Leo Francis, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer, Avant Healthcare


If you spend any time in the healthcare marketing and advertising world, chances are you have met or know of Leo Francis, PhD. His background in education, research, medical content design, and commercial marketing gives him a unique perspective on the pharma world and where it’s heading.

After working and traveling abroad, holding positions at New York agencies, and being recognized in 2010 and 2012 as one of the 100 most inspiring leaders in the life sciences industry by PharmaVOICE, Francis accepted a position as Chief Strategy Officer for medical marketing communications company Avant Healthcare.

Although his home is in New Jersey, Francis found something intriguing about the Carmel, Indiana-based company—something intriguing enough to pull him away from his time and his successful track record at the big agencies out East.

So, what drew him to a boutique company in the heart of the Midwest? Francis says it was “an authenticity that permeates the work of the agency and its people.” It’s that culture Francis values about working for Avant Healthcare, citing the corporation’s core values—H4S (healthy, honorable, humble, hungry, and smart)—as a touchstone for understanding how the company operates.


In addition to the culture, Francis is also impressed with its longevity: “Avant Healthcare has been in business for more than 21 years, and our first client company is still with us today. Additionally, the median tenure of our staff is exceptional for this industry. It says a lot for a company’s commitment to excellence if both employees and clients want to stick around for the long term.”

So, if Avant Healthcare is doing such amazing work, why have you never heard of it? Francis credits geography and a humility amongst its staff as the reasons Avant Healthcare isn’t more well-known. “We go about our exceptional work and take care of our people without pomp or ceremony. Now that we’re continuing to build into Chicago, theWest Coast, and the East Coast, more people are beginning to take notice.”

In his role as Chief Strategy Officer, Francis has to deal with an ever-changing environment driven by client requests, increasing regulations, and changing models of healthcare delivery. He recognizes the staying power of Avant Healthcare as a result of its status as “a hybrid agency that brings the best of science, creativity, marketing strategy, and customer service, illustrated by our internal capabilities and diversity in our client base.”

As Francis continues his work at Avant Healthcare, he knows the road ahead is challenging but says his people are up to that challenge. “The industry is changing, often at a rate we can’t control, yet that change is something we can harness and embrace. No matter the role, the people at Avant Healthcare are making a difference in the lives of patients around the world.”

Are you looking for a dynamic and fulfilling place to work? Do you need an agency with the skills and experience to execute your product strategy? Visit  to learn more about the extensive opportunities available at Avant Healthcare.

Follow Avant Healthcare on Twitter @AvantHC


Leo’s Top 5 Things Clients Should Consider When Selecting an Agency

1. Strategic thinking with proactive recommendations about your business.

2. Breakthrough creativity woven into deliverables.

3. Scientific expertise applied to medical education experiences.

4. How the agency approaches innovation.

5. Provide everything you need and nothing you don’t.

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