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Media Inquiries & Requests: 215-662-2560

Penn Medicine's Department of Communications is committed to serving all of the communications needs of Penn Medicine — including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC), Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH) and other entities — as well as the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM).

We are dedicated to quickly responding to the information needs of the news media, and encourage our faculty and staff, or members of the press to call our office with questions about the Health System or School of Medicine or requests for interviews with experts. Visit our staff beat list to find information on contacts for specific subjects.

For filming requests regarding Penn Medicine faculty, staff, or any Penn Medicine facilities, click here.

Patients seeking doctors or appointments should visit or call 1-800-789-7366 (PENN).

View Penn Medicine's Media Guidelines

View Guidelines for Penn Medicine Faculty & Staff Media and Government Relations Activity

  • holly

    Holly Auer

    Associate Vice President for Communications

    Holly leads the Penn Medicine Communications Department’s team of media relations, internal communications, publications, and digital communications professionals. Prior to assuming her leadership role in the department in 2013, Holly handled media relations for Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center beginning in 2007, including communications for Penn Medicine’s research using personalized cellular therapy to treat blood cancers — from publication of clinical trial results in the first three patients in 2010 through approval as the nation’s first CAR T cell therapy by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2017. Holly came to Penn Medicine following six years as a newspaper health care reporter. She previously worked for The Buffalo News, The Post & Courier in Charleston, S.C. and the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C., and freelanced for magazines including Glamour, Self, and Prevention. She is the recipient of numerous national and statewide awards for her writing and editing as both a journalist and a public relations professional. She is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she majored in magazine journalism, and she earned a master’s degree in bioethics at Penn.

  • brandon lausch

    Brandon Lausch

    Senior News Director

    As Senior News Director, Brandon oversees the day-to-day operations of Penn Medicine’s team of press officers. Prior to joining Penn Medicine in 2021, Brandon served as senior director of news and media relations at Jefferson Health, where he oversaw clinical media relations, social media, and brand journalism. Previously, Brandon was Temple University’s director of public affairs and, before that, the university’s first director of issues management communication. During Brandon’s decade at Temple, he also served in public relations roles at its Fox School of Business, where he taught Social Media Innovation as an adjunct instructor. Prior to his time at Temple, Brandon worked as a newspaper reporter in central New Jersey. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science, as well as a master’s degree in communication management, from Temple. 

  • Ewing

    Rachel Ewing

    Editorial Director

    As Editorial Director, Rachel Ewing leads the publications team in Communications and provides editorial oversight and strategic planning for all Penn Medicine publications, including Penn Medicine magazinethe system-wide suite of internal publicationsService in Action, and the Benchmarks newsletterHer role entails overseeing all aspects of Penn Medicine magazine, the organization’s flagship publication for all major external constituencies, including alumni of the Perelman School of Medicine, leadership at top academic colleges and health systems, health care thought leaders, members of the media, elected officials and their staff, current and prospective donors, and a variety of other groups. She conceptualizes and manages all aspects of the editorial and production process for the magazine, including management of graphic designers, photographers, freelance writers, and other contributors.

    Rachel has been editor of the magazine since 2016, when she re-joined the Penn Medicine Department of Communications following experience with science and medical writing and public relations at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and at Drexel University. Her prior work at Penn Medicine focused on digital communications, social media, and special projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brandeis University and master’s degrees in science communication and publication management from Drexel University.

  • Debbie Foster

    Senior Director of Internal Communications

    Cell: 215-203-6593

    As the Senior Director of Internal Communications, Debbie Foster oversees the day-to-day operations of Penn Medicine’s internal communications team. She also provides strategic oversight of communications for change management and employee engagement initiatives at enterprise, regional, and local entities. Prior to assuming her leadership role in the department in 2019, Debbie handled communications and design needs for Penn Medicine’s Human Resources and Organization Development departments. Debbie came to Penn Medicine in 2012 with 15 years of communications and design experience working for Fox Chase Cancer Center, French Toast and the U.S. Military as a civilian employee. Debbie holds a BS in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MA in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. 

  • Hannah

    Hannah Messinger

    Assistant Director for Strategic Communications

    Hannah joined Penn Medicine as a press officer in 2019. As the team’s Assistant Director for Strategic Communications, Hannah works with faculty, researchers, students, residents, and fellows to share their breakthroughs, clinical research, and inspiring patient stories. She also edits Penn Medicine’s award-winning Facts & Figures publication—a comprehensive, pocket-sized, annual report which summarizes the organization’s fiscal information and accomplishments. Hannah previously worked at Edelman New York’s Corporate Affairs practice, leading strategic communications programs for higher education, technology, and food and beverage clients. There, she generated national media coverage, managed social media campaigns, and drove thought leadership programs. Hannah is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and College of Arts and Sciences, where she earned degrees in public relations and psychology.


    • Medical Education
    • Graduate Medical Education
    • Psychiatry
    • The Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
    • Inclusion and Diversity
    • Community Service and Engagement
    • Pharmacology
    • Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics
  • Alex Gardner

    Alex Gardner

    Senior Medical Communications Officer

    Alex joined Penn Medicine in 2019 after more than five years as a journalist, many of which were spent on staff at Men’s Health magazine. He has reported on a wide variety of health and science topics including cardiovascular disease, urological health, and Infectious Diseases, often working with clinicians and researchers all over the world to accurately report the latest research news. His writing and editorial contributions have appeared in print, online, and on the airwaves. Alex has a passion for communication and a bachelor’s degree in English from Muhlenberg College.


