Release Date: October 10, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Nancy E. Paton, a senior leader in health care marketing and communications, has been named vice president for communications at the University at Buffalo, effective November 11. She will serve as the university’s chief public relations and marketing officer, overseeing the university’s overarching communications strategy in support of institutional goals. Paton previously served as chief public affairs officer for Kaiser Permanente, Ohio Region.
Paton’s appointment was announced today by UB President Satish K. Tripathi and follows a national search that attracted an outstanding pool of candidates from across the U.S.
As vice president for communications, Paton (pronounced Payton) will be responsible for enhancing UB’s institutional image and managing the university’s reputation as a leader among the nation’s premier higher education institutions through communications to a diverse spectrum of key internal and external audiences.
She will oversee UB’s Office of University Communications, responsible for the university’s major digital, news, marketing and social media communications, and will coordinate a network of communications professionals across the university.
“Nancy will play a key and strategic leadership role in the UB administration and will help the university share our vision and build relationships throughout our internal and external communities,” said Tripathi. “She comes to the university with extensive and impressive experience in leading strategic communications within large organizations, working collaboratively with colleagues to produce results that advance institutional goals across an organization.”
Tripathi noted that UB is at a special point in its history; poised to tell impressive stories about the transformations it has created in teaching, research and engagement over the last several years, and is actively realizing a bold vision for its future as a 21st-century research university. This pivotal period, Tripathi said, provides a significant opportunity for branding and positioning, under Paton’s leadership, to earn the university recognition commensurate with its accomplishments and potential.
“Nancy will be a tremendous addition to UB’s senior leadership team and to the UB and Western New York community,” said Laura Hubbard, UB vice president for finance and administration and chair of the search committee. “We had a superb slate of candidates for this position. In addition to Nancy’s breadth and depth of professional communications experience, her experience as a faculty member and her genuine enthusiasm for UB and this region set her apart as the ideal candidate for this position.”
Paton said it was “a great honor to be chosen to lead the University at Buffalo’s strategic communications and marketing efforts.
“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to position the institution for future success in achieving its bold vision. I’m looking forward to building relationships across the university and within the Western New York community to advance the research and academic vision of the University at Buffalo.”
As chief public relations officer, Paton was Kaiser Permanente’s Ohio Region executive leader for consumer and business-to-business marketing, strategic internal and external communications, brand management, government relations, community relations and health care reform planning and implementation. She led efforts to strengthen the organization’s brand and market position as well as its internal communications. Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, serving approximately 9.1 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia.
Prior to her position at Kaiser Permanente, Paton was chief marketing and communications officer at University Hospitals in Cleveland, one of the nation’s leading health care systems, with 10 hospitals, 30 outpatient health centers and more than 17,000 physicians and employees. Under her leadership, University Hospitals established an organization-wide brand identity and marketing strategy that helped establish University Hospitals as a comprehensive system and which helped boost the hospital’s national rankings among U.S. physicians.
Paton previously served as chief marketing and corporate communications officer at Oakwood Healthcare Inc., a $1 billion health care system in Dearborn, Mich.; and as regional administrative director of marketing and communications services at Mercy Health Partners, a seven-hospital system in Northwest Ohio. She also served as assistant vice president of marketing and communications services, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio, the forerunner organization to Mercy Health Partners.
Since 2011, she has served as a lecturer at Kent State University, where she teaches public relations in the master’s degree concentration in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
A nationally recognized author and speaker, she has published articles in Marketing Health Services Magazine, a publication of the American Marketing Association; and Spectrum, a publication of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development.
She has made presentations before organizations that include the Society of Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development and the Minnesuing Group, a think tank and peer group for senior communication professionals.
Paton holds a master’s degree in management from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in mass media and communications from the University of Akron. She is a board member of the Cleveland chapter of the American Red Cross and a former national president and chairman of the Senior Leadership Task Force of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development of the American Hospital Association.
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