ProfNet Experts Available on Medical Devices, Zadroga Act, 'Star Wars'

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers, Media Industry Blog Posts

Dec 18, 2015, 08:16 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.

You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it's easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started:


  • Medical Device Manufacturers and the ACA
  • Zadroga Act Reaffirms Support for First Responders
  • Could New Music Add New Force to the 'Star Wars' Franchise?


  • Editorial Assistant – Village Voice (NY)
  • Video Editor, Entertainment – The Associated Press (NY)
  • News Producer – WMUR-TV (NH)


  • The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Tech-Loving Journalists, Bloggers and Storytellers
  • How to Pitch and Perform on Network News
  • PR Newswire Media Moves, Dec. 14 Edition



Medical Device Manufacturers and the ACA
Dr. Bill Bithoney
Managing Director and Chief Physician Executive
The BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation
Medical device manufacturers will get a windfall if the U.S. budget nixes the medical device tax. But with the Cadillac tax and medical device tax on the block, the Affordable Care Act needs to find new funding sources, and care providers are going to be under increasing pressure to reduce costs that aren't going down as fast as they need to. Says Dr. Bithoney: "Medical device companies that have raised prices and reduced their workforces and their employees' health benefits in the lead-up to the tax will receive a windfall if it's repealed. While some camps will be legitimately relieved at the repeal of these levies, the simple reality is that the funds from both the Cadillac tax and the medical device tax are important to funding the Affordable Care Act. How will the projected billions of dollars raised by these taxes be replaced?"
Specializing in efficient clinical and hospital management and the development of accountable care organizations (ACO), Dr. Bithoney has developed managed care and academic strategies, managed a Medicare Advantage ACO, and developed self-sustaining models for performance and quality improvement, utilization review, utilization management and research strategies. He is an experienced healthcare professional with more than 25 years of experience as a physician executive in diverse academic and hospital systems.  He served as chief of general pediatrics primary care at Boston Children's Hospital for 17 years, where he was also named senior associate in medicine, the highest clinical appointment available at Harvard Medical School.  He has been a professor at both Harvard and the SUNY Downstate Medical School, and served as vice dean and professor at NY Medical College. In addition, he served as chief medical officer for several large health systems with revenues between $1 billion and $2.5 billion per annum.
BDO Knows Healthcare Blog:
Contact: Liz DeForest,

Zadroga Act Reaffirms Support for First Responders
Stephen Cassidy
Uniformed Firefighters Association
"New York City remains the No. 1 target for terrorism, and our firefighters stand ready to respond should tragedy strike again. The job our members do is more dangerous than it has ever been and, at any moment, firefighters will be expected to once again run into harm's way. By reauthorizing the Zadroga Act in a bipartisan manner, Congress is reaffirming its support for those firefighters who sacrificed their health and, tragically, their lives while effectuating the largest civilian evacuation on U.S. soil, as 25,000 were saved on 9/11. After many months and years of fighting in Washington, D.C., for a permanent solution, it is good to finally have this result. Our thanks go out to the New York delegation and the Congressional leadership for seeing this result to the end."
Cassidy can discuss the agreement to fund and extend the Zadroga Act, which provides health care for those sickened by the toxins in the air around Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Contact: Tom Butler,

Could New Music Add New Force to the 'Star Wars' Franchise?
David Allan, Ph.D.
Professor of Music Marketing
Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia
With some of the bold choices Disney has made during the production of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" -- like selecting "Star Trek" filmmaker J.J. Abrams for the director's role and hiring a cast of young, diverse actors -- it seems clear that an attempt is being made to contemporize and perhaps revitalize the franchise. So when Abrams announced on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" that he had partnered with Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the widely acclaimed musical "Hamilton," to write new "Star Wars" cantina music, the daring move should not have come as a surprise. Says Allan: "Lin Manuel Miranda is the hottest composer on Broadway right now. And any time you combine two in-vogue 'brands,' it's marketing gold." A leading authority on music marketing with two decades-long career in radio broadcasting, Allan thinks Abrams and Disney are taking a risk, but it's a good one. "There's the potential that older fans won't like the new music because it doesn't match what they remember," he says. "But the reward could be huge with the younger audience and potentially revitalize some fans' affinity for the brand." The new film, which hits theaters on Dec. 18, will be set 30 years after the events of "Return of the Jedi." "Disney is in the business of music, and they do it well," adds Allan. "For many of their films, the cinematic content is designed to entertain the children while the musical scores and featured artists are tailored to the adults, broadening their fan base." This time, perhaps they have flipped the strategy, offering a storyline that resonates with longtime supporters of the franchise and a musical score that will attract a fresh following. "Sequels are always judged more harshly than originals," says Allan, "but these choices could potentially give this film, and this franchise, new life."
Allan is a leading expert on media, advertising, marketing and pop culture. Author of "This Note's For You: Popular Music + Advertising = Marketing Excellence" (Business Expert Press, 2015), Allan has been quoted in national news outlets, speaking on topics ranging from Michael Jackson's post-trial career, to decency standards in the media, to Apple's partnership with U2.
Contact: Colleen Sabatino,

Brands Capitalizing on 'Star Wars' Release
Janee N. Burkhalter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia
Brands in virtually every market are capitalizing on the impending release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." From CoverGirl cosmetics to Duracell batteries, General Mills cereals to Chrysler Fiat models, "the Force" is all around us. Anticipation for the film, set to release on Dec. 18, is being bolstered by both the excitement of nostalgic fans and the curiosity of young potential Jedis. Says Burkhalter: "Typically in the entertainment industry, consumers think of co-branding in the form of brand placement, but there is no opportunity for this in 'Star Wars' because it is set in a fantasy world." While Han Solo doesn't have a preferred soda brand and Princess Leia doesn't wear designer jeans, the fantasy aspect of the films that prevents brand placement may enable increased opportunities for licensing. "Licensing deals are arguably more successful when the secondary product fits the brand's image, theme and target audience," says Burkhalter, "but with 'Star Wars' and other fantasy franchises, the rules are a bit looser, opening up opportunities to partner with more products" -- which is why this holiday season, consumers can find something for every "Star Wars" fan on their list, like a Death Star cookie jar, a storm trooper alarm clock or a game day T-shirt featuring Yoda or Darth Vader from dozens of NCAA teams. "It's about selling an experience and trying to develop relationships with the consumers," says Burkhalter. "The theater-going experience is a one-time connection, so movie brands have to look for other opportunities to engage and build a fan base. 'Star Wars' and Disney are looking to broaden and reenergize their audience, and co-branding is one way they can accomplish that goal."
Burkhalter has published in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Marketing Communications, Journal of Promotion Management, and Business Horizons. She is also co-editor of the book "Maximizing Commerce and Marketing Strategies through Micro-Blogging." Her research interests include entertainment, new media, consumer relationships and pedagogy.
Contact: Colleen Sabatino,



Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Editorial Assistant – Village Voice (NY)
  • Video Editor, Entertainment – The Associated Press (NY)
  • News Producer – WMUR-TV (NH)



Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line.

  • THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR TECH-LOVING JOURNALISTS, BLOGGERS AND STORYTELLERS. Looking for the perfect gift for that special editor in your life? Here's a guide to the ultimate gifts this holiday season:
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  • PR NEWSWIRE MEDIA MOVES, DEC. 14 EDITION. Updating your media lists for the new year? Find out who's in and who's out at Time; O, The Oprah Magazine; Houston Chronicle; The Atlantic; Thomson Reuters; Quartz; Smithsonian Magazine; Politico; Village Voice; Circa; Teen Vogue; The Real Deal; Woman's Day; Marie Claire; and more:


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