In every area of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) - from the classrooms to the laboratories to the clinics – there are stories of innovation and ingenuity. The University Communications Team takes great pride is sharing those stories with its internal and external audiences through publications, media relations, social media and video. Members of the team also serve key roles in the marketing and branding of Houston’s Health University.
Executive Director of University Communications
As the executive director of University Communications, Meredith Raine leads UTHealth’s efforts to tell the stories of the university, its people and its programs. Together with her colleagues, Meredith plays key roles in internal and external communications, marketing and branding UTHealth as a premiere institution dedicated to the mission areas of education, research and clinical care.
Media Relations Manager
Key contact for: Cardiology; Cardiothoracic Surgery; Consortium on Aging; Emergency Medicine; Medical Genetics; Neurology; Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Pediatrics; Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and UT Physicians
Deborah Mann Lake spent two decades writing for Texas newspapers including the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle, where she was the correspondent for its weekly "Health/Medicine" page. She has won awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, the Houston Press Club and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Deborah joined Public Affairs in 2006.
Key contact for: UTHealth identity questions; graphic & editorial standards; strategic communications plans, emergency communications
Jenna C. Taylor is editor of internal communications and publications, including the university intranet, Inside UTHealth. Each day she seeks to shine a light on the exceptional people and programs of UTHealth and help make navigating our community just a little bit easier. Jenna creates and executes strategic internal and external communications plans, serves on the emergency communications team and is a member of the UTHealth identity council. Jenna has more than a decade of experience in communications, marketing and development.
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Key contact for: Family medicine, surgery, internal medicine, genetics, bioinformatics, basic science
Rob Cahill is your contact for news about advances in medical research and patient care. He can arrange interviews with scientists in genetics, biomedical informatics and other fields of medicine. He can also put you in touch with clinicians in the areas of surgery and internal medicine. He formerly served as a daily newspaper reporter at the Laredo News and San Antonio Light. He has a master’s degree in communications and was twice named Communicator of the Year by the Houston Press Club.
Senior Communication Specialist
Key contact for: HealthLEADER, Children’s Learning Institute, UTHealth Medical School Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, social media
Andy Heger joined UTHealth in August 2011. He is editor-in-chief of HealthLEADER, the university’s award-winning online wellness magazine. Andy also helps administer university social media sites, produces videos and leads publicity efforts for education and child development at the Children’s Learning Institute as well as news for the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the UTHealth Medical School. In addition to several years as a news reporter, Andy has more than 10 years of experience in marketing and communications.
Senior Communications Specialist
Key contact for: Internal communications with a focus on information technology, research and sponsored projects, safety and security; Chinese media
Zen T.C. Zheng brings to UTHealth a diverse blend of experience and skills as an award-winning journalist and communications professional. He plays multiple roles in the Office of Public Affairs as a senior writer, editor and communicator covering internal and external communications, working on marketing projects, and supporting the central administration and various university departments and schools. Zen’s career as a local and international journalist and Public Affairs professional spans more than two decades. Zen has dual B.A. degrees in the English language and literature and international journalism, and an M.A. degree in journalism and communication.
Key contact for: Internal communications with a focus on students, health and wellness; university home page content
Melanie Thompson joined UTHealth in April 2012. As a communications specialist, Melanie contributes to UTHealth’s internal communications and provides communication support to members across the university. Her responsibilities include generating the weekly publication News on the Go, creating content for the UTHealth homepage, and supporting and executing strategic communications plans. Melanie gained her communications experience at a public relations agency after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin. Her background also includes special events, grant research and writing, development and social media.
Media Relations Assistant
Key contact for: The UTHealth School of Public Health, including the regional campuses in Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio and the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the Austin campus.
Hannah Rhodes is the media relations contact for the UTHealth School of Public Health and can set up interviews with experts in infectious diseases, health care policy, nutrition, childhood obesity, diabetes, smoking cessation, sexual health and other public health topics. A Virginia native, Hannah previously worked at a public relations firm in Washington D.C. and has experience in radio broadcasting and video production. She joined UTHealth in October of 2013.
Media Relations Assistant
Key contact for: The School of Dentistry and School of Nursing.
Edgar Veliz joined UTHealth in October 2013. He offers a diverse understanding of the media industry. Edgar’s background includes media relations, nonprofit communications, social media, and broadcast and newspaper reporting.