Meet Our Team

Tom Russell

Director of Communications

Tom got his start as an editor at Campaigns and Elections Magazine in Washington, DC. Splitting time between the Midwest and Washington, he’s spent more than 20 years in government, public relations and political consulting.

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Sara Benzel

Media Relations Manager

Sara joined UW Health at the beginning of 2020. Previously, she worked in national media relations for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and before that she worked at a public relations agency supporting clients in Silicon Valley. She is a native Wisconsinite and a graduate of the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Sara supports the Carbone Cancer Center, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Sustainability.

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Gian Galassi

Media Strategist

Gian has worked in media relations for more than 20 years and has been with UW Health since 2011. Prior to joining UW Health, Gian worked for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Nevada Cancer Institute; and The Nature Conservancy.  

Transplant, Orthopedics/Sports Medicine, Surgery, and Heart, Vascular and Thoracic are some of Gian’s main accounts.

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Andrew Hellpap

Media Strategist

Andrew worked as a reporter with Gannett in northeast and central Wisconsin, the Chicago Sun-Times Newsgroup in the northwest Chicago suburbs, and as interim editor of The Monroe Times. Hellpap joined UW Health in 2016, after stints in bicycle racing and with Innovenn Inc., a biotechnology startup company located in Madison.

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Neurosciences, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine and Anesthesiology are some of Andrew’s main accounts.

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Emily Kumlien

Media Strategist

Emily has been with the UW Health Media Relations team since 2014. Prior to coming to UW Health, she spent 6 years as a local TV news and sports reporter in Madison.  She is a graduate of the journalism school at UW-Madison.  Email or text is the best way to reach her in a timely manner. 

The American Family Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s, Women’s Health, Nutrition, Nursing, Infectious Disease and Ophthalmology are some of Emily’s main accounts

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Emily Tropp

Public Relations/Community Engagement Specialist

Emily joined the UW Health Media Relations team when SwedishAmerican Health System in Rockford, Ill. merged to become UW Health. She came to SwedishAmerican after 15 years as a sports reporter for the Rockford Register Star and five years as a project coordinator for the Rockford Public Schools. Originally from Battle Creek, Mich., she graduated with a journalism degree from Central Michigan University.

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