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Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Office of News & Communications provides media access to the newsmakers and opinion leaders at the medical center.
Our media relations experts, science writers, editors and support staff will connect you to the sources you need. Our office also produces several publications, including the weekly VUMC Reporter, the newspaper of record for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
An information officer is on call 24/7 for media requests at 615-322-4747. More information for the media.
John Howser email@example.com
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Medical Center News and Communications
John Howser serves as assistant vice chancellor for the Medical Center’s Office of News & Communications. Howser joined VUMC in 1987 when he served as the Medical Center’s staff photojournalist. Since then, he has assumed increasing responsibility as VUMC’s media relations director, assistant director, deputy director and director for the Office of News and Communications. Howser, a native of Madisonville, Ky., received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photojournalism from Western Kentucky University and is a former newspaper photographer.
Nancy Humphrey firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Director, Director of Publications
Nancy Humphrey is assistant director and director of publications in the Office of News and Communications, supervising editors of the Medical Center’s publications, including the VUMC Reporter, the Medical Center’s weekly newspaper; Hope, which brings news from the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Momentum, the magazine of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; Vanderbilt Medicine, the alumni magazine for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; and Vanderbilt Nurse, the alumni magazine for Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She also serves as chief copy editor for the department. With Humphrey as editor, Vanderbilt Medicine has won the 2000 CASE Circle of Excellence silver medal award for special constituency magazines and a 2002 award of distinction in the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 32nd Annual Awards for Excellence competition. Humphrey is a native of Columbia, Ky., and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and history from Western Kentucky University. She was a general assignment and medical reporter for the Nashville Banner from 1982-1985 and worked for the communications office of the Bureau of Health Services, Tennessee Department of Health, prior to joining the staff at Vanderbilt in 1993.
Wayne Wood email@example.com
Assistant Director, Executive Director of New Media and Electronic Publications
Wayne Wood is assistant director and executive director of new media and electronic publication, and has a faculty appointment in the Vanderbilt School of Medicine as assistant in the Division of Medical Education and Administration. Wood is the author of the book Watching the Wheels: Cheap Irony, Righteous Indignation, and Semi-Enlightened Opinion. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications and has a Master’s in Liberal Arts and Science from Vanderbilt.
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: To connect with an information officer 24/7, call 615-322-4747.
Craig Boerner firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Information Officer / National News Director
Craig Boerner works with Medical Center News and Communications as the National News Director. He responds to national media outlets seeking medical experts and promotes Vanderbilt stories and studies that have broad national interest. Boerner is the Medical Center’s liaison to booking sources in the on-campus VUStar studio, which has a video uplink and ISDN line for use by national networks and radio programs. He came to Vanderbilt from the Nashville City Paper, where he was a reporter for five years, covering all aspects of the city, including government, public safety, education, development and politics. Boerner is a longtime print journalist and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri. He previously held reporter positions at In Review in Nashville, the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, Ark., and Press Argus Courier and Alma Journal in Van Buren, Ark. He also wrote for various publications in Missouri while working for the University of Missouri Sports Information department.
Ashley Culver email@example.com
Public Information Officer
Ashley Culver works with Medical Center News and Communications as a public information officer. She first joined the staff in 2007 as an editorial assistant and has since taken on expanded responsibility with local media, coordinating news stories and sending out newsmakers for press release. She is also responsible for helping media with patient condition reports. In addition, Culver helps track the department’s media placements. Before joining Vanderbilt, she worked in the marketing department at Square D/Schneider Electric. She received her bachelor’s degree from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Leslie Hill firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Information Officer
Leslie Hill is an Information Officer in News and Communications. She first joined the staff in 2008 as a communications intern at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She has since taken on full-time duties as a general assignment writer, contributing articles to all VUMC publications. She also covers news for Orthopaedics, Neurology and Neurosurgery. Hill is a native of Owensboro, Ky., and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Centre College in Danville, Ky.
