Oregon Health & Science University has recruited a new leader for its media relations, institutional communications and publications department. Former journalist and strategic communications specialist, Lora Cuykendall, will join OHSU Nov. 14 as director of OHSU News and Publications.
The current director of the department, Marlys Pierson, is retiring after serving the university for 31 years.
"We enthusiastically welcome Lora to OHSU," said Peter Kohler, M.D., OHSU president. "Her wealth of experience, leadership and extensive business communications knowledge will serve OHSU well."
Cuykendall spent 14 years as a reporter and editor at The Oregonian. She was the editor of the Living section, assignment editor on the city desk and served for five years on the editorial board as an associate editor. In 1996 she left The Oregonian and co-founded The Ovation Group, L.L.C., a Portland-based media training company.
In 2000, Cuykendall helped create the news team and news focus of the Portland Tribune, the twice-a-week general-interest newspaper that was launched in February 2001. She was the executive editor in 2003 when the newspaper was honored as the "Nation's Best Non-Daily Newspaper" by the Inland Press Foundation.
Cuykendall created her own strategic communications and public relations business. Most recently, she has been communications director for the Portland Business Alliance, greater Portland's Chamber of Commerce. She was also the founding president of Open Oregon: A Freedom of Information Coalition.
"This is an exciting time to be a part of Oregon Health & Science University," Cuykendall said. "OHSU's growth both on Marquam Hill and at the South Waterfront will improve the lives of Oregonians and those throughout the region through advances in care, teaching, research and discovery."