The Society is pleased to announce our 2022 annual leadership positions. Selected from among our steering committee members, these individuals are helping the day-to-day work of advancing the Society and the field of health communications.

President: Michael Grela

Role: Assist with the development and implementation of the strategic plan; provide direction and oversight for the annual National Summit for Health Communication, including the event theme and core programming.

About Michael:

Michael also serves as Executive Vice President, Head of Reputation & Social Impact at Evoke KYNE. Michael is a passionate and creative health communicator with more than 10 years’ experience working with government, non-profits and the private sector to create lasting impact in health. He currently oversees client engagements in global public health, corporate reputation and social impact, serving as the agency’s in-house social impact specialist. As part of his role, Michael is responsible for shaping the agency’s own reputation-driving initiatives including social impact and corporate giving strategies, goals and programs. He also leads the agency’s Reputation team, which manages all Evoke KYNE communications, positioning/branding, awards and publications, thought leadership, social media and related employee engagement. Michael has experience working across many therapeutic areas including in Ebola, malaria, HIV/AIDS, oncology, hemophilia and tobacco control. During his tenure at Evoke KYNE he has overseen engagements in the U.S., Africa, and globally, including work with the CDC Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation. Previously he was an account supervisor at Hill+Knowlton Strategies New York, where he supported U.S. and global engagements.


Vice President: Ashani Johnson-Turbes, PhD


Role: Help implement the Society’s strategic plan including revenue growthdirection and oversight of Society webinars, and planning and execution of annual the National Summit for Health Communication


About Ashani:

Ashani is an award-winning social scientist with expertise in inclusive and equitable research, including culturally responsive evaluation. She blends her academic background in political science with +20 years working in public health, health communication and social marketing. She is a Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, serves on the Board of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, and is Strategic Advisor for the Bright Pink Venture Philanthropy Fund. Ashani previously directed Public Policy Research for McDonald’s Government Public Policy and Government Relations Center of Excellence and served as Director of its Global Communication Performance & Intelligence Team. Prior to that she was a Principal Scientist in the Public Health Division at NORC at the University of Chicago, served on NORC Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion committee, and was a Technical Director and Health Communication Domain Expert at ICF. She has directed marketing, communication and/or health studies on topics including sustainable waste and packaging, corporate reputation, gender pay equality, brand trust, perceptions of COVID-19 mitigation practices, COVID-19 and emotional/mental health, HIV/AIDS, prenatal maternal health, breast feeding, opioid use/misuse, antibiotic resistance, breast cancer, emergency preparedness, and brain health for organizations including CDC, NAACP, Gilead and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation



Member-at-Large: Shelly Spoeth 

Role: Enhance member services and identify areas for advocacy within the field.

About Shelly:

Shelly Spoeth also serves as Principal Associate at Abt Associates. Shelly Spoeth has more than 25 years of strategic communication and social marketing experience tackling complex health and social issues. While at major public relations firms, she worked for a decade with pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. She then worked as a consultant for government and nonprofit clients, including the CDC, on challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS to COVID-19. Spoeth has implemented, evaluated, and managed dozens of projects that improved health outcomes. Currently, Shelly is a Principal Associate at Abt Associates, a global research and evaluation firm. Prior to that, she led strategic marketing and communication planning at the American Cancer Society; served as a senior vice president at Porter Novelli, leading the Health & Social Impact practice managing large CDC communications contracts; and Hager Sharp, where she contributed to two major government public health initiatives – HPV is Cancer Prevention and Million Hearts.