A full-service healthcare agency beholden to no one but our clients

We vehemently challenge the status quo in advancing medical education to positively impact the health and well-being of patients around the world.
Lofty? Perhaps, but we’ve been doing it since 1994 and counting.

Avant Innovation Lab

Deep innovation requires pressure-proof gear

We live in a rapidly evolving clinical world, filled with new frontiers for clinicians and patients alike. In this space, we boldly explore testing and growing new services across digital, social, and experiential platforms to develop next-gen med ed. It’s how we ensure your innovations of today and tomorrow break through to your HCP audience.

Our Avant Leaders

Todd Wright, MBA
Chief CX Officer and President
Strategy is like oxygen to Todd. He lives and breathes it. With more than 20 years of executive experience in pharmaceutical marketing, including over 10 years at Eli Lilly and Company, Todd enjoys nothing more than helping our clients educate and engage with HCPs across a spectrum of channels—executing against a thoroughly buttoned-up, end-to-end strategy.
Trina Stonner, RN, MSN
Chief CX Officer and President
As a former advanced practice nurse, Trina understands clinical experience needs from an insider’s perspective. Prior to joining Avant Healthcare, Trina spent 15 years in marketing and sales roles at Eli Lilly and Company. A proven expert in strategic planning and execution, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the latest HCP trends.
Patrick Kelley, MBA
Chief CX and Creative Officer
With more than 25 years of experience in producing award-winning work for clients including Burger King, Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly and Company, Kraft Foods, and Acacia Pharma, Patrick loves creative branding almost as much as he loves his wife and two daughters. He ensures that all creative development is firmly grounded in a disciplined adherence to strategy to turn HCP education into pure inspiration.
Kat Barrett, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
After spending seven years in sales and marketing roles at Eli Lilly and Company, Kat joined Avant Healthcare in 2008. Since then, Kat has worn many hats—from account executive to her current role as Chief Operating Officer. Today, Kat is responsible for the overall business operations of Avant Healthcare. For the former University of Kentucky Homecoming Queen, supporting the ongoing growth of Avant Healthcare remains her crowning achievement.
Steven Hagnell, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Steven leads with a steady hand and a sharp eye, ever on the lookout for efficiencies that benefit our clients and our business. With more than 25 years of experience in corporate finance, Steven has served in financial leadership positions at such well-known companies as Angie’s List and Underwriters Laboratories. Beyond his work life, Steven volunteers at the Fathers’ Club at the Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.
Cindy Johnson, JD
Senior Vice President, People
Cindy is a people person, which is perfect for her role here at Avant Healthcare. She’s “… in awe of the creative, scientific, and strategic talents of our diverse team members who collaborate to create industry-leading content for our customers.” Although she began her career as an attorney, Cindy has led HR teams for more than 15 years. A former competitive tennis player, she loves the scent of a freshly opened can of tennis balls.
Philippe Vitat, MA
Vice President, Medical Services
When Philippe dives into the deep waters of science, it certainly helps that he was a competitive swimmer while growing up in the suburbs of Paris, France. An award-winning expert in scientific, multichannel content development, Philippe brings deep strategic understanding and extensive knowledge in multiple therapeutic areas to lead our medical teams in crafting compelling brand stories.
Sarah Wilson, PhD
Vice President, Medical
As a scientist and a cattle rancher, Sarah is well-versed in applying the power of analysis to multiple moving parts. At Avant Healthcare, she’s contributed to over 15 launches and indication expansions, and she leads a team of medical directors and medical writers, partnering with multiple brands across various stages of the product life cycle.
Marc Voorhees, Jr., MA
Executive Director, Analytics, Strategy + Insights
With nearly a decade’s worth of experience in pharmaceutical analytics, Marc helps clients leverage the power of data-driven decisions to reach the right HCPs at the right time with the right message. Outside of the medical education field, Marc, who’s also a college instructor, can often be found on a rugby field refereeing a game.
Jeri Moody, CMP
Executive Director, Meeting Planning + Speaker Bureau Services
Seamless travel logistics. Perfect meeting site. Excellent room selection. Jeri and her fellow staff work behind the scenes to make it happen. With more than 20 years of experience, Jeri oversees the functions and resources required to execute successful programs, focusing on optimizing staff utilization while keeping process and regulations at the forefront. A seasoned traveler, Jeri’s favorite destination is Rome. Bellissimo!


Avant means forward, and that’s exactly how our Founder and Chairwoman Deborah Wood has moved our work since 1994, when she began her company out of her home.

Equipped with inspiration and unstoppable determination, she forged ahead to create and build the award-winning agency we are today. With decades of experience in healthcare marketing, education, and communications preceded by 10 years in senior management with Fortune 500 companies, Deborah is highly recognized in the industry for her visionary leadership and innovation and the success of her entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Deborah earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Evansville, Indiana, and her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska.

There’s never been an agency like Avant Healthcare before—because there’s never been a founder like Deborah Wood. She is 100% the foundation of our innovation.

Our agency culture is like coming home

And you can stay at home while enjoying it

While we are fully remote, we work from a united state of mind that’s passionate about the possibilities of HCP engagement. We are scientists, strategists, artists, and technologists brought together for a common purpose—to make a difference in patients’ lives by creating vibrant medical education experiences that inspire action. We do this by striving every day to embody our company’s bedrock of values—the “H4S”: honorable, healthy, hungry, humble, and smart.

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We exemplify ethical business practices. We sometimes fail, but we always learn from our missteps. We are always honest and open with each other and our customers.

In all we do, we strive to make a difference in patients’ lives.


We take our mission seriously but have fun along the way. We foster a

We’re one team focused on positive outcomes and solutions.


We are resilient and demonstrate agility in the face of change. We embrace experimentation. We learn quickly, adapting to apply all learnings to better serve our customers.

We believe that the whole team is stronger than the sum of its parts.


We work hard so our customers receive the best results.

We seek to achieve excellence in all that we do.

We embrace all feedback to learn and grow professionally. We’re naturally curious, actively seeking new information and new ways of doing things.


Our success, individually and for our customers, relies upon each

We are servant leaders, not servants of our own interests.

We always treat others with both compassion and care.

Doing Good

It’s an Rx for the better

Helping others is at the heart of what we do, and it extends well beyond our client work. From our employee-led CARES program to providing pro-bono support to our local JDRF chapter’s Hope Gala, we’re honored to have the opportunity to give back in many ways. In a world full of unmet needs, we find there’s nothing better than donating our time, talents, and funds for the greater good.

Forever a part of our DNA

We have the mother of all origin stories. When Deborah Wood started her business out of her home in the early 90s, she was its one and only employee. As the company grew in size and scope, it became Deborah Wood Associates, or DWA, with separately named divisions.

Today, we’ve evolved into Avant Healthcare, a full-service, fully integrated agency with employees and clients from across the country—and even the world. Although our name has changed, the passion, drive, and commitment to creative and scientific excellence that brought this company to life remains—and always will.

Get in touch

Thank you for visiting us. If you’d like to find out more about how we at Avant Healthcare  can help you and your business thrive, please reach out. We’d love to talk.