Anniversary Spotlight: Sara Fest Celebrates 11 Years at UPMC

The Anniversary Spotlight highlights an employee celebrating a significant work anniversary at UPMC every month.

Sara Fest is among the few who knew what career she wanted to pursue from a young age. In high school, she discovered her passion for communications when she took her first photography class and became an editor of the school newspaper. These experiences taught her more about design and writing, which sparked her interest and ultimately led to her journey in the communications industry.

After graduating high school, she attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated with a degree in Communications. Two years after graduating and working at PNC Bank, Sara moved to London, England, where she obtained her Master’s in Public Relations and Public Communication from the University of Westminster.

Following grad school, Sara moved to Washington, DC, and worked for a non-profit in marketing. After several years in DC, she was ready to move home to Pittsburgh to settle down and be closer to family. In 2006, she began working for a Germany-based technology company, where she stayed for six years. Sara gained a broad range of experience across product marketing, vertical marketing, and media relations – all with an international lens. However, in 2012, she was looking to cut back on travel and try to find a more local company to work for.

That’s when Sara officially joined UPMC as a Marketing Manager, where she executed the marketing efforts for UPMC’s commercial companies in the International and Commercial Services Division, including UPMC’s early spin-out companies, such as Prodigo Solutions.  It was the perfect role for her based on her years of experience in technology marketing.

From there, Sara transitioned to her most challenging, yet rewarding position at the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM), a thought-leadership forum and event space at UPMC that provides useful and impactful research and resources that facilitate connections between leaders and innovators nationwide working across health care. Her day-to-day job involved managing all logistics of the facility, developing research topics and reports, and executing events, both virtual and onsite.

In early 2019, an opportunity arose for Sara, and she became the Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at UPMC Enterprises where she still maintains executive director oversight of the CCM. Sara works closely with the Chief Operating Officer at Enterprises to support the ongoing needs of the division – whether that’s preparing materials for the board or helping to organize staff meetings. She executes, alongside her two directors, Lindsay Crawford and Valerie Harrison, the ongoing marketing strategies of Enterprises – positioning us as a leader in the health care innovation and venture capital space. Also, as part of Sara’s duties, she works with many leaders on UPMC’s Clinical Marketing team to promote UPMC to a national physician audience.

When asked about her greatest accomplishment at UPMC, Sara replied “My team. I feel very proud of the group I’ve helped to assemble.”

When she’s not working, Sara enjoys spending time with her wife, Andrea, children, Quinn and Zoey, and dogs, Tiggy and Rexy. She coaches youth sports and loves to travel, especially to Arizona to visit her sister and family.   

“I’ve never not felt challenged here,” is why Sara says she continues her career at UPMC. “The health care industry is constantly evolving, which makes each day a new adventure filled with lots of learning and hopefully a little fun, too.”

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