Our Media Relations Team is responsible for telling the stories of UTHealth Houston to external audiences through media outlets and social media. We research, write, post, and pitch news releases and social media posts about clinical care, discovery science, public health, and our students. We escort media on UTHealth Houston property, including UT Physicians and UTHealth Houston Neurosciences clinics. We also respond to requests from members of the media for experts from one of our six schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, bioinformatics, and biomedical sciences, and are available 24/7 for those requests.
Deborah Mann Lake
Director, Media Relations
Key contact for: Crisis and Emergency Communications, Reputation/Ethics/Legal, HIPAA/Patient Privacy, School of Public Health El Paso and Brownsville Campuses, UT Physicians Leadership and Administration, UTHealth Houston Harris County Psychiatric Center and John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center, and Stem Cell Research.
Deborah Mann Lake spent two decades writing for Texas newspapers including the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle, where she was the correspondent for its weekly “Health/Medicine” page. She has won awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, the Houston Press Club, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a journalism degree. Deborah joined Public Affairs in May 2006.
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Key contact for: School of Public Health Dallas Campus, Cardiology and Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Learning Institute, General Pediatrics, Geriatric and Palliative Care Medicine, OB-GYN/Women’s Health, The Fetal Center, UTHealth Houston Consortium on Aging.
Prior to joining the Media Relations Team in Public Affairs, Jeannette Sanchez spent three years working in health care communications, and one year working in public relations. She graduated from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in May 2015 with a degree in mass communications. Jeannette joined Public Affairs as a media relations specialist in March 2020, and has served as senior media relations specialist since December 2021.
Caitlin “Caitie” Barkley
Media Relations Specialist
Key contact for: School of Public Health Austin Campus, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UT Physicians, and UTHealth Houston Neurosciences.
Caitie Barkley spent three years writing for The Baton Rouge Business Report, a business magazine based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and its twice-daily e-newsletter, Daily Report, where she covered local breaking news, contributed long-form feature articles, and won two national awards from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. She graduated from Louisiana State University in December 2017 with a mass communication degree. Caitie joined Public Affairs in July 2021.
Media Relations Specialist
Key contact for: School of Biomedical Informatics, School of Public Health San Antonio Campus, Allergy/Immunology/Rheumatology, Critical Care, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Surgery, Trauma.
Halle Jones spent five years as a TV news reporter and anchor for two ABC affiliates in Bryan-College Station, Texas, and Casper, Wyoming. She won best sports reporter and best news piece for 2018 from the Wyoming Broadcasters Association. She graduated from the University of Colorado in May 2017 with a double degree in journalism and political science. Halle joined Public Affairs in February 2022.
Media Relations Specialist
Key contact for: School of Nursing, School of Dentistry, MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School, School of Public Health Houston Campus, Adolescent Medicine, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging, Family and Community Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Gastroenterology, Head and Neck Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine.
Courtney Saenz spent the past year as an assistant public relations officer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. There, she wrote press releases and coordinated media events. Prior to that, she spent three years in corporate communications for Atlantic Plant Maintenance Inc., where she managed social media and wrote monthly project success stories. She graduated from the University of Houston in May 2021 with a degree in public relations. Courtney joined Public Affairs in December 2022.
Social Media Specialist
Angela M. Douglas retired from the Houston Police Department after 24 years of service, with the last eight years in public affairs coordinating the department’s social media. She has been the keynote speaker for the Government Social Media Conference, presented at the Social Media Strategies Summit Virtual conference, and participated in a panel for the Social Media in Law Enforcement Conference. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism in Public Relations and earned a Master of Arts in Literature with a professional writing certificate from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Angela joined Public Affairs in April 2022.