Melanie Fridl Ross, M.S.J., E.L.S., has been named director of Health Science Center News and Communications. After serving as interim director for the past year, Ross will continue to lead the office’s communication efforts, working in cooperation with Shands HealthCare and UF University Relations.
Ross, who joined UF in 1992 after working as a reporter for The Tampa Tribune, has served as interim director for the past year. Prior to that, she was associate director of the HSC News and Communications office, helping to manage the Health Science Center’s external news operation and assisting with the development and implementation of public relations strategic planning initiatives and crisis communications efforts. In addition, she is senior producer and managing editor of Health in a Heartbeat, a consumer health series airing on public radio affiliates in 18 states and Washington, D.C. that won a national award of excellence in from the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2008. She also is on the adjunct faculty at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications, where she teaches news reporting. From 1997 to 2004, she held a dual appointment in cardiovascular medicine as an author’s editor, editing and submitting scientific manuscripts, book chapters and grant applications for division faculty members.
“Over the past year as interim director of News and Communications, Ross has led the office to new heights,” said Dr. David Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System, in a recent announcement to HSC faculty and staff.
“She has served in a crucial advisory role on my management team, offering a seasoned perspective on public affairs.”
Ross has increased integration and cooperation with her counterparts at Shands HealthCare and UF University Relations and has succeeded in raising the profile of the colleges, centers and institutes that comprise the HSC in national and international media outlets.
Ross holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a board-certified editor in the life sciences. This month she will begin a term as president-elect of the American Medical Writers Association. She is a fellow of AMWA and a past president of the organization’s Florida chapter. Melanie also serves on the WUFT-FM/WJUF-FM board of directors, and is a member of the Council of Science Editors, the National Association of Science Writers, the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences. Ross has won numerous awards for her writing and editing.