Dagny Stuart McMillin email@example.com
Information and Media Relations Officer – Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
Dagny Stuart McMillin, formerly a political and investigative reporter for WSMV-TV/Channel 4, serves as an information and media relations officer for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. McMillin writes stories about Vanderbilt-Ingram’s activities and accomplishments for the VUMC Reporter, Momentum and other internal publications, and serves as the primary point person for promoting Vanderbilt-Ingram through local, regional, national and online news media.
Kathy Rivers firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Director – School of Nursing
As a member of the Medical Center News and Communications Office, Kathy Rivers covers all communications activities on behalf of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She handles local and national media on news stories involving the school, oversees social media efforts and content management for electronic media, develops speeches, supervises events, writes and edits the biannual Vanderbilt Nurse alumni magazine and is a regular contributor to the VUMC Reporter. Before joining Vanderbilt, she served as a marketing consultant on projects for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Rivers spent 11 years at McNeely Pigott & Fox public relations in Nashville rising to account supervisor handling media relations and marketing from varied industries, including health care, community efforts, federal training programs, retail and consumer products. Prior to that, she worked for The Rowland Company in Los Angeles, providing public relations support for anti-smoking initiatives throughout California. She received her bachelor’s degree in business from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and is pursuing a master’s degree at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Jeremy Rush email@example.com
Media Relations Manager – Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Jeremy Rush is the media relations manager for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Rush was with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where he was media relations manager. Rush received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Middle Tennessee State University and previously worked for Nashville Public Radio as well as print publications in the United States, Kenya and Uganda. Rush works with members of the local and national news media on stories promoting research, treatment and educational programs within the Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics.
Jennifer Wetzel firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Information Officer
Jennifer Wetzel covers news and research within areas of the university and medical center. She is the media liaison for the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Division of Trauma, Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center and Peabody College of education and human development. She assists with media relations for the medical center and contributes to medical center publications. Wetzel came to Vanderbilt from Belmont University in Nashville, where she spent a decade in media, communication, community relations and marketing roles, most recently serving as assistant director of communications. She is a graduate of Belmont with concentrations in journalism and broadcasting.
Kathy Whitney email@example.com
Information Officer / Editor, Vanderbilt Medicine magazine
Kathy Whitney joined the Medical Center’s Office of News and Communications in June 2007. She is the editor of the biannual Vanderbilt Medicine magazine, the alumni magazine of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She also writes stories for the VUMC Reporter and the office’s other publications, with her primary focus being the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. Prior to joining News and Communications, Whitney worked as a freelance writer covering Nashville health care news. She has more than 20 years of health care and academic public relations experience and has worked for the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, the College of Charleston and the Medstat Group, a health care information company. Whitney has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University.
Carole Bartoo, R.N. firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Information Officer / Multimedia Coordinator
Carole Bartoo is a senior information officer and serves as a general assignment writer for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a clinical writer for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Bartoo also works to provide multimedia and video Web content for Children’s Hospital and News and Communications. Bartoo has more than 15 years of experience in journalism and was a medical reporter for television news before coming to Vanderbilt, most recently for WSMV-TV Channel 4 in Nashville from 1999 to 2003. Bartoo was the health specialist at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio, from 1991 to 1999, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1996 to complement her bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia (1987).
Doug Campbell email@example.com
Information Officer and Editor, VUMC Reporter
Doug Campbell, who served as editor of the VUMC Reporter from 1995 to 2000, rejoined the staff in the News and Communications office in 2004. In between he served as managing editor of Amusement Business, a weekly entertainment industry trade publication. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.
Diana Duren firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Duren serves as the art director over many of the department’s award-winning publications, including Momentum, Hope, Vanderbilt Medicine and Vanderbilt Nurse. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Diana worked over 13 years at Corporate Design as a senior designer. She graduated from Western Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
Christina Echegaray email@example.com
Communications Coordinator – Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Christina Echegaray joined the Vanderbilt team in 2010, coming from The Tennessean, where she was a reporter covering medicine and life sciences. She serves as editor of the Children’s Hospital biannual publication Hope and contributes stories involving Children’s Hospital to other News and Communications publications, in addition to other broad responsibilities. Echegaray received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to The Tennessean, she worked as a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Bradenton, Fla., and the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, Mass.
