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November 2004 Issue

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UC Medical Center Announces New PR Director

Published November 2004

The UC Medical Center has announced the appointment of Richard A. Puff as its new director of Public Relations and Communications.

Puff joined the Medical Center in September from Duke University Medical Center & Health System in Durham, NC, where he served as associate director of the News Office since October 2000.

At Duke, Puff coordinated day-to-day media relations and assisted in crisis communications. He also played a leading role in the development of a video news release program, the News Office's media Web site ( and MediaTrack, a comprehensive media tracking and assessment Web site.

In 2002, received an Award of Excellence in Electronic Communications from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). MediaTrack was a finalist for the PRWeek magazine "PR Innovation of the Year" award in 2003.

Following a heart/lung transplant mismatch at Duke in February 2003, which resulted in international news coverage, Puff was a key member of the team that coordinated communication on these events. For those efforts, he and his colleagues were named winners of the 2004 PR NEWS Platinum PR Award in the Crisis Management category and finalists in the Media Relations category.

Prior to joining Duke, Puff spent nearly 14 years at Albany (NY) Medical Center as assistant and later associate director of public relations. Earlier, he was a police and general assignment reporter for two daily newspapers in New York state, where he received several Associated Press and Best of Gannett commendations.

"We're delighted to have a professional of Richard's talent and experience on our team," says Jane E. Henney, MD, senior vice president and provost for health affairs. "He joins us as we enter an exciting period in the history of the Medical Center and the university as a whole.

"Richard will play a key role in guiding our public relations strategy and communicating and interpreting our progress toward this goal to both lay and scientific audiences. I'm confident that through his efforts, and with the help of our very able UC Medical Center PR staff, our community will appreciate even more the value of the academic jewel that is in their midst, and our growing reputation will spread even faster throughout the scientific world."

A graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University with a degree in public relations and journalism, Puff has also pursued graduate studies in technical communications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

In addition to his professional work, he is an avid baseball researcher, having extensively studied 19th century baseball development and published numerous articles on baseball history.

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