Kirsten Thistle


Kirsten Thistle is the national campaign director of Health is Primary, a public awareness campaign sponsored by Family Medicine for America’s Health. She is also a founding partner of Health Impact Strategies.

As campaign director of Health is Primary, Kirsten led the strategic design of the campaign and is responsible for all aspects of its execution, including messaging, advertising, event management, digital engagement, media relations and stakeholder engagement.

Kirsten was previously senior vice president and head of the US Health Care practice at APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs agency. In that position, she advised corporate, association and non-profit clients on communications, advocacy and stakeholder engagement.

Kirsten has extensive experience running advocacy and awareness campaigns around health and science issues. For almost twenty years, she has focused on educating policymakers, the media and the public on the safety of vaccines and the value of immunizations across the lifespan.

Prior to joining APCO, Kirsten served as legislative coordinator for the Consumer Specialty Products Association, the national trade group representing the consumer and institutional products industry. In that position, she managed legislative affairs on science and environmental issues. She was also responsible for fundraising and management of the association’s political action committee.

Kirsten held the position of speechwriter and legislative analyst for the Maryland General Assembly. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Business from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Kirsten served on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and has taught graduate level courses in crisis and issues management.

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