Sheila Thorne

President/CEO, Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group

Recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in multicultural healthcare marketing and cultural competency in healthcare delivery, Sheila Thorne has spent almost three decades designing health marketing, media and education programs and clinical trial recruitment and retention initiatives for racially diverse populations and the healthcare professionals who treat them and cultural competency training programs for healthcare professionals. A former senior executive in five health marketing communications and medical advertising companies, Sheila now heads up her own firm of multicultural, multilingual marketing, media and health education professionals.

Sheila Thorne has designed and executed 12 clinical trial recruitment and retention programs for pharmaceutical companies for racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse populations and consulted on ‘best practices’ of half a dozen programs with clinical research organizations on behalf of pharmaceutical sponsors.  Her work also included cultural competency training of clinical site research coordinators and principal investigators.

As a member of the Corporate Roundtable of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), Thorne was asked to testify before the Nevada State Legislature in support of a bill to increase diversity in clinical trials introduced by Assemblywoman Dina Neal.

Born in the South Bronx and a former high school teacher of foreign languages, Sheila has worked for the healthcare industry throughout North America and for six years, based in London, worked on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry in Western Europe and in six countries in Latin America across a broad range of therapeutic categories and disease states disproportionate in communities of color. For the past two decades, she has collaborated with the National Medical Association (50,000 African American physicians), Association of Black Cardiologists, National Hispanic Medical Association, Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Chinese Medical Association, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, American Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America, American Association of Native American Indian Physicians, National Black Nurses Association, National Hispanic Nurses Associations, National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association as well as a host of local and state health departments and Federal health agencies. Sheila does volunteer work for the Puerto Rican Family Institute of New York and New Jersey.

A graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York, Sheila is past president of the Coalition of 100 Black Women/Manhattan Chapter (four terms); past chair of the Health Committee of the National Council of Negro Women/Bronx Chapter; and past president of the Black Public Relations Society of Greater New York (three terms). From 2011-2014, Sheila is a member of Region II Health Equity Council part of the HHS/OMH National Partnership to End Health Disparities and served as co-chair of the Cultural & Linguistics Competency Committee representing New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  She is also a member of the New Jersey Statewide Network for Cultural Competence, an initiative of the New Jersey Department of Health and a preferred vendor and facilitator for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.

From 2011 – 2014, as an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Certified Application Counselor Volunteer, Sheila enrolled 126 uninsured Black and Latino residents of New Jersey, coordinated 8 ACA Town Hall Meetings in New Jersey, conducted 12 ACA Community Workshops in English and Spanish and made 110 ACA presentations to faith and community-based organizations in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC.  She has been nominated to be designated a Champion for Coverage by The White House Office of Public Engagement.

For her work in relation to the outreach and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, she was named ‘Citizen of the Year’ by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, received the Community Service Award from the Civil Liberties Division of the Elks, and received the 2014 Health Advocacy Award from Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.  Among her many awards, Sheila received the “Unsung Heroes Award” from the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer and the Freedom Fund Award from the NAACP for her efforts to secure quality healthcare for all, especially the underserved and underrepresented.

A much sought-after keynote speaker, moderator and workshop leader, she has numerous articles published in Pharmaceutical Executive, Medical Marketing & Media,, PharmaVoice, Journal of the New York State Dental Foundation, PM 360, Global Forum Magazine of Drug Information Association, a columnist in the bi-monthly newsletter of the Society for Clinical Research Sites, American Journal of Multicultural Medicine, The Positive Community. Former Health Editor of The Harlem Times, she sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of Medical, Marketing & Media, prominent trade publication in the healthcare marketing industry.


Cross-Cultural Education/Cultural Competency Presentations/Training Programs
Ethnographic Qualitative Market Research – Community Mapping©