Joni Westerhouse Official Photo
Associate Vice Chancellor, Associate Dean
Office of Medical Public Affairs
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Joni leads the Office of Medical Public Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her team of strategists, storytellers and creators serves the School of Medicine with comprehensive communications expertise.

The office is set up in three areas: communications and media relations, integrated marketing and branding, and web technical strategy.

The team is responsible for sharing Washington University stories about patient care, research findings, student achievement and community engagement. Stories are told through the written word, video, audio, photography, illustration and animation. The team also manages the School of Medicine website (and numerous others), publishes Outlook Magazine and provides the medical content for the Washington University Record, the university’s electronic news publication. It also handles crisis communications.

A journalist by training, Joni joined the Medical Public Affairs staff in 1987 as editor of the Medical Record and as a media relations specialist. Over the years, she took on several roles, as a spokesperson, writer, editor and director and executive director of medical communications prior to her appointment in 2011 as assistant vice chancellor. She was promoted to associate vice chancellor and associate dean in 2014.

She has been an active leader in the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA), which includes public relations, marketing, fundraising and alumni affairs professionals from medical colleges and teaching hospitals nationwide. She was national chair of the GIA in 2012 and continues to be actively involved in the organization. She received the GIA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020.