Leslie Welch Taylor has been named vice chancellor for the Office of Communications & Marketing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) beginning Jan. 1.

Taylor has served as UAMS associate vice chancellor of communications and marketing since 2002, her second stint at the institution. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a communications professional, including as a newspaper reporter, editor, public relations director and a corporate communications executive.

As vice chancellor, she will lead the office responsible for external and internal communications and marketing at the state’s only academic health center and largest public employer.

The Office of Communications & Marketing also oversees media relations, public relations, advertising, websites and web marketing, multi-media services, video production, publications, media training for faculty and staff, and crisis communications for UAMS.

Taylor succeeds Pat Torvestad, who is retiring Dec. 31 after more than 20 years’ service to UAMS and the University of Arkansas System.

“Leslie gives us the needed combination of communications leadership, familiarity with UAMS and our mission and also a dedication for communicating to our many constituencies with clarity and consistency,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “I want to thank Pat for her long service to UAMS and to the state, always ensuring the UAMS brand is associated with excellence and a commitment to improving health and health care in Arkansas.”

Before joining UAMS in 2002, she served as vice president for communications and marketing for the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute (CARTI). Prior to that, she was a vice president of corporate communications for telecommunications company ALLTEL Corp. She also served as director of public relations in hospital marketing for UAMS from 1992-1997.

She began her career as a newspaper copy editor and reporter, rising to become the society editor for the Arkansas Gazette from 1988 to 1991. She later worked as a freelance journalist for publications including the Arkansas Times.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is completing a master’s degree in journalism.

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