PM360 2022 Trailblazer Awards Marketer of the Year Gulden Mesara

Gulden Mesara, Chief Communications, Culture, and Experience Officer, City of Hope

When Gulden Mesara joined City of Hope in September 2020, the organization was a regional cancer center, serving about 90,000 patients annually. Gulden’s ambitious vision to establish awareness of City of Hope as a leader in innovation, research, and treatment came to fruition through her expansion of the marketing and communications department. This coincided with City of Hope increasing its national footprint with the acquisition of Cancer Treatment Centers of America in February 2022. Today, City of Hope is one of the largest cancer research and treatment centers in the country and serves approximately 115,000 patients.

Gulden and her team led a successful, multi-faceted, marketing campaign around the acquisition with measurable results: all media coverage and social media conversations were positive/neutral, and City of Hope secured more than 48 original articles around the announcement, resulting in over 129.1 million impressions.

Forbes characterized the acquisition as bringing “City of Hope’s expertise as a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in southern California to Cancer Treatment Center (CTCA) markets across the country.” Navigating several rounds of board and executive leadership team input, Gulden led the company’s new brand launch this spring with an updated website, refreshed presence at medical conferences, a new internal communications system, and a new regional marketing campaign in Southern California.

Building a Better Future for Cancer Patients

Besides her establishment of a comprehensive communications program and evolving the brand of a leading national cancer organization, she has also dedicated her communications resources to advocate for improving accessibility of cancer treatment to California’s underserved communities. As a leader of the Cancer Care Is Different Coalition, City of Hope advocates for cancer patients, collaborating with stakeholders in oncology and the California legislature to develop initiatives that increase access to leading-edge cancer care.

The City of Hope team spearheaded the California Cancer Patient Bill of Rights, which directly aligns with President Biden’s relaunch of the Cancer Moonshot, and, if successful, would raise the standards for cancer care in California, with a vision of expanding beyond the state. Gulden has been instrumental in effecting measurable change at City of Hope, but her work will have reverberating impacts for patients and the industry-at-large as well by leading and advocating for better cancer care for patients around the country.

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