Paul Govern firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Govern writes primarily about the VUMC clinical enterprise, including efforts to improve the quality and cost of health care delivery. He contributes stories to the VUMC Reporter, House Organ and Vanderbilt Medicine magazine and writes an email newsletter distributed to members of Vanderbilt Medical Group. Previously a publications writer with hospital administration, Govern joined Medical Center News and Communications in 1998; before joining Vanderbilt, he edited a local weekly magazine in Greensboro, N.C.
Leigh MacMillan, Ph.D. email@example.com
Information Officer / Science Writer
Leigh MacMillan writes news and feature stories about basic biomedical research for Vanderbilt publications and websites, including the VUMC Reporter, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center magazine Momentum and the Research News @ Vanderbilt website. She joined the news and communications staff in 1999. MacMillan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. She added two years of postdoctoral training, also at Vanderbilt University, before deciding to change course and pursue a career in science writing. MacMillan enjoys the challenge of “translating” basic science findings into compelling stories for both scientific and lay readers.
Melissa D. Marino, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
Science Writer / Editor, Momentum
Melissa Marino is the editor of Momentum, the biannual magazine of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. She also writes basic science and cancer-related news for the VUMC Reporter and other VUMC publications. Marino earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science in 2003 from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. While in graduate school, Marino pursued her growing interest in science writing by taking part in a fellowship program at the National Academies in Washington, D.C. During the fellowship, Marino wrote and edited news content for the Academies’ news Web page and the media tip sheet for the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). After the fellowship, she continued to freelance as a science writer for PNAS, contributing article highlights for the “In This Issue” section of the journal and composing biographies of new Academy members. She joined the VUMC News and Communications staff in 2004.
Jessica Pasley email@example.com
Jessica Pasley has been an information officer with Medical Center News and Communications since 1999. Pasley writes for a variety of Medical Center publications, with her primary focus on the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and the Transplant Center. She also serves as a general assignment reporter for the communications division. A native of Nashville, Pasley graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. She was among the first group of women to attend the former all-male university. Her writing career began more than 30 years ago at the Nashville Banner, an afternoon newspaper that closed in 1998, where she spent her high school and college summers. After graduating in 1989 with a degree in Journalism from Washington and Lee, she officially joined the Banner team, as a copy editor and later as a medical features writer. After eight years, Pasley switched gears to become the Publications Director at Saint Thomas Hospital before joining the Vanderbilt’s Office of News and Communications.
Bill Snyder firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Science Writer / Contributor, Research News @ Vanderbilt / Manager, VUMC Research Communications
Bill Snyder writes for the Medical Center’s Office of News and Communications, assists in its media relations effort, and contributes to the Research News @ Vanderbilt website developed by the University’s Division of Public Affairs. He was founding editor of Lens, the Medical Center’s research magazine that was succeeded in February 2011 by Research News @ Vanderbilt. Snyder also works with Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Susan Wente, Ph.D., to help implement strategies for communicating the Medical Center’s Research Enterprise. Snyder has more than 20 years of daily newspaper experience, with a specialty in health care reporting. For most of those years, he worked for the Nashville Banner, an afternoon newspaper that closed in 1998. He also worked for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and The Tennessean in Nashville. A graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Snyder was assistant information officer at Stanford University Medical Center before joining the Banner staff in 1980.
Marjorie Moore email@example.com
Media Press Tracker Database Assistant / Office Assistant
Marjorie Moore oversees the data entry for the department’s database which tracks media placements, and assists with other office functions.
Gladys Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant to the Director and Office Manager
Gladys Smith assists the director in the day-to-day administrative office functions and manages the department’s budget.