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.
  • If you work or study at U-M and you have a story idea or need assistance with a news-related matter, call our office. For general tips and guidelines on working with reporters, see this page (available to U-M computer users only).

Our Team

The UMHS media 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 - organ transplant, UMHS leadership and administration
    • Nicole Fawcett, cancer
    • Kara Gavin, Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI), U-M Medical School education/administration, Psychiatry, General Medicine, Basic Science research
    • Shantell Kirkendoll, Adult heart, Gastroenterology, Infectious Disease, General Surgery
    • Beata Mostafavi, Children’s Health/C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Women’s Health, Family Medicine, Allergy
    • Kylie O’BrienMusculoskeletal, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation, Emergency Medicine, Diabetes, Rheumatology
    • Haley Otman, Neurology, Pain, Geriatrics, Ear Nose & Throat, Urology, Dermatology
    • Rich Retyi, Digital and Social Media Strategist
    • Joe Hallisy, Videographer, Digital Arts Team
    • Bryan McCullough, Videographer/Photographer, Digital Arts Team

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

Mary Masson
Mary Masson is the director of institutional positioning for the U-M Health System 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 Health System 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 the University of Michigan Health System. 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 Health System in 2009. Prior to that she was a print journalist for 20 years.
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 U-M Health System in 2012, she spent 10 years as a journalist.
Kylie O'Brien
Kylie O'Brien covers communications for several departments within U-M Health System. 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.
Haley Otman
Haley Otman covers communications for several departments at the University of Michigan Health System. 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 the health system, working with brand management, institutional positioning and marketers and communicators throughout UMHS 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.
Joe Hallisy
Joe Hallisy is an Emmy-award-winning videographer and editor. He has been with the University of Michigan Health System 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.

Other media contacts at U-M: 


Other news portals at U-M:

Michigan News

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University Record