Contact Our Team

Reporters and editors: For expert sources, information on our press releases, or other immediate help, call 734-764-2220 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

For requests with non-urgent deadlines, send a message to

After business hours (from 5 to 11 p.m. and 7 to 8 a.m. ET), and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays, members of the media may call the UMHS operators at 734-936-6267 and receive assistance with patient condition reports from the staff of M-LINE. Highly urgent matters may be escalated to a media team member.

  • For news-related updates on patients in our hospitals: First, read these guidelines for release of one-word patient conditions. Any further information release to the media, or visit to a patient, requires a signed consent from the patient or his/her legal representative, and must be arranged through our team.
  • Any visit by media to our facilities requires advance approval and an escort by a member of our team.

Our Team

Institutional Positing Team

Our main "beats" are listed below; click the name to e-mail the media team member you want to reach. For urgent inquiries, call 734-764-2220 and ask to speak with her or him. If you don't see the topic you need help with, call us!

    • Mary Masson, Director of Institutional Positioning - UMHS leadership and administration
    • Nicole Fawcett, Cancer
    • Kara Gavin, Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI), Psychiatry, General Medicine, Basic Science research
    • Shantell Kirkendoll, Kellogg, Transplant, Infectious Disease, General Surgery
    • Lauren Love, Gastroenterology, U-M Medical School education/administration, Geriatrics, Ear Nose & Throat, Family Medicine, Urology, Nephrology, Radiology
    • Beata Mostafavi, Children’s Health/C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Women’s Health, Allergy
    • Kylie O’BrienMusculoskeletal, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation, Emergency Medicine, Diabetes, Rheumatology
    • Alaina O'Connor, Social Media Specialist
    • Haley Otman, Adult cardiovascular, Neurology, Pain,  Dermatology
    • Rich Retyi, Digital and Social Media Strategist
    • Jessica Webster Sendra, Cancer
    • Joe Hallisy, Videographer, Digital Arts Team
    • Bryan McCullough, Videographer/Photographer, Digital Arts Team

The Michigan Medicine media team is part of the Department of Communication, headed by Denise Gray-Felder, Chief Communications Officer.

Mary Masson
Mary Masson is the director of institutional positioning for the Department of Communication. She leads the team that handles traditional media relations, social media strategy and execution, storytelling, photography and video. She also manages emergency and crisis communication. Masson began working at UMHS in 2009 and previously was a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, the Indianapolis Star and the Flint Journal.
Nicole Fawcett
Nicole Fawcett is the manager of cancer communication for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, overseeing media relations, marketing, web, internal communication, social media and publications for the center's research and clinical enterprises. She leads a team of four communicators who produce targeted, innovative communication to meet the Cancer Center's goals. Nicole joined the University of Michigan  in 2003. Prior to that, she was at the Detroit News and at a startup web-based community for people with disabilities.
Kara Gavin
Kara Gavin is research and policy media relations manager at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), and a science and medical education writer for the UMHS Dept. of Communication. With 25 years of experience in communicating about science, medicine and health policy, she works to create compelling stories about discoveries made by the U-M Medical School's researchers in basic biomedical science and mental health, the findings and opinions of the 470 healthcare wonks at the U-M IHPI, and the innovative education available at U-M for future doctors and medical scientists.
Shantell Kirkendoll
Shantell M. Kirkendoll is the senior communication representative for Michigan Medicine. She leverages social media and media relations to tell compelling stories about research and health care. She was a Knight Journalism Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and joined the University of Michigan in 2009. Prior to that she was a print journalist for 20 years.
Lauren Love
Lauren Love covers communications for several departments within Michigan Medicine, including gastroenterology, family medicine and the medical school. She has experience in a number of key areas, including media relations, nonprofit communications, social media, crisis communications, strategic planning and special events. Lauren graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism. She has spent the past 10 years working in nonprofit and higher education communications.
Beata Mostafavi
Beata Mostafavi covers communications for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital. She leads media relations and helps coordinate social media content related to children's and women's health topics. Prior to joining the the University of Michigan in 2012, she spent 10 years as a journalist.
Kylie O'Brien
Kylie O'Brien covers communications for several departments within Michigan Medicine. She works with researchers and faculty to highlight their latest medical research and discoveries, and holds a soft spot in her heart for telling the stories of inspiring patients. Kylie is a graduate of the Michigan State University School of Journalism and has worked in health care communications and public relations since 2011.
Alaina O'Connor
Alaina O’Connor is a social media specialist for Michigan Medicine. She also provides social media strategy for the University of Michigan School of Information. Alaina has years of experience in social and content strategy. She has two degrees from the University of Michigan, in Asian Studies and Film and Video Studies.
Haley Otman
Haley Otman covers communications for several departments at Michigan Medicine. A TV news producer turned healthcare communicator, Haley specializes in storytelling, media relations and social media surrounding clinical advances, new research and compelling patient stories.
Richard Retyi
Richard Retyi is the digital/social media strategist for Michigan Medicine, working with brand management, institutional positioning and marketers and communicators throughout Michigan Medicine to create strategies across digital and social media platforms. Richard has extensive PR, marketing and social media experience working with global brands like Chevrolet, I Love NY and Brink's.
Jessica Webster Sendra
Jessica Webster Sendra writes for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, coordinating social media and media relations while telling the stories of our amazing doctors, patients and researchers. Jessica has worked in public radio for 25 years. Prior to joining Michigan Medicine in 2017, she spent seven years as a print and digital journalist.
Joe Hallisy
Joe Hallisy is an Emmy-award-winning videographer and editor. He has been with Michigan Medicine since 2010. Before that, Joe worked as a programming assistant at the Austin Film Festival and was a post production assistant on a few documentary short films.
Bryan McCullough
Bryan McCullough is a photographer and award-winning filmmaker with a passion for capturing life's special moments. He has worked freelance on video projects for UMHS, the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Institute for Social Research, and Johns Hopkins University. Previously, Bryan worked as assistant video manager for the U-M Women's Basketball team. He joined the Digital Arts team in February 2016.


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