Who We Are

The Office of Institutional Planning and Communications has assembled a team of individuals with a wide range of talent and skills to successfully represent, support, and promote the Yale School of Medicine to the community and the world. 

We welcome you to contact our staff with questions.


Bio Profile

Mary Hu, MBA

Director, Institutional Planning and Communications

Mary Hu joined the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) administration in 2000 as Director of Strategic Planning and Marketing for the Yale Medical Group. In 2004, she took on the responsibility of directing school-wide communications, including print and online publications, and managing the Yale School of Medicine brand. She also directs various institutional planning activities, including international affiliations, diversity planning, emergency preparedness, and sustainability initiatives.


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Administrative Support

Bio Profile

Claire Bessinger - Van Graan, RMT

Office Manager and Communications Coordinator

Bio Profile

Cheryl Violante

Senior Administrative Assistant and Publications Web Coordinator

Cheryl Violante joined the School of Medicine in 1992 as a senior administrative assistant in the Office of Public Information and is now a senior administrative assistant and publications web coordinator in the Office of Institutional Planning and Communications.

In addition to general administrative work, Cheryl’s responsibilities include:

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Bio Profile

Kathy Katella-Cofrancesco

Communications Manager, Yale Medical Group

Bio Profile

Karen Olson

Editorial Coordinator, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

Bio Profile

Karin Render

Director of Strategic Planning

Web Group

Bio Profile

Lena Smith Parker

Director, YSM Web

Lena started out as a internet specialist in communications for the Yale Medical Group in 2004, and in 2006 was promoted to have purview over the web for all of YSM. Within months she created the first iteration of the brain trust dedicated to the mission of a "world-class" web presence for YSM, which has now grown to a team of seven.

As Director of the YSM Web Group, Lena now manages this team responsible for all YSM web sites. The group is dedicated to these goals:

Read more about the YSM Web...

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Bio Profile

Justin Fansler

Director of Operations

Director of Operations, YSM Web

Justin joined the School of Medicine’s Web Group at its creation in 2006, initially as the project manager in charge of creating the school’s first standardized web template and then migrating departments into the template.

He led the charge for branding and web standardization at the school, purchasing and implementing the school’s web content management system (SDL Tridion), event calendar, form builder tool and Maestro event ticketing system.

Today, Justin focuses on creating web strategy and...

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Bio Profile

Mark Albis

Web Systems Development Manager

Mark began working with the Yale School of Medicine Web Group in 2010 as the Manager for Web Training and Support. In this role, Mark fielded website editors' questions concerning YSM's content management system, Tridion, along with other web applications used in conjunction with Tridion to maintain the school's web presence. In addition, with the help of the Web Group student team he created a library of support documentation for editors to learn the basics of Tridion and how to create...

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Bio Profile

Justin Navarro, PMP

Web Services Manager

Justin joined the School of Medicine’s Web Group in July 2011 as the web project manager in charge of building new sites, conducting large-scale revisions of existing sites, and developing the web editing service.

He has focused on standardizing and streamlining each of these functions in order to best serve the web needs of YSM departments, programs, and faculty labs.

Today, Justin is focusing on encouraging departments, programs, and centers to engage the Web Group in utilizing our...

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Bio Profile

Liz Pantani

Web Support Specialist

Liz joined the Yale School of Medicine Web Group October 2011, as the team’s Senior Administrative Assistant. After being with the team for a few years she was promoted to her current role as the Web Support Specialist.

Liz provides preliminary and basic support needs to all web editors using Tridion and any YSM web applications, as well as providing initial setup for utilizing the News and People Profile System.

She manages scheduling for the team and coordinates the Web Editor Meetings and all...

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Bio Profile

Dan Poincelot

Web Software Engineer

Dan recently joined the Yale School of Medicine Web Group as the Application Product Manager responsible for the group's custom web applications. As his first task, he will be responsible for managing the school's Profile System redesign and upgrade.

In his first role at Yale as the Director of Web Strategy for Yale College, Dan successfully led the web department staff and vendors in a University-wide effort to upgrade all web-based technology. This included a website redesign and the...

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Bio Profile

Mark Santore

Associate Director of New Media, Yale Medical Group

Mark started at Yale in 2011 as the Web Manager for the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation where he managed YCCI’s online presence and marketing efforts.

Currently, Mark is the Associate Director of New Media for Yale Medical Group. He manages the organization’s website and is responsible for their communication and media efforts.

Prior to joining Yale, Mark worked in the Brand Marketing and Advertising Department for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

During his free time Mark enjoys golf, cars and...

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