Penn Medicine’s Department of Communications manages communications for the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. We work with the news media and publish a variety of internal and external publications, aiming to promote the reputation of the institution and its physicians, scientists, and staff, as well as creating awareness of the educational, research, and patient care activities in progress throughout Penn Medicine.
Our Media Relations and Publications divisions are 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 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.
Patients seeking doctors or appointments should visit PennMedicine.org or call 1-800-789-7366 (PENN).
Director of Communications
Phone: (215) 349-5659
Cell: (215) 200-2313
Holly came to Penn Medicine in 2007 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 in 2009. She handled media relations for Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center beginning in 2008, and continues to oversee communications related to Penn Medicine’s research using personalized cellular therapy to treat blood cancers.
Assistant Director, Strategic Communications
Phone: (215) 349-5964
Cell: (215) 776-6063
Katie joined Penn Medicine in 2011 with more than five years of experience working in media relations, communications and public relations. In previous positions, she was responsible for content development, media and public relations strategy and outreach on behalf of clients in healthcare, technology and education. Her experience includes developing traditional, social media and grassroots campaigns, and conducting press outreach for product launches, thought leadership campaigns, and conferences. Katie received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University in 2004, and a Master of Science in Public Relations from Boston University in 2007.
Senior Medical Communications Officer
Phone: (215) 349-8369
Abbey joins Penn Medicine with a professional portfolio that includes media relations and branding work for health care, higher education, technology, and athletics clients. With five years of experience both in-house and in the agency world, Abbey has developed a rich knowledge of traditional media relations, internal and external communications strategy, social media, and special events. Abbey holds a BA in corporate communications from Elizabethtown College.
Senior Medical Communications Officer
Phone: (215) 349-8062
Cell: (215) 873-3870
Johanna brings more than 10 years of experience in public health communications and media relations to Penn Medicine. In previous positions, she led the media and communications strategy on behalf of global health nonprofits with a focus on HIV/AIDS, vaccine research and development, and infectious and neglected tropical diseases. Her experience also includes developing communication strategies for advocacy and grassroots campaigns, celebrity engagement, and special event management. Johanna graduated from North Carolina State University in 2006 with a dual degree in Communications and Spanish Language and she holds an MA in Media and Public Affairs from the George Washington University.
Senior Science Communications Manager
Phone: (215) 349-5658
Cell: (215) 459-0544
Karen is responsible for disseminating information about the discoveries from the basic science departments within the School of Medicine. Karen previously held this position in the late 1990s.
Karen has held positions in both public affairs and science and medical writing. She was senior editor at The Scientist, as well as maintained a freelance communications business for several years, writing for such clients as Nature, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and the Wistar Institute.
Karen holds an MS in Scientific and Technical Communication from Oregon State University (1992) and an MS in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware (1985). She is also an author of a book on non-traditional careers in science.
Senior Medical Communications Officer
Phone: (215) 614-1937
Cell: (215) 327-2203
Greg's internal and external communications experience includes media relations, editing and writing for digital and print publications, crisis communications, social media campaigns, special events, spokesperson training and community relations. Greg earned bachelor's and master's degrees in public relations from Rowan University. Before his roles at Penn Medicine, Greg served as a public relations writer in Rowan's Office of Media and Public Relations for Rowan's College of Engineering.
Phone: (215) 662-6183
Paul came to Penn Medicine following a career in local television news that spanned New Jersey and Texas. As Communications Specialist, he assists many functions of Penn Medicine's Department of Communications, including writing and photography for internal hospital publications and preparing a daily newsletter which details recent media coverage of the health system. Paul also helps out from time to time managing the department's web and social media presence. Like several others in the department, Paul is a Rowan University graduate.
Digital Communications Editor
Phone: (215) 349-5657
As Digital Communications Editor for the Penn Medicine Department of Communications, Rob handles the posting of press releases and overall maintenance of the Penn Medicine News site. He also has a hand in Penn Medicine's social media outreach, and assists with photography and light technical support within the office. Prior to arriving at Penn Medicine, Rob was a journalist and medical reporter in the South Jersey area. He is a graduate of Rowan University, with a bachelor's degree in Journalism.
Phone: (215) 662-2560
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.
Director, Internal Publications
Phone: (215) 662-4488
Cell: (610) 416-6498
Sally Sapega serves as editor of both HUPdate, the biweekly 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.
Director, Faculty Publications
Phone: (215) 662-4802
Cell: (267) 318-7654
John Shea is director of faculty and alumni publications at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and editor of Penn Medicine, the magazine of the Medical Center. He was founding editor of Penn Health Magazine, the publication for the University of Pennsylvania Health System (1995-98). He also writes official memos, speeches, and other items for the CEO and Dean.
Before coming to UPHS, he was manager of The Compass, the biweekly tabloid for University employees (1990-95). He was also an editor at The Pennsylvania Gazette, the University's alumni magazine, for five years. While earning his PhD degree in English from Penn, he served for several years as a teaching fellow and instructor. His undergraduate degree is from Columbia University.