Communication Alumna Livia Vissat Leads UPMC Minutes Matter Emergency Education Initiative

Seton Hill Communication Program alumna Livia Vissat has been instrumental in the implementation of UPMC’s high-profile Minutes Matter initiative. Recently, she took a few minutes to answer some questions about her time at Seton Hill, and how her educational experience provided the foundation for her ongoing success.

Why did you choose Seton Hill for your communication degree?

Seton Hill’s mission is “to educate students to think and act critically, creatively, and ethically as productive members of society committed to transforming the world.” I was so drawn to this statement during my undergraduate studies, since my goal was to pursue a career where I could use my skill set to make a difference in the world. And I certainly am! 

Working in marketing communications requires all three types of thinking to yield success: critical, creative, and ethical. You need to understand your audiences, get the right message to them, at the right time, and on the right platform. In marketing, you wear so many hats, and you’re constantly learning each day. I consider myself a lifelong learner, and deeply appreciate liberal arts studies because it gives you the opportunity to learn something you normally wouldn’t. 

"I think the mindset of being a lifelong learner and having a liberal arts education both work to my advantage at UPMC."

What skills or knowledge gained at Seton Hill do you use in your current position?

I currently work as a lead communications specialist at UPMC on the clinical marketing team. I’ve been with UPMC for about five years and love what I do. 

Learning a little bit of everything at Seton Hill helped shape me into the professional I am today. While I took communication courses like corporate marketing communications and magazine writing, I also had the opportunity to take art history, Spanish, and even study abroad. Especially as a health care marketer, you’re always putting yourself in patients’ shoes. Everyone needs health care, and we all come from different backgrounds, so understanding your audiences better will only bring you better success in your role. I think the mindset of being a lifelong learner and having a liberal arts education both work to my advantage at UPMC. 

What do you like best about your industry?

Working in health care marketing communications has so many rewards, and has so many challenges - you’re always learning! There are so many layers of complexity in health care, especially in marketing communications. Some of my colleagues who have been with the organization for most of their career even say that they learn something new each day - that’s just the nature of being in health care. It’s always changing, and to me, that is so exhilarating. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered?

My career can be complex at times. I need to master things like how a health care system operates, have a general understanding of health care services, keep a pulse on new clinical trials and research, study current U.S. public health issues (i.e., opioid epidemic, gun violence) and how it impacts patients’ health, understand health disparities and social determinants of health, keep up with health care state and federal legislation… and that’s just the surface!  While I’m presented with new challenges, I know I’m using my skill sets to improve the quality of lives. That’s what keeps me motivated. 

Livia Vissat Holding Minutes Matter Newspaper AdYou’ve been involved with UPMC’s high-profile “Minutes Matter” initiative. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

UPMC’s Minutes Matter is an initiative with the goal to provide community members with access to basic emergency information and education about life-saving interventions. It focuses on four life-threatening emergencies where bystanders can help: 

  • Cardiac (chest compressions and AED usage)
  • Bleeding (Stop the Bleed!)
  • Overdose (Narcan® administration)
  • Mental health (mental health crises and 988)

The initiative launched across the UPMC footprint in February 2023*, and so far, has made a high impact, reaching almost all adults ages 18+ in our targeted regions. The main catalyst to drive high visibility across our regions began with a Minutes Matter Super Bowl spot that ran throughout Super Bowl LVII. 

In addition to the Super Bowl media buy, paid tactics include radio, television, digital, and social media.  

Minutes Matter also has professional sports team partnerships and media partnerships that are in progress to maximize visibility in the community. 

In an emergency, minutes matter. You never know when you might find yourself at the scene of an accident, cardiac arrest, overdose, or other crisis situation. From calling 911 – and knowing what to say – to clearing a path for emergency professionals, even the most basic knowledge can save lives and improve outcomes.

For more information about life-saving education, you can visit: 

Can you describe your work on Minutes Matter?

I have many responsibilities in leading the Minutes Matter initiative, including content creation for everything from web to social media to video production. I’ve also been involved with paid advertising, media partnerships, professional sports teams partnerships and community partner trainings. 

I do so many things when it comes to leading this effort, and Minutes Matter is only one of many efforts I juggle at UPMC! It’s so rewarding to help save more lives in our community. 

How has your Seton Hill education prepared you for your role in the Minutes Matter campaign?

While my communication courses definitely prepared me for the role I have today, my liberal arts foundation really helped me open my mind to embracing new information. For example, art history taught me how visuals can tell a story, or go hand in hand with words. This concept can be applied to marketing. For example, in the Minutes Matter campaign, we use a series of visuals like a scene of a car crash, a man giving CPR, etc. to emphasize that you, as a witness to an emergency situation, can have the power to improve the outcome and save a life. 

What would you tell a high school student who is thinking about coming to Seton Hill – or any college – to study communications?

If you want to study communications, go for it! There are so many different professional avenues to take with a communications degree. It’s important to have an idea of what career path you want to pursue, but let your college classes and internship experiences allow you to find what you love, and then run with it. For example, you might walk into college as a freshman thinking you’ll become a public relations director someday, but you may discover a passion in digital marketing, event planning or copywriting.

Make sure you have an open mind, and learn as much as you can along the way!

* Minutes Matter originally launched in January 2020 with the goal to provide community members with basic emergency preparedness information and education to help save lives. However, major efforts were paused in March 2020 due to the pandemic.