    • Dermatology
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Nursing
    • Urology
    • Family Medicine and Community Health
    • Global Health
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Gastrointestinal Medicine
    • Colon & Rectal Surgery
    • Biochemistry & Biophysics
    • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Steve Graff

    Steve Graff

    Steve Graff rejoins Penn Medicine as a communications consultant after four years working as a freelance science writer and communications specialist overseas. During his previous time at Penn, he served as the assistant director of strategic communications and a senior medical communications officer, covering the Abramson Cancer Center, infectious diseases, and surgery, among other departments. He also served as editor of the Penn Medicine News Blog. Prior to that, he held positions at Thomas Jefferson University and theJournal of the National Cancer Institute. Steve holds a B.S. in biology from York College of Pennsylvania and a M.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


    • Hematology-Oncology
    • Radiation Oncology
    • Endocrine & Oncologic Surgery
    • Otorhinolaryngology
    • Plastic Surgery
    • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
    • Women's Cancers
    • Basser Center for BRCA
    • Cancer Biology
  • Lauren Ingeno

    Lauren Ingeno

    Senior Medical Communications Officer

    Lauren joined Penn Medicine as a press officer in 2019. She worked previously as a News Manager at Drexel University, where she generated national media attention about advancements in health care, engineering and biomedical research. Before returning to her hometown of Philadelphia, she was a science writer for publications at the George Washington University, where she covered a variety of topics, including infectious diseases, neuroscience and public health. She has also completed internships at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Inside Higher Ed and USA Today. Lauren is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where she earned degrees in journalism and English.


    • Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension
    • Sleep Medicine
    • Radiology
    • Geriatric Medicine
    • Ophthalmology
    • Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Care
    • Biostatistics and Epidemiology
    • Pharmacy
    • Penn Medicine Community Practices (Cherry Hill, Radnor, Valley Forge, Woodbury Heights)
    • Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
    • Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
  • sophie kluthe

    Sophie Kluthe

    Senior Medical Communications Officer

    Sophie joined Penn Medicine as a press officer in 2021 after two years as a communications manager with the American Red Cross. There, she generated media coverage for the organization’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Region on everything from blood donation to local and national disaster responses. Prior to that, Sophie worked in TV news for six years reporting on a wide range of topics at WMBD31 News in Peoria, Illinois, NBC-2 in Ft. Myers, Florida, and NewsChannel5 in Nashville, Tennessee. Sophie is a graduate of Elon University in North Carolina where she earned a degree in journalism.


    • Cardiovascular Medicine
    • Cardiothoracic Surgery
    • Vascular Surgery
    • Transplant Surgery
    • Anesthesiology
    • Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care
    • Bariatric Surgery
    • Center for Weight and Eating Disorders
    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Microbiology
    • Genetics
    • Stroke
    • Obesity
    • Epigenetics
  • kelsey odorczyk

    Kelsey Odorczyk

    Senior Medical Communications Officer

    Kelsey Odorczyk joined Penn Medicine as a press officer in 2021 after six years in book publishing, first at Penguin Random house, and most recently at Basic Books, a division of Hachette Book Group. There, she generated national media campaigns for a wide range of nonfiction books, including To End a Presidency by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz, and The First Cell by Azra Raza. She graduated from Fordham University with a BA in Communications, and minor in Visual Arts.


    • Emergency Medicine
    • Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical Care
    • General Internal Medicine
    • Pennsylvania Hospital
    • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
    • Neurology
    • Neurosurgery
    • Neuroscience
    • Medical Ethics & Health Policy
    • Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • Frank

    Frank Otto

    Senior Medical Communications Officer

    Frank joined Penn Medicine in 2018 with almost four years’ experience in health care and university communications, with specific experience generating media attention in areas including public health, therapy, biology and physics. Frank began his career as a print journalist with the Pottstown Mercury and Delaware County Daily Times, where he covered everything from spot news to public meetings and high school sports. Frank is a graduate of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


    • Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
    • Rheumatology
    • Health Care Technology Innovation
    • Telemedicine
    • Health care IT
    • Intellectual Property, Industry Partnerships & Commercialization
    • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    • Physiology
  • ylonda

    Ylonda Russell

    Office Manager

    Ylonda has been providing administrative support for the Department of Communications since October 2000. She coordinates the day-to-day operations of the department, handles budget development, invoice processing, front office reception and outgoing/incoming mail. She also assists in web research; maintenance of appropriate inventory; composes, reviews and edits documents; organizes and maintains files and databases; and general clerical support.

    Ylonda has been with the Health System for more than 10 years and was previously with the Department of Dermatology.

  • sally

    Sally Sapega

    Director, Internal Publications

    Sally Sapega serves as editor of both HUPdate, the monthly employee publication of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and System News, the internal publication for UPHS. In this role, she is responsible for seeking out story ideas, writing articles, taking photographs for stories, and coordinating both the design and the distribution for both publications. As director of Internal Publications, she also oversees the production of employee publications for both Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Prior to joining Communications, Sally worked in Penn Medicine’s Department of Marketing and Strategic Support, where she was responsible for producing a variety of marketing tools to promote hospital services to consumer audiences. In addition, she planned special events, such as seminars and health fairs.

    Sally holds a BA in Communications from Simmons College and graduated from Rowan University with a master’s in Public Relations.

  • julie wood

    Julie Wood

    Communications Specialist

    Julie joined Penn Medicine as communications specialist in 2021 after twice working as the department’s communications intern in separate terms beginning in 2019 and 2020. Julie supports the department with writing, digital production, media relations, social media, and other needs. She has a background in writing and video production, serving as a producer for her campus TV station and features editor of the university newspaper, in addition to being president of her school’s chapter of the Association for Women in Communications. She received her BA in Communication from La Salle University in 2020, where she is currently pursuing her master’s in Strategic Communication.

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