Spotlight on Chad Hermann, Kids Plus Pediatrics Communications Director

Kids Plus PediatricsPittsburgh, Pa.

What do you get when you bring a recovering academic with a passion for film into a pediatric practice? Nothing less than the perfect solution for Kids Plus Pediatrics’ communication needs.

“It’s a dream job working with people you love and totally believe in, doing good things for kids and families.”

Chad Hermann

Sitting down to chat with Chad Hermann he tells us: “Next month I’ll be 10 years clean as a ‘recovering academic.’”  He’s referring to the 10 years he spent teaching business communications at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. While there, Hermann taught professional writing, public speaking, and crisis management. Although he loved teaching, years spent in academia brought him to the point where he was ready to pursue other interests. He started consulting, working for various startups and political campaigns, and also began blogging. Dr. Todd Wolynn came across some of Hermann’s writing on a topic of shared interest – vaccines and the controversy that often surrounds them. With Dr. Wolynn being a national thought leader in pediatrics and Hermann being a communications consultant, it seemed like a great match to take Kids Plus Pediatrics (KPP) to the next level.

At first, Hermann came on as a consultant to Dr. Wolynn, sharing much of the same knowledge he taught at Carnegie Mellon. Being the Renaissance man that he is, Dr. Wolynn wanted to learn more about professional writing and speaking to increase his skill set. But it soon became clear that Hermann brought a whole lot to the table, so in 2011 he joined KPP full time as communications director. The decision wasn’t hard to make. He says: “I believe in family, friends, and a pediatrician you can count on. KPP was the only place I would consider working. And it’s literally the best job I’ve ever had.”

Telling us more about his work at KPP, Hermann shares: “What I always wanted to do was make movies. It was in March of 1976 and May of 1977 when I saw “Jaws” and “Star Wars.” Those two movies really crystallized for me what you can do with just words and pictures, with just telling stories. Cut to the present, and one of the things I love about this job is that it gives me an outlet for every aspect of my creativity. I work on education, writing, editing, videography, document design, visual design. Every piece of my communication puzzle gets used here. It’s a dream job working with people you love and totally believe in, doing good things for kids and families.”

This creative drive has been part of Hermann’s life since childhood. The son of two teachers, he grew up around books and writing. And he is a firm believer that professional writing does not have to be dry and soulless, saying “the principles of good writing include clarity, precision, economy, focus, directness. And you can do those things without sacrificing the art, the power, and the creativity of the message.” These concepts, along with teaching communications, put him in the perfect position to oversee KPP’s website, social media platforms, videos, and the like.

Next, Hermann walks us down the hall to see where the videos are made. Yes, KPP has a video production studio, he tells us with glee. This is where they cook up things like the “KPP Daily Dose.” These 45 to 60 second videos are released once a day on weekdays and feature KPP pediatricians giving tidbits of health advice. Hermann says: “Today, most people would much rather watch a video than read an article, even if it takes the same amount of time.” Knowing this, KPP makes all kinds of videos to share on their website and social platforms.

Cut back to the past, and you’ll see his boyhood movie-making dreams have caught up with him. Looking around the production studio he says with a smile: “I’m the Wizard of Oz at KPP, the man behind the curtain. I don’t do anything other than make these people look like the rock stars they are. I showcase the amazing things this practice does. My job is easy because I work for the best pediatric practice in the country.”

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Courtney Edelson is the marketing content manager at Physician’s Computer Company (PCC). She writes for the PCC blog, and creates content to keep pediatricians up to date on important healthcare industry news and trends. In addition to being a lifelong writer, Edelson brings nearly a decade of healthcare practice management experience to her work.