencies. The management group consists of Timmy Garde (Managing Partner/Chief Operating Officer), Lorna Weir (Chief Strategic Officer), Renee Mellas, (President), Steve Hamburg (Chief Creative Officer), and Judy Capano (Director of Business Development). Calcium will operate out of its NYC and Philadelphia offices.

“As a result of this merger we have developed an Agency with the agility to move as quickly as today’s rapidly evolving healthcare industry,” said Michelson. “An agency that will deliver unparalleled strategic and creative solutions, the most comprehensive digital capabilities, and the best resources to market brands in today’s volatile environment. Knowledge, creativity, speed, and flexibility make us an attractive option compared to the bureaucratic big agency mind set.”

“This partnership will substantially enhance the value of our organization’s offerings to current clients and the industry at large,” said Star Group CEO Linda Rosanio. “As one company, this innovative independent healthcare group combines some of the best industry talent with a strong technology orientation in order to provide clients with a breakthrough marketing edge.”

Lorna Weir, former Vox Medica President and newly appointed Chief Strategic Officer for the group, commented on the evolution of their brand and the synergies of bringing together these agencies and their team’s combined talents. “All of our organizations have a broad portfolio of clients in the life sciences category ranging from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, payor, health system, issues advocacy and education categories,” she said. “With this combined intellectual capital, scientific depth, creative resources, and digital acumen, what we can offer clients now, as one company, is a very powerful proposition at a time when they need it most.”

In closing, Timmy Garde, Managing Partner, Star Group and Chief Operating Officer of the new group, commented, “This new organization represents a dream team approach. Our highly complementary strengths allow us to put numbers on the board for our clients immediately. Calcium’s strategic and creative capabilities, combined with Vox’s medical and scientific knowledge base, Star’s best in class digital and channel management, and a world class advisory board of industry leaders makes us an agency that’s superiorly equipped to help clients dominate in these challenging times.”

About Star Group

Building brands and Creating Business™ for almost 30 years, Star Group Communications — headquartered in Philadelphia — is the largest privately held marketing communications company in the region and the nation’s largest WBE (Women-owned Business Enterprise) in its field.

Star Group takes an entrepreneurial approach to meet clients’ challenges and capitalize on their business opportunities. The Agency has accelerated the marketing communications process, enabling its client teams to “move at the speed of retail.” This approach has also supported the Agency’s growth to almost 300 professionals working in six offices nationally. In addition to headquarters in Philadelphia’s Center City, Star Group has offices in New York City, Voorhees, NJ., Wilmington, DE, Las Vegas, NV, and St. Louis, MO.

Star’s diversified client portfolio includes the following verticals industries: Food and Beverage, Gaming and Hospitality, Life Sciences, B2B, and Non-Profits.

For more information, visit http://www.stargroup1.com.

About Star Life Sciences

Founded in 2007, Star Life Sciences is the life sciences division of Star Group Communications, offering a wide range of integrated healthcare communications services to help clients successfully creates business in changing and competitive markets. The company’s core strength resides in providing customized strategic and tactical solutions designed to transition clients to market leadership positions. The Star Life Sciences team leverages the extensive resources of its parent company for digital, broadcast production, media, research and the innovation services of Star Labs. Star Life Sciences’ client list, covering every aspect of life sciences, includes pharmaceutical and biotech companies, medical device manufacturers, health systems and treatment centers, universities and research centers, payers, home healthcare, retail pharmacies, patient advocacy groups, and non-profit organizations.

Star Life Sciences recently launched Medical Monitor™, starlifebrands.com, a news and commentary service that engages healthcare professionals and consumers to keep them current on all significant U.S. healthcare changes.

About Calcium

Founded in October 2012, Calcium is a full-service pharmaceutical advertising agency known for strategy and creativity. The same founding partners of Calcium started and ran Wishbone since it’s conception in 1998. Like Wishbone, Calcium has defined its mission as delivering “the big-agency experience without the big-agency bureaucracy.” For clients, this has meant getting the highest level of strategic, creative, and tactical support in the most efficient way possible.

All of Calcium’s work for its clients is guided by a proprietary methodology called the Growth Process™ which powerfully marries customer insight and strategic vision with creative and tactical implementation. The Growth Process helps Calcium deliver the most compelling strategies and world-class creative for its clients and their brands. Calcium current clients include Avanir, CardioNet, and Onconova. Calcium is located in New York City.

For more information, visit http://www.CalciumNYC.com.

About IHSG/ Vox Medica

Independence Healthcom Strategies Group is comprised of Vox Medica and Institute for Continuing Healthcare Education. Vox Medica is an independent healthcare marketing and communications company with a 60+ year history of helping clients successfully launch and promote products across a wide range of specialty therapeutic markets including neurology, oncology, urology, pain, and women's health. With experts in the broad spectrum of healthcare communications, Vox Medica is able to identify market opportunities, minimize barriers, and create solutions that help brands navigate today’s dynamic market. The firm also recognizes that a brand’s success depends on meaningful engagement across all stakeholders – healthcare professionals, patients, payers, etc.

The agency provides a full range of services, such as strategic planning, analytics, brand strategy and development, digital/multichannel, public relations, advocacy development, access and reimbursement, medical/scientific affairs, thought leader development, and public health education.

For more information, visit http://www.voxmedica.com.

# # #


Joanna Ford

Steve Rosen


We’re back... The original partners of Wishbone bring you Calcium. So if you want to grow a stronger brand, our independent and non-bureaucratic structures are the elements that nourish what we’re known for: rich strategic thinking, award winning creative, and distinguished service.
So whether you’re preparing for launch or have an in-line brand that could use some muscle, reach for Calcium—where building stronger brands is in our bones.