Expert cardiologist Dr. Michel Accad enlisted Fineman PR to help launch his new venture – Athletic Heart of San Francisco (AHSF) – a first-of-its-kind sports cardiology clinic that makes preventive heart screenings available to the Bay Area’s active and health-conscious community.


Sudden cardiac death is a national epidemic and the No. 1 cause of death among U.S. athletes of all ages, many of whom show no symptoms until tragedy strikes. Countless lives could be saved with more robust cardiac screening to detect underlying, previously unsuspected cardiovascular conditions than is currently standard.

AHSF was well positioned as an independent regional sports cardiology clinic. However, overcoming the awareness and education gap about the emerging field of sports cardiology and the merits of preventive cardiovascular screening for healthy active individuals remained a challenge. In addition, due to an ongoing cost-benefit debate, most health insurance plans do not cover the physical exams administered by AHSF despite their being proven and well-established medical techniques. Therefore, the campaign’s priorities were to educate target audiences on the merits of preventive cardiovascular screening while simultaneously establishing AHSF as an authority.


With AHSF’s breakthrough leadership in cardiac health, Fineman PR focused on efforts to raise the clinic’s profile and credibility while establishing a meaningful brand voice across all AHSF communications. A selection of strategies included:

  • Expert source positioning for Dr. Accad as a sports cardiology trailblazer across various media verticals, e.g., sports, fitness, health/medicine and general consumer
  • Integrated marketing and influencer relations in the active lifestyle/endurance sports category
  • Social and online optimization for reputation building and leveraging patient referrals
  • Collaboration with the growing number of nonprofit organizations that champion preventive cardiac screening
  • Message framing and development
  • Development of a blog editorial calendar and content for the clinic’s e-newsletters

  • Compilation of speaking opportunities


  • Established Dr. Accad as an expert source throughout the campaign. Fineman PR secured regional and national coverage in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic, Lifescript and placed a featured opinion piece by Dr. Accad in the San Jose Mercury News
  • A strong online presence, social media strategy, and communications plan for ongoing consumer-facing and industry-specific outreach
  • Established relationships with health, fitness and sports organizations and influencers with both local and national reach, and laid the groundwork for future collaboration with influential nonprofit organizations

Building a specialty health clinic is a marathon, not a sprint, but with Fineman PR’s help, Athletic Heart of San Francisco is well on its way to becoming an important resource for the Bay Area’s active community.