Office of Communications
The Office of Communications is the official source of news and information at the Miller School of Medicine. The office serves as a resource for the media and for medical school faculty, staff and administrators. In addition, the office produces three periodicals to keep its many audiences informed: University of Miami Medicine (published three times a year), MED faculty and staff online newsletter (published the first Tuesday of every month), and e-Update online news service (published weekly).
A Resource for Media
Our office is available 24 hours a day, every day, to respond to inquiries from the media. Our media relations staff responds rapidly to media requests, and we encourage you to call our office if you have any questions about the Miller School, our faculty, research or hospitals. We can help put you in direct contact with a wide variety of experts in numerous medical specialties.
Contact Us: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time
A resource for the news media and the general public, as well as for faculty and staff, the Office of Communications is the official source of general information, media relations, publications and other communications for the Miller School.
Associate Vice President for Communications
Christine Morris joined the Miller School as executive director of media relations in September 2001. She worked in the newsroom of The Miami Herald for 19 years, in a number of editing positions and most recently as medical writer. After graduating from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science, she worked as a reporter and editor at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. Her responsibilities include coordinating all communications for the Miller School and University of Miami Health System, including basic science departments, clinical departments, centers, institutes, and hospitals. Areas of concentration and expertise include media relations, employee communications, publications, development communications, speechwriting, issues management and crisis communications.
Executive Director of Medical Communications
Lisa Worley is executive director of communications at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and University of Miami Health System. She directs media relations and all other PR and communications initiatives. Lisa joined UM in 2007, after working in television news for 18 years, mostly at WFOR, CBS4 in Miami. She was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Communication Studies.
Manager of Medical Communications
Jenny Prather joined the Office of Communications at the University in March of 2007. She is the editor of several newsletters, including MED and e-Update, manages the Miller School website, and performs a variety of other tasks, such as writing news articles, coordinating campus wide communications, placing media interviews, and providing editorial and design support.
Maya Bell produces and edits news stories about the Miller School and UHealth for the Miller School’s weekly e-Update and MED newsletters, its homepage and Medicine magazine. An award-winning writer, she joined the Office of Communications in September 2009, after 21 years as the Miami bureau chief of the Orlando Sentinel, where she specialized in social justice issues and the oddities of South Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Florida.
Michelle Hernandez joined the Office of Communications in April 2011. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing. She has 20 years experience in the publishing industry and spent the past 11 years at HCP/Aboard Publishing, the custom publishing division of The Miami Herald, where she served as assistant to the publisher and sales administration manager. As the executive assistant to the associate vice president for communications, Michelle coordinates meetings, compiles daily media coverage and oversees the daily operations of the office.
Diabetes Research Institute Office of Public Affairs
Mitra Zehtab, M.D., M.B.A.
Chief Operating Officer
Mitra Zehtab has more than 20 years experience in communications, including teaching, print reporting, marketing communications, and technical writing. At UM, she served as director of media relations for the medical school before working at the Diabetes Research Institute as director of communications. A Cornell graduate, Zehtab has a strong track record of local, national, and international placements across many media outlets and currently oversees strategic communications for the Diabetes Research Institute. Her areas of expertise include cellular therapies, diabetes, tissue engineering, cellular transplantation and stem cells.
Phone: 305-243-9537 or 305-243-5376
Executive Director Medical Development
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis: Communications, Media Relations, and Corporate Relations Office
Director of Corporate Relations and Communications
Stephanie Sayfie-Aagaard creates and develops national and local marketing campaigns to raise funds for The Miami Project. She strategically plans and executes all promotions, special events, and corporate relations campaigns for the project by cultivating corporations using her strong community and nationwide ties as the society columnist for The Miami Herald. Stephanie writes the weekly “Steph Sez” column. Before joining the team at The Miami Project, she worked as the special events/public relations advancement director of the University of Miami Department of Pediatrics. Stephanie is a native of Miami, Fla., who graduated with a broadcast journalism/communications degree from Boston College.
Director of Communications
Scott Roy is the director of communications for Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the world’s largest spinal cord injury research center. He majored in public relations and political science at the University of Miami and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. Before joining The Miami Project he spent time with public relations firms Burson-Marsteller and Pearson-McGuire Associates in Miami. Scott handles the day-to-day public relations duties for The Miami Project and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the national fundraising arm of The Miami Project.
Campus Access: Please note that a member of the media relations staff must escort all reporters, photographers and video crews on the medical campus at all times. Please contact us at 305-243-3249 to arrange access to University property.
A Resource for Faculty and Staff
The Office of Communications works closely with faculty, staff, and administrators to communicate the latest news about research innovations, clinical developments, and educational advances at the Miller School. Our dedicated and industrious staff provides guidance and expertise in media relations, publications, marketing and advertising for all basic science and clinical departments, centers of excellence, institutes and administrative units.