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UF Health Communications serves the Health Science Center at the University of Florida, its six professional colleges and a number of health-related research centers and institutes, UF Health Physicians – Gainesville, UF Health Physicians – Jacksonville, and the Shands system of hospitals and programs throughout north central and northeast Florida.

We publicize the research, clinical and academic accomplishments of current faculty, staff and students. We create and distribute news releases and news publications about these institutions, provide support to the news media, assist with and promote internal communication through various mechanisms and provide other communication services to clients within and beyond UF Health, the Academic Health Center (such as faculty media training). We handle crisis communications and issues management. We produce a national consumer health radio program that airs on public radio affiliates in 18 states and in Washington, D.C. We also craft broadcast and multimedia packages for TV and the Web. In addition, we support the advancement communications needs of UF Health through a team dedicated to alumni and development efforts.


Melanie Fridl Ross, M.S.J., E.L.S. Chief Communications Officer, UF AHC SVP/CCO, Shands HealthCare Contact
Cassandra Mack Office Manager Contact
Kim Smith Executive Secretary Contact
Elizabeth Powers Word Processing Operator Contact

UF Health Communications Teams

News & Publications Team

Through traditional and social media, the news team tells the remarkable stories of the people associated with the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast. In the process, we produce valuable content that may be leveraged for educational, promotional, development and marketing efforts. We respond to journalists by providing credible sources of information and work with faculty members to help them efficiently and comfortably respond to interview requests. The group is supported by public relations representatives for the UF research institutes, the six Health Science Center colleges, and Shands. Together, the team provides expertise in publications, editing, science writing, media training and news dissemination to stakeholders throughout UF Health.

Melissa Blouin Director of News and Publications Contact 
Doug Bennett Science Writer, Editor Contact
April Frawley Lacey Publications Editor Contact
Marilee Griffin Communications Coordinator Contact 
Elizabeth Hillaker Downs Director of Communications, Institute for Child Health Policy Contact
Rossana Passaniti Media Relations Coordinator Contact
Morgan Sherburne Science Writer, College of Medicine Contact
  • Creative Services Team
    We provide print layout and graphic design, creative consultation, video and audio production, voiceovers, multimedia design (such as 3D animation), digital publishing and photography. We also enforce our brand and logo standards to ensure that our products share the same professional look and feel.
  • Marketing Team
    We provide strategic marketing services for programs and services in north central Florida to support the missions and business goals of UF Health. Clinical lines of business include Shands hospitals, outpatient services and UF Physicians primary care and specialty practices. We also coordinate marketing initiatives with affiliate and joint venture partners throughout the region. Our services include marketing consultation, marketing plan development and implementation, production of advertising campaigns and marketing collateral materials, and website content development.
  • Advancement Communications Team
    We oversee the communications needs of the College of Medicine Office of Development and Alumni Affairs and Shands Development, as well as support the six colleges of the Health Science Center. We produce Florida Physician, the Dr. Gator newsletter and The Insider online newsletter. We provide strategic communications planning and execution for fundraising initiatives, prepare announcements and organize media coverage for private gifts, write proposals and case statements, oversee online communications and social media efforts, produce materials in support of UF Health events and provide direct communications support to the College of Medicine dean.
  • Strategic Communications
    We provide strategic communications direction and support for Gainesville-focused and system-wide programs and initiatives across UF Health. Our comprehensive services include strategic communications and public relations planning and execution; internal communications and employee-focused events; corporate communications; public affairs and government relations/advocacy communications; community health outreach and education programming; and issues and crisis management. We collaborate closely with our talented colleagues across the Communications department to employ the full spectrum of communication tools – from traditional print publications and special events, to multimedia and online content – to address the needs of our diverse internal and external audiences.
  • UF Health Communications - Jacksonville
    The UF Health Communications - Jacksonville department consists of three divisions: Communications and Marketing, Web Technologies, and Media Center and Media Relations. Communications and Marketing is responsible for all internal and external communications, graphic design, branding, advertising and marketing for the hospital, UF clinics and academic units and College of Medicine – Jacksonville. Web Technologies is responsible for content development, design and maintenance of the UF Health Jacksonville and UF Health Science Center Jacksonville websites, campus intranet site and social media efforts. Media Center and Media Relations provides audiovisual, still photography and video production services; oversees meeting rooms for departments within the University of Florida and UF Health Jacksonville; and manages all interactions with local, state and national media.
  • Web Services Team
    We are a full-service Web shop offering high-quality solutions for public Web-based communications needs. Our services include website design and hosting, Web application development, website refurbishment, usability testing, search engine optimization, analytics and metrics, social media consultation and email newsletters. Learn more at