Sept. 25, 1997
Vol. 17, No. 1

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    LaVelle head of Hospitals' Government, Public Affairs

    Avis LaVelle has been appointed Vice President for Government & Public Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She will be responsible for the relationship of the University Hospitals and Health System with the community, the media and local, state and federal government.

    LaVelle comes to the Hospitals from Waste Management Corporation, in Oakbrook, Ill., where she was vice president for communications. Prior to that she was vice president for communications and community relations for Waste Management's 10-state Midwest Group, where she created several successful grassroots community-relations programs and supervised the $4.1 million multicultural public education effort for Chicago's Blue Bag recycling program.

    "Avis has already had distinguished careers as a reporter, in the Clinton Administration, and most recently in the private sector," said Ralph Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hospitals. "She brings with her a wealth of experience in internal and external communications, community and media relations and local and national government. We are pleased to have lured her back into the not-for-profit arena."

    LaVelle was formerly assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she served in that capacity as principal public affairs advisor to Secretary Donna Shalala from 1993 to 1995.

    Prior to joining the Clinton administration, LaVelle was national press secretary for Clinton's presidential campaign in Little Rock, Ark. She also served as campaign press secretary for Richard Daley's mayoral race in 1988 and was mayoral press secretary and senior advisor to Mayor Daley from 1989 to 1992.

    A 1975 graduate of the University of Illinois, LaVelle worked as a broadcast journalist from 1977 to 1989, including five years as chief political correspondent at WGN-TV and Radio, where she hosted a weekly talk show on political issues.

    Active in community service, LaVelle has taught English and persuasive speech to gifted public high school students in the University's Office of Special Programs. She was appointed by Mayor Daley in April as a trustee of the Chicago Reform School Board.