Alumna Catherine Burney takes home fourth Fast 56 Award

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USF College of Public Health alumna Catherine Burney is a four-time recipient of the USF Alumni Association Fast 56 Award, which recognizes and celebrates fast-growing businesses that are Bull-owned or led.

“Scar Heal is one of only three four-time recipients,” said Bill McCausland, executive director of the USF Alumni Association. “Very impressive!”

Burney, who received both her undergraduate degree in psychology and her master’s degree in public health from USF, joined the team at Scar Heal, Inc. in 1999, and was promoted to president of the company in 2007.

Burney says that her experience studying Community and Family Health and social marketing at USF’s COPH has been particularly invaluable for her career and that her MPH and CHES certification have helped give the Scar Heal brand even more credibility.

“I attribute much of the success of Scar Heal to my background with the college,” she said.


Catherine Burney with one her international sales manager and Scar Heal products. (Photo courtesy of Burney)

Scar Heal, Inc. is a company dedicated to the creation of products that help with both the surgical and cosmetic appearance of scars. When the company first started in 1988, they had just one product for the cosmetic improvement of scars, whether traumatic or surgical: their trademarked silicone sheeting. The sheeting works like a bandage in the way that it forms to the scar, resulting in the improved appearance of scars that are less red and not as raised.

Over the years the company’s products have expanded to include not only Class 1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration medical device products, but cosmetic devices, too. From the company’s location in Largo, Fla., the business has expanded and now has a wide reach, from social media to international distributors.

“During the time I’ve worked with the company we’ve worked on increasing web presence and social marketing, and thanks to the College of Public Health that was my area of expertise,” she said.

Recently, Burney said that she’s been working on increasing the company’s product portfolio and has initiated product approval in the European Union.

As the name of the Fast 56 Award implies, she doesn’t see Scar Heal slowing down anytime soon.

“The sky is the limit for Scar Heal,” Burney said.

Burney said that her elective introduction to public health course was her first introduction to the field, and that her own inquisitive nature alongside her work with Distinguished USF Health Professor Dr. Carol Bryant helped cultivate her interest.

“Her guidance and experience and commitment to the College of Public Health and social marketing is really what sparked my interest in the area of social marketing, and I was able to apply that to my work with Scar Heal,” Burney said.


(From left) Betty Otter-Nickerson, Burney, and USF System President Judy Genshaft at the Fast 56 Awards Presentation on April 29. At the time of the presentation, Otter-Nickerson was chair of the Alumni Association. (Photo courtesy of the USF Alumni Association)

Burney said that it’s an honor for her work with Scar Heal to be awarded the Fast 56 Award and that she attributes her success to the success of all of the company’s employees.

“We are so thrilled that USF recognizes the achievement of Scar Heal as a Florida company,” she said.  “It’s not easy in this economy for small companies to attain this level of sales and growth consistently four years in a row.”

The native New Yorker said if she had chosen her path differently, she might have found herself working in risk management, but that she thinks her career has played out well.

“I’m a better employee, a more focused individual, and I have USF to thank for that,” she said.

For more information on Burney’s business, visit the Scar Heal on the web.

Fast Five for COPH Alumni:

What did you dream of becoming when you were young?

I dreamed of having some sort of a job in an educational capacity.

Where would we find you on the weekend?

On the tennis courts in the morning, and at work in the afternoon

What was the last book you read?

“The Nightingale,” by Kristin Hannah

What superpower would you like to have?

To see into the future

What’s your all-time favorite movie? 

“The Wizard of Oz”

Story by AnnaMarie Koehler-Shepley, USF College of Public Health