Public Affairs & Media Relations
As representatives of South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic medical center, the staff members of the MUSC Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations work to convey how our faculty, staff, clinicians, students and scientists are changing what’s possible in health care, every day. We take seriously our charge to build awareness of MUSC, and how our institution serves all South Carolinians through education, research and patient care. We take even more seriously how we bring that information to various communities; whether through mass media, publications, videos, or social media, the professionals in our office are committed to protecting integrity and the public trust through transparent, accurate, timely and ethical communication.
Meet the team
Sharlene Atkins manages the office and budget for the Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations, also serving as executive assistant to the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. She has an extensive background in human resources, office management and accounting. She oversees the Broadcast Message system, a campuswide daily email communication system, and assists with external and internal public relations duties.
Cindy Abole is the editor of the print edition of MUSC Catalyst News. She also manages the Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations’ internship program for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students and volunteers. Cindy earned a bachelor’s of art degree in journalism and public relations from the University of South Carolina. She worked in the news industry at the Post and Courier and WCIV-TV 4. She conducted public affairs work, media relations coordination and educational support on a regional and national level with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama before joining MUSC in 1998.
Heather Woolwine serves as the media relations director for MUSC, spearheading the media relations division of the Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations. She has honors bachelor's degrees in communication and psychology, and a master's degree in communication from the College of Charleston. Heather participates in strategic communication planning for the university and medical center, serves as a spokeswoman for MUSC and manages the reputation and image of the enterprise through mass and social media relations.
Tony Ciuffo is a media relations coordinator who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. Tony spent nearly 20 years as director of media relations for College of Charleston athletics, also serving as the school’s radio play-by-play announcer, garnering him the S.C. Sportscaster of the Year in 2003 and 2009. He joined MUSC in 2010 to facilitate news stories and provide information at the request of the media.
Mikie Hayes joined the PAMR team in 2013 as copy editor and head writer for the print edition of MUSC Catalyst News, but was not a stranger to MUSC, having previously spent nearly 11 years in development leadership positions beginning in the early 90s. In the interim, she served as chief communications officer for an international corporation responsible for driving corporate strategy and message development, developing branding initiatives, internal communications, and external media relations. She also served as president of a foundation with offices in five countries that worked with the government and national media on numerous projects. Mikie is an experienced researcher, writer, editor, public speaker and communications professional.
Helen Adams is the digital editor for MUSC Catalyst News. She has an extensive background in news reporting, most recently at the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, GA. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a master's degree in communication from the College of Charleston. Helen joined MUSC in 